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2 One Another – Sydney Dance Company

Human interaction is the clay from which Sydney Dance Company's new season forms.
By Jimmy Dalton
March 18, 2012
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2 One Another – Sydney Dance Company

Human interaction is the clay from which Sydney Dance Company's new season forms.
By Jimmy Dalton
March 18, 2012
  shares
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Clean-cut, sublime and fluid, Rafael Bonachela's 2 One Another unfurls the Sydney Dance Company 2012 season with a focus on the minutiae of human interaction.

It is impossible to watch Bonachela's choreography without thinking of the word 'unfolding', for his dancers form a flow of shapes without end, and the result is a hypnotic sense that time is as circular as it is infinite. There is danger in this as much as there is beauty, however, because without the evolution of the scenography and sound design, 2 One Another could very easily become an exercise in repetition.

The choreography is filled with a physical grammelot of human gesture, stripped of its everyday context to the point where the gentle brushing of a wrist becomes an act of epic poetry. Which is apt, because beneath the muscular physicality of SDC's dancers is the writing of Sydney poet Samuel Webster. Following the bewitching mixed-media collaboration of Protogenos in 2011, Webster and Bonachela began work on 2 One Another by feeding text to the company's dancers, creating a dialogue that eventually crystallised into the action now on stage.

Lifting the choreography into a work that is truly affecting are the talents of composer Nick Wales (from CODA) and designer Tony Assness, who both create with an elegant, restricted palette in 2 One Another. Wales's score and sound design fluctuate between sparse electronica (at its best in Murcof's Oort) and choric pieces evocative of the medieval. So too does Assness's brilliant use of a LED wall shift the mood, alternating between the stark glitching of a broken futurescape and the soft pastels of Renaissance painting.

As with all great conversations, 2 One Another nails the sense of human touch and physical communication in moments of simple clarity — a necessary reminder in an age where our conversations are further and further removed into the realm of the gadget.

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