De Novo featuring Sydney Dance Company’s Jessica Thompson. Jacket by Dion Lee. Image by Ellis ParinderAustralia’s leading contemporary dance company leaps into 2013 with a stunning mixed bill performance in Sydney, before hitting the road to showcase the best in contemporary dance to audiences around Australia and internationally.
For Sydney Dance Company, 2013 begins with the aptly named De Novo, from the Latin term ‘of the new’.
Promising to be one of the most exciting dance offerings of the year, De Novo features the Australian premiere of Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, coupled with the world-premiere of Emergence, a new work by Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela, in which he joins forces with composer Nick Wales, internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko, and fashion designer Dion Lee.
In May the Company take their acclaimed production 2 One Another to Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin, and then reconnect with the Australian Chamber Orchestra to present Project Rameau in Brisbane and Canberra. The Company end 2013 with a season of De Novo at Melbourne’s Arts Centre.
Details of an extensive international tour, which will see Sydney Dance return to North and South America, will be announced early in the New Year. The Company also looks forward to continuing their artistic partnership with Sydney Opera House by presenting a season as part of Spring Dance 2013.
Recognised as one of the world’s foremost contemporary choreographers, Rafael Bonachela has provided artistic direction and leadership to Sydney Dance Company for the past four years, and in 2012, also curated a highly successful Spring Dance program for Sydney Opera House.
In 2013 Bonachela says he’s thrilled to bring one of Europe’s most highly sought after choreographers to work with the Company’s dancers. And also to create a new work in conjunction with some of Australia’s leading creative talents.
‘I’m really excited to introduce Alexander Ekman to Australian audiences,’ says Bonachela. ‘At the age of 28 he has already created 35 works for some of the best contemporary dance companies internationally, including Nederlands Dans Theater, Cullberg Ballet, Gothenburg Ballet and Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance. In 2010 and he was made associate choreographer for Netherlands Dance Theater 2.’
‘Ekman’s work, Cacti, is totally fresh and engaging, a dance piece about how we observe art and how we often feel the need to analyse and ‘understand’ it. Performed with a live string quartet on stage, it is joyful, intelligent and irreverent, and has been hailed by critics for all of these qualities.’

‘I am also thrilled to be working with Nick Wales and Sarah Blasko on Emergence,’ Bonachela continues.
‘I previously collaborated with Nick on 2 One Another in 2012, and have been an admirer of Sarah for a long time, as a great artist, singer and poet. The fact that Nick and Sarah are friends and have frequently collaborated themselves, made a perfect opportunity to suggest that they work together with me on the music for a new production,’ he says.
Emergence will feature costumes by one of Australia’s most innovative young designers, Dion Lee, who Bonachela is also a huge fan of.
‘I have followed Dion’s work for a few years and he has also come to our shows, so we have been circling one another,’ Bonachela jokes. ‘I can’t wait to see how he visually interprets Nick and Sarah’s music and my choreography, and translates this feeling to dressing the Company’s dancers.’

Bonachela says he is delighted to tour some of the Company’s recent repertoire around Australia and internationally throughout the coming year.
‘Sydney Dance Company is proud to present the same works in regional centres as we do in the major cities. Audiences everywhere love great dance! It is with great anticipation that we look forward to travelling around the country and overseas, and engaging with people who may not have had the opportunity to enjoy one of our performances before.’
De Novo, featuring Alexander Ekman’s Cacti and Bonachela’s Emergence, opens at Sydney Theatre on March 1 2013, for a three-week season and the Arts Centre Melbourne on November 20. Bookings for the Sydney performance are now open at, or phone 02 9250 1999. Melbourne tickets go on sale next week at, phone 1300 182 183.
Booking information for all other shows will be announced at

De Novo
Mixed bill comprising Alexander Ekman’s Cacti and Rafael Bonachela’s Emergence
World-premiere March 2013, Sydney Theatre
1 March – 23 March Sydney Theatre
20 – 30 November Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne

2 One Another
Winner 2012 Helpmann Awards, Charmene Yap, Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production
‘Sydney Dance Company at the peak of their power,’ Sydney Morning Herald
8 – 11 May, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
15 May, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
18 May, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin

Project Rameau
Presented by Sydney Dance Company and Australian Chamber Orchestra
Two of Australia’s greatest performing arts ensembles sharing the stage
A sell-out success in Sydney 2012
11 – 13 July 2013 Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane
12 – 14 September 2013 Canberra Theatre Centre
Image: De Novo featuring Sydney Dance Company’s Jessica Thompson. Jacket by Dion Lee. Image by Ellis Parinder.