Sydney Dance Company 2021

Impermanence. All photos by Pedro Grieg.

Refresh, Renew, Radiant

Three Seasons and National Tour for Sydney Dance Company in 2021

With the theme of ‘Refresh, Renew,Radiant’, Sydney Dance Company has announced its 2021 Annual Program which will include seasons for Impermanenceab [intra], and New Breed as well as a national tour of the new show Impermanence to more regional locations than ever before.

ab [intra]

The 2021 program will open with the world premiere of Impermanence, the eagerly anticipated collaboration between Rafael Bonachela and Bryce Dessner, followed by the return of the award-winning contemporary classic ab [intra]; and then New Breed which presents the very best in emerging Australian choreography.

Rafael Bonachela, Sydney Dance Company’s Artistic Director, said, “Following the excitement of our 50th anniversary in 2019, when 2020 began we certainly didn’t expect that events would unfold as they did. Like all of us, Sydney Dance Company has had a challenging year, but we are still here and still moving forward!

After the heartbreaking disappointment of cancelling Impermanence a matter of days before opening night, we are absolutely delighted to announce that our first Sydney season in February will be its world premiere! The COVID shutdown inspired me to extend Impermanence to make it a full length work- a response to the uncertainty we all face Impermanence sees the dancers joined onstage by our dear friends, the exceptional Australian String Quartet, playing Bryce Dessner’s exquisite score live. How poignant that a work originally influenced by the fragility of existence is the first to be staged after the devastation of the pandemic.

Dancer Emily Seymour

We are also thrilled that the global smash hit ab [intra] returns for a special encore season in September and that the year concludes with exhilarating new work in the eighth edition of New Breed. I can’t wait to share all of these works with you in 2021.”

Rafael Bonachela’s newest creation Impermanence is a full-length work that is a visceral and thrilling exploration of the juxtaposition of beauty and devastation. He created it in collaboration with contemporary composer Bryce Dessner who has composed a new score full of emotional power. Best known as a founder of American rock band The National and for his film scores for The Revenant and The Two Popes, Dessner was initially inspired by the tragedy of the Australian bush fires and the Notre-Dame fire in Paris. Performed live on stage by the Australian String Quartet, and the full power of Sydney Dance Company’s ensemble, this is an epic, driven performance that packs an emotional punch.

Travel and border restrictions permitting, 2021 will see Sydney Dance Company perform in more Australian cities and towns in one year than ever before. As part of this will be national tour of Impermanence, which will tour to 16 towns and cities across six states and territories from May to August 2020, with Federal and NSW State Government support. In a first for Sydney Dance Company, the dancers will be joined onstage by the Australian String Quartet in two thirds of these locations, performing Dessner’s new score live.

Season Two sees the return of Bonachela’s dynamic and powerful masterwork ab [intra] for a very special encore season in September, after a sell-out European tour in 2019 showcasing Australia’s best contemporary dancers. ab [intra], meaning ‘from within’ in Latin is ‘an exploration of our primal instincts, our impulses and our visceral responses’, says choreographer Bonachela. From tenderness to turmoil, ab [intra] is a journey of intense human existence that commands your attention. The music fuses lush cello concerto with ambient electronica as the exquisite dancers occupy a visually arresting ethereal world. This is a ferociously physical and heartfelt piece that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.

New Breed will return  for Season Three as it introduces new content from emerging Australian contemporary choreographers. It showcases a rich diversity of choreographic ideas from an  incredibly talented group of choreographers that will create brand new pieces on members of Sydney Dance Company. This limited season of raw talent and fresh ideas from some of Australia’s most exciting dance creators is not to be missed. New Breed is made possible by The Balnaves Foundation.



Season One
16 – 27 February
Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay

Season Two
7 – 11 September
Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay

Season Three
22 November – 11 December
Carriageworks, Sydney

2021 Subscriptions On Sale Now:


Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool – Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston – Saturday, 15 May 2021
Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura – Wednesday, 19 May 2021 (With ASQ)
Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – Saturday, 22 May 2021 (With ASQ)

Civic Theatre Newcastle, Newcastle – Wednesday, 9 June 2021 (With ASQ)
Capitol Theatre, Tamworth – Saturday, 12 June 2021 (With ASQ)
Glasshouse Port Macquarie, Port Macquarie – Wednesday, 16 June 2021 (With ASQ)
Griffith Regional Theatre, Griffith – Thursday, 24 June 2021
Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst – Saturday, 26 June 2021
Wyong Arts Centre, Wyong – Friday, 2 July 2021
Orange Civic Theatre, Orange – Saturday, 10 July 2021

Theatre Royal, Hobart – Wednesday, 28 July to Friday, 30 July 2021 (With ASQ)

Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs – Saturday, 14 August 2021 (With ASQ)

*Canberra, Darwin and South Australia Impermanence tour dates to be announced.

Additional Sydney Dance Company performance dates outside of Sydney will be announced in early 2021.


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