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Sydney Dance Company’s CounterMove

Sydney Dance Company dancers perform Cacti at the initial Australasian premiere in 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

Sydney Dance Company’s CounterMove

Sydney Dance Company’s CounterMove

Last night Sydney Dance Company launched CounterMove, a program including two contrasting dance works: Cacti by Swedish Choreographer Alexander Ekman and Lux Tenebris Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, in partnership with the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company.

The performance began with Cacti, a Meta work of comical self-referentiality by Alexander Ekman. Beginning like a mysterious religious ritual, dancers and musicians shared the stage and offered up a live collaboration of sounds and expressions, which seemed at times to refer to sculptural ancient art. The impressive intricate rhythms and expressions then lead way to an exploration of form and architecture, with dancers building and deconstructing the set around them. It was a playful work that generated a lot of laughs from the audience, particularly during the audio sequences (no spoilers).

Lux Tenebris by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, in complete contrast, is a work that arrests you from first beat. It has all the sumptuousness and abandon that you would expect from Bonachela’s Choreographic language: dynamism, extended limbs, wild interactions teetering on collision, absolute control and beautifully crafted duets that speak of the complexity of human intimacy. Along with highly impactful sound by Nick Wales and lighting designed by Benjamin Cisterne, the experience is both stunning and unsettling.

CounterMove is on in Sydney until March 12 then travels to Canberra May 19 to 21 and Melbourne May 25 to June 4.

The National Tour of CounterMove begins June 17 to August 27, travelling to rural and major cities throughout Australia. For more details on tour dates visit

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