Rafael Bonachela of Sydney Dance Company: “Dance is poetry of the body”

The Sydney Dance Company’s double performance of ‘Frame of Mind/Lux Tenebris’ Friday night at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogotá left the audience awestruck. To find the root of the inspiration for the works, The City Paper spoke with the world-renowned dance choreographer and artistic director of the company, Rafael Bonachela.

When explaining where his idea for ‘Frame of Mind’ originated, Bonachela recalls that he was walking in a park listening to a piece of contemporary-classical music by the American composer Bryce Dessner and guitarist of The National. “I felt an intense emotional journey through the music and I realized that it was connected to what was going on in my life at that point. It made me think how your frame of mind is affected by things that happen around you.”

Placing personal feelings aside, he approached his talented dance crew and asked them how their emotional journey of the year before, had been. Their drawings and poetry, says Bonachela, “became the seeds for the work; the guidance and inspiration and thereafter, the movement. I then choreographed and structured it into Frame of Mind.” This particular piece, he continues, “is an exploration of different emotional and psychological states of being and how things can affect us.”

In contrast to Frame of Mind is the darker and heavier, Lux Tenebris, a dance driven by a dramatic electronic score composed by Australian Nick Wales. “I never knew how this piece would be but I had a feeling of how I wanted it to sound and the world that the piece should inhabit,” says Bonachela of the how he felt during the creative stage. Meaning ‘Light in the darkness,’ this piece explores how light and darkness affects us all. “Often people think that light is positive and darkness is negative’ , blinding light can be awful and total darkness can be the calmest and the softest thing,” explains Bonachela.

When asked how he wants the audience to feel after watching the show, he replies: “My work has no limits and I never signpost for people.” He goes on to explain that “dance is poetry of the body”; an art form that allows every person in the audience to be able to feel something that is unique to them alone. Although he doesn’t dictate feelings, he does want to connect with the audience; to feel their emotions and sensations. “The wonderful thing about dance is that it allows many different viewpoints.”

Saturday, January 27, is the last chance to experience Bonachela’s creativity and the dancers of the Sydney Dance Company’s passionate interpretation and exploration of  emotion, light and darkness.

Performance starts at 8 pm. Tickets are priced from $20,000 pesos to $120,000 pesos.

Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo – Ave Calle 170 No.67-51.