Collaborators: Rafael Bonachela

Rafael Bonachela. Photo by Samuel Webster.

Rafael Bonachela
Choreographer
Artistic director of Sydney Dance Company

Rafael Bonachela’s internationally recognised talent has seen him work not only with contemporary dance at the highest level but also with artists from popular culture, such as Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner, Sarah Blasko and Katie Noonan as well as leading fashion designers Dion Lee and Toni Maticevski. Such collaborative efforts reflect the inspiration he finds and utilises from culture today.

Rafael was named winner of the dance category for The Monthly’s 2013 Arts Awards and listed as one of the (sydney) magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in 2012 for his efforts to popularise dance since taking on the job of Artistic Director with Sydney Dance Company and as curator of Australia’s international festival of contemporary dance, Spring Dance at the Sydney Opera House.

In February 2013, Rafael was honoured with an Officer’s Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by His Majesty the King of Spain.

Rafael was recently named in the 2013 Dance Australia Critics Survey for ‘Most Interesting Australian Artist’ for his ‘stimulating collaborations with Australian artists from other fields’ (Deborah Jones).

From the biography of Rafael Bonachela

Sydney Dance Company

I met Samuel first through the poetry of his writing before I met him personally, but there was an immediate recognition of a remarkable spirit… I am in awe of the way in which he can capture the physical art of dance, the aural art of music and grasp inner meaning which he effortlessly translates into words. It is such a gift.

Rafael Bonachela

Artistic Director, Sydney Dance Company

2016
ANIMA

Drammaturg

Anima by Rafael Bonachela

Bonachela’s Anima, latin for breath, spirit and soul, will immerse you in a unique visual world by collaborator Clemens Habicht (known for his film clips for Flume, Bloc Party, Tame Impala).  Set to an alluring and vibrant concerto for cello and strings by Bulgarian Grammy nominee Dobrinka Tabakova.

2014
Frame of Mind

Drammaturg

Frame of Mind by Rafael Bonachela

Bonachela’s world premiere Frame of Mind features a dramatic contemporary-classical soundtrack by Bryce Dessner (from American hit rock band The National), recorded by internationally renowned Kronos Quartet.

‘★★★★…danced crisply and flawlessly…it is passionate yet highly precise, demanding and often breath-stealing.’ – The Guardian
‘★★★★…Bonachela’s Frame of Mind delivers an emotionally engaging and overarching choreographic mastery…electric’ – Daily Review

2012
2 One Another

Poet / Drammaturg

2 One Another by Rafael Bonachela

This multi award-winning work weaves a vivid, exultant and sensual study of human interaction – charting the myriad actions and reactions, gestures and relationships, connections and disconnections that make up a life.

2 One Another is set against a pulsing, pixelated backdrop and thrums with a driving, baroque-meets-electronica soundtrack, penned by the able hand of composer Nick Wales. Shot through with the exquisite poetry fragments of Samuel Webster, this is dance at its most engaging and multi-dimensional.

A startling, high-octane shot across the bows of contemporary dance, 2 One Another is an exuberant celebration of the power of movement.

Winner of 2013 Australian Dance Awards:

  • Rafael Bonachela for Most Outstanding Choreography
  • Charmene Yap for Most Outstanding Female Dancer
  • Sydney Dance Company for Most Outstanding Performance by a Company

Winner of 2012 Green Room Awards:

  • Sydney Dance Company for Best Ensemble
  • Best Female Dancer

Winner of 2012 Helpmann Award:

2011
Protogenos

Poet / Photographer / Designer

Protogenos by Samuel Webster

PROTOGENOS is a limited edition, mixed-media piece by Samuel Webster, inspired by Rafael Bonachela’s LANDforms, a new work for Sydney Dance Company. The book itself is a 60-page, full colour publication, a collection of Samuel’s poetry and photography, written and captured during the choreographic process of LANDforms. Each copy is uniquely numbered, and autographed by Samuel Webster and Rafael Bonachela.

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