Sydney Dance Company and their Frame of Mind

Translating your frame of mind from a mix of emotions and neurological impulses into the movement of contemporary dance is no easy feat. That’s at least what any lay person will tell you.

Rafael Bonachela, artistic director of the illustrious Sydney Dance Company on the other hand, has made what was no doubt a trying process seem to flow as melodically as the music itself in his storytelling dance Frame of Mind that is in Melbourne until the weekend.

The Sydney Dance Company is in Melbourne as part of their touring of a 20 minute-long piece of choreography by William Forsythe named Quintett in which dancers rhythmically translate relationships and the innermost workings of the human psyche into athletic and borderline acrobatic dance on stage. In addition to Quintett, Bonachela’s own Frame of Mind piece tells the tale of a poignant moment in his life, punctuated by the tearing affect of an overseas partner and a debilitated mother; only with triple the number of dancers and with the inclusions of a conceptual, reactive stage set.

The two dances are one in the same to the untrained eye, but worlds apart to the seasoned aficionado. Quintett is a particularly exciting development for the Sydney Dance Company whose ability to reproduce what is to some dancers quite the feat in choreographic achievement not only for themselves, but for an audience, is as exciting as it is demanding.

“Sometimes I find myself focusing so hard on how we’re dancing and performing as a group and allowing myself to be absorbed into the dance so much that the music and everything else around me just fade away,” said Chloe Leong, on of the Sydney Dance Company’s newest additions.

Frame of Mind on the other hand is a particularly more linear rollout of the tale of a segment in choreographer Bonachela’s life. Torn between a partner who’d moved overseas and a mother in Europe whose ailing health threw a spanner in the works, the dance explores the tenuous balance between torment and comfort.

Both comfortable in his career and life and tormented by his decisions, the dance portrays activity, heavy music and rhythm and a more absorbic method to its madness.

In any cases, the Sydney Dance Company are formidable, polished, clean and professional with a skill set in dancing that casts absolutely no shadow of a doubt over why a position in their troupe is so coveted.

In Melbourne til 16 May, find tickets at the Melbourne Theatre Company.


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