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Frame of Mind

Sydney Dance Company (SDC) present FRAME OF MIND in the Sydney Theatre, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay.

FRAME OF MIND is a double-bill from the Sydney Dance Company: QUINTETT by William Forsythe, and a new work, FRAME OF MIND by Artistic Director of the company, Rafael Bonachella.

QUINTETT, is a dance by William Forsythe, made in 1994, to honour his dying dancer-wife. The work is having its first Australian performance with this company, the significance of the work for five dancers, having special meaning and delicacies for the Choreographer, that permission for its re-creation is sparely given.

In rehearsal clothing the five dancers interact and communicate to the soundtrack of Gavin Bryars’ JESUS’ BLOOD NEVER FAILED ME – a looped recording of an unaccompanied ‘street-singer’ with a gradually evolving, gentle orchestral underplay. I, generally, am an enormous admirer of the work of William Forsythe, but whether it was the soporific culmination of the score by Mr Bryars, or other things, I could not, did not engage in the work as others have seem to have done. I lost interest quite easily. Ana Catalina Roman Horcajo and Thomas McManus, both staged the choreography.

On the other hand, FRAME OF MIND, a new work from the Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company, Rafael Bonachella, to three of the tracks from the Kronos Quartet recording of AHEYM by Bryce Dessner, arrested and attracted my appreciation enormously. The Design by Ralph Myers, of a tall, distressed, angled wall, spread diagonally across the stage space, with the second wall featuring a large arched window, is handsome in its presence and frames the action well, although it seems to crowd the space, that has the full company often on stage.  The Costumes, also by Mr Myers were sympathetic to the dance and dancers. A variety of duets etc. are executed by a very finely tuned and athletic company. What I particularly enjoyed was the mostly air-borne choreography of this dance and the synchronistic achievements of the company in some of the demands made on them by Mr Bonachella. This new work is such a departure from what I, generally, perceive of the floor-hugging style of this choreographer, that I was unexpectedly delighted and enthused. It is packed with physical  beauty and action and, on the afternoon, I saw it, enthusiastically danced with focused concentration by all the company. It was received with generous applause from the audience.

It was a joyful, afternoon, diversion.