2 One Another

Katie Lavers

Rare and wonderful – dancing of the highest calibre from Sydney Dance Company
2 One Another

Photographer: Peter Greig

This season at the Roslyn Packer Theatre marks the 100th performance of 2 One Another, the award winning work from Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. Stunning, athletic, rigorous, precise, this is a reminder of how breathtaking and extraordinary dance can be. It is a rare treat to see dancing of this calibre.

This remount of 2 One Another features front and centre the work of Chris Aubrey, the Sydney Dance Company Rehearsal  Director, who himself previously performed in tours of 2 One Another to North America, South America and Russia. The dance was flawlessly executed with each dancer in total command of their own pathway through the work. The unison in the group sections was perfection itself. With a work of this choreographic intensity and complexity performed to a contemporary score often with little in the way of perceptible musical cues this was a considerable feat. The rehearsal direction was extraordinary.

These dancers are superb, in peak condition, with absolute physical control and precision, each performing with total conviction and commitment. It is hard to single out any one dancer as they are all breathtaking, but perhaps the most exciting thing in watching this performance is to see the male dancers come into their own, take the space and move into absolute parity with the female dancers, with a lyricism and presence that now enhances their strength and power. The partnering by both male and female dancers is wonderful, performed with an artistry which complements and extends the line and trajectory of the partnered dancers.

In the first half, the rigour and restraint of the the black and white aesthetic works to perfection, and leads to a literally heart-stopping climax. The lighting and screen together are stunning, precisely complementing the dancers, and the music of Nick Wales is a revelation. In this section the costumes reveal the dancers’ lines and give them an exciting, edgy feel. Reflector strips sewn onto the back pick up the  lighting and startle and surprise. The red costumes  in the second section, however, prove how very difficult it is to costume contemporary dance, as even the minimal loose material in these costumes masks the dancers’ lines, and proves distracting.

The final image in which a male dancer sits on the back of a woman kneeling on all fours as the curtain comes down is problematic, as it lends a strangely physical theatre note to an evening of abstract dance, and, from a gender perspective, provokes readings that perplex in light of the rest of the work in which the female dancers are shown as empowered, strong and vital. This is a very minor reservation however.

 In 2 One Another  you can see top, world-class dancers of athleticism and artistry rising to the challenge of a complex and physically demanding work from a major choreographer.

 2 One Another  allows you to rediscover a passion for the strange magic and mystery of dance. If you love dance do not miss this performance!

 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

2 One Another
Sydney Dance Company
Choreographer: Rafael Bonachela
Production & Costume Design, Creative Direction of Screen Content: Tony Assness
Lighting Design: Benjamin Cisterne
Original Music: Nick Wales
Text: Samuel Webster
Costume Design Consultant: Peter Simon Phillips Costume Maker: Fiona Holley
Screen Content Designed and Produced by Iloura
Executive Producer: Alastair Stephen
Design Director: Finnegan Spencer
Producer: Simone Clow
Lead 3D Artist: Kanin Phemayothin
Rehearsal Director: Chris Aubrey
Dancers: Juliette Barton, Izzac Carroll, Davide Di Giovanni, Holly Doyle, Janessa Duffy, Nelson Earl, Cass Mortimer Eipper, Bernhard Knauer, Chloe Leong, Jesse Scales, Latisha Sparks, Todd Sutherland, Petros Treklis, Josephine Weise, Charmene Yap, Sam Young-Wright.

The Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney
6 October – 14 October 2017

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Dr. Katie Lavers is a writer, director, producer and researcher based in Sydney.