ORB: Sydney Dance Company @ The Canberra Theare

25 May 2017

An orb is an ancient symbol, a glowing sphere purported to be the font of everything. But from whence it came and if it really has powers is anyone’s guess. The hands of Donald Trump on the orb at the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh sent the twittersphere and photoshop masters into a frenzy of ‘fake photos’ one of which was hilarious. Yes, the President with his hair flaring like a smurf with his finger in a light socket is about as good as it gets for this kind of Presidential posturing.

But for us basking in the pleasure that is The Sydney Dance Company, their Orb was a two part program of exceptional dance, choreography, costumes, lighting, music and set design.

Much loved by Canberra audiences, it has over the eight years that Rafael Bonachela has been at the helm become an extraordinary company where exciting dance is the result and collaboration extends their possibilities

Opening with Full Moon, choreographed by Cheng Tsung-Lung, Artistic Director of Cloud Gate2 in Taiwan. It was a a whirlpool of circles that epitomised the athleticism and physical talents of the company to the music of composer Lim Giong.

The vision of Latisha Sparks fluttering her red petals in exacting movements and circling the stage with bent knees was pain inducing for those of us with ‘dicky-knees’. But for Canberran’s it was local graduate of QL2 Dance's Quantum Leap Ensemble Sam Young-Wright exhibiting his wonderful physicality in a long skirt, bare chest and arms that go forever. He was extraordinary.

Proudly enjoying his performance were Quantum Leap’s Artisitic Director Ruth Osborne and General Manager Gary Barnes.

Rafael Bonachela as Artisitic Director created Ocho for the second part of Orb. Orcho in Spanish means eight and his eight dancers were ensconced in a ‘concrete’ surrounded space that glowed and sparked with lighting like strikes, slowly emerging from their space to exhibit their individual excellence.

In this performance the focus was the individual, a break from the norm with choreography that for Sydney Dance Company departed from the ensemble creations we are used to with an often disparate group of dancers in many memorable performances. With music by Nick Wales, that is bold and brassy, the third movement uses a songline from the Mangalili clan called Nyapillilingu; The Spirit Lady. Balanced and beautiful. Another night of extraordinary creativity from Sydney Dance Company.