RESOUND
Roslyn Packer Theatre, October 29
Until November 5
★★★★

Resound is a whirlwind of dance action. The performers barely have time to draw breath in a triple bill of two new works and a revival from 2017.

As ever with the Sydney Dance Company under the artistic direction of Rafael Bonachela, the dancers are superb. The skill they bring to the shaping of their bodies is equalled by the speed with which they ring the changes from one phrase to the next.

The costumes for The Universe Is Here are something else.Credit:Pedro Greig

Their attack is formidable. And while some of us might wish for a little more light and shade in the choreography, there is no questioning the quality of the performers, many of them a new generation for the company.

And the program does have some quiet moments. Stephanie Lake’s The Universe is Here begins with solo harpist Emily Granger centre stage, hardly sounding the instrument. The 14 dancers emerge from the darkness and walk forward in a line, slowly and deliberately, making patterns of small moves.

After that, Robin Fox’s percussive score takes over with its steady beat and the dancers take off. Melbourne-based Lake is not afraid to give her dancers curiously unattractive shapes and actions, which adds visual spice to an already interesting range of solo and scattered ensemble moves.

It also reflects her themes of contrasting beauty and sadness, brokenness, ambiguities and contradictions. Yet the costumes, designed by Harriet Oxley, are something else: all gleaming gold with matching loose shorts and a variety of close-fitting tank tops.

Bonachela’s short new piece, Summer, is for three dancers, two male and one female. It runs at a hectic pace in which their interaction alternates between two watching (and no doubt taking a breather) while the third dances, and then all three entwining their bodies in complex partnering.

Colourfully patterned second-skin costumes by Romance Was Born offer a sense of summer light-heartedness in contrast to a heavy composition by Kate Moore recorded by the Australian String Quartet.

Ocho – eight in Spanish – was choreographed by Bonachela for that number of dancers. Each emerges from a glass-walled room and makes a personal statement in movement before mingling as an ensemble.

It’s a thoughtful work, but one that was better with the individuality and character of the original cast.

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