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2012 Event Media Release - Rafaela Bonachela

Thursday February 23, 2012


Sydney Opera House today announced that esteemed choreographer and Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela will curate Spring Dance - Australia’s only annual international festival of contemporary dance - for three years starting in 2012.

Over a two week period in August, Rafael Bonachela will present a program of dance that features some of the most innovative, sophisticated and beautiful work being created in Australia and around the globe, in venues across Sydney Opera House.

Rafael Bonachela, Curator of Spring Dance and Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company (SDC), said, ‘I am thrilled to be curating Spring Dance at Sydney Opera House. I live and breathe dance so it's a total pleasure for me to have this opportunity to share my excitement with audiences in Australia and bring together an interesting mix of dance artists to such an iconic venue. As Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company I have the wonderful opportunity to commission some of the best choreographers working today. Spring Dance broadens the opportunity to introduce Australian audiences to even more fantastic choreographers, companies and performances The two weeks of Spring Dance each year will most of all be a celebration of movement, the body and the beauty that dance brings to our lives’.

Jonathan Bielski, Executive Producer of Sydney Opera House Presents, said, ‘Dance has long been at the heart of the Sydney Opera House program so we are thrilled to be working with an artist of Rafael’s stature for the next three years, and look forward to seeing how the festival develops under his direction. As an acclaimed international choreographer who leads one of Australia’s most significant and globally admired companies, SDC, Rafael is perfectly placed to lead the artistic direction of Spring Dance.  I have been thrilled by his own work at SDC, as well as the canny eye he has for programming other choreographers.  We believe that Sydney audiences will love Rafael’s festivals of dance at Sydney Opera House, just the way they have embraced him at SDC. ’

Rafael Bonachela was born in Barcelona where he began his early dance training before moving to London to join the legendary Rambert Dance Company in 1992.  He remained with Rambert as a dancer and Associate Choreographer until 2004 at which time he established the Bonachela Dance Company to concentrate on the rapid rise of his choreographic career. Bonachela has been Artistic Director of SDC since 2009, where he has programmed and commissioned dance works from Australian and visiting international guest choreographers alongside his own creations.

Rafael’s career as a dancer has seen him in works by many of the world’s leading choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Richard Alston, Christopher Bruce, Siobhan Davies, Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Mats Ek, Javier de Frutos, Wayne McGregor, Kim Brandstrup, Mark Baldwin, Jeremy James, Per Jonsson, Lindsay Kemp, Ohad Naharin, Karole Armitage, Matthew Hawkins, Frederick Ashton and Antony Tudor.

As a choreographer, he has been commissioned to make works for Candoco, George Piper Dances, ITDANSA Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Transitions Dance Company and Dance Works Rotterdam amongst others. He has also collaborated  with artists and clients including Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner, The Kills, and Primal Scream.

Spring Dance 2012 will take place from 20 August to 2 September. The full program will be announced in early June.

For more MEDIA information, contact
Meera Hindocha, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House
02 9250 7834  /


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