Australian Dance Reviews

Sydney Dance Company – The Land of Yes and The Land of No

Sydney Theatre
October 2011

By Dolce Fisher

Sydney Dance Company’s second installment for the year was the Land of Yes and the Land of No. Originally commissioned for Bonachela Dance Company in 2009 and receiving international acclaim, Australian audiences had the pleasure of delighting in its artistry.

Inspired by traffic signs and the way we navigate through our lives, the work was expanded from a cast of six to ten for the SDC production.  It was full of a myriad of motifs and embellished with canon upon canon. Bonachela is truly a creator of choreography of mathematical proportions. Some sections contained so much intricate detail and were executed with such precision, that it made me think twice about the movement I’d just witnessed.

Opening with an emotional solo performed by Charmene Yap she left the stage looking back, choosing to walk a different path in life, reminiscent of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.  Other highlights were Chen Wen and Natalie Allen’s childlike flirtatious duo and Richard Cilli’s intense solo.

The lighting design by Guy Hoare created a maze of fluorescent light structure, changing and creating doorways and patterns. The light often took shape like the directions on my GPS direct the way I should travel.

Theo Clinkard’s costuming was a hit and a miss. The women were styled well with a very feminine edge that really complimented the movement. On the other hand there were male dancers in shorts which allowed you to see the lines created, then others were dressed in massive pleated pants which hindered the choreography.

The work was set to the music of Ezio Bosso and it had a similar emotional quality to that of other Bonachela/Bosso collaborations, but this score had more light and shade.  One beautiful section featured just the piano and the plucking of strings and others included vocal chanting and brass instruments. After seeing the partnership of Bosso and Bonachela develop it will be interesting to see how Bonachela’s choreography will diversify in 2012.

I give a ‘Yes’ to amazing, inspiring and beautiful!

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