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New Breed Review – The Music

December 11, 2015

By Bianca Healey

It’s interesting that an exploration of contemporary masculinity choreographed by a woman and a study in the history of female power choreographed by a man are stars of New Breed — Sydney Dance Company’s showcase of emerging Australian choreographic talent playing at Carriageworks until 13 Dec. Gender politics has emerged front and centre in public life and popular culture this year, and it feels fitting and very current that our young dance talent chose to delve into the ways that our society constructs and imposes concepts of identity.

New Breed premiered last year under the direction of Sydney Dance Company Director Rafael Bonachela, and it’s sophomore outing was nothing short of spectacular, traversing the mystic (Fiona Jopp’s study of Greensleeves song as a mysterious 17th century text and popular childhood jingle), the aural (Bernhardt Knauer’s expressive choreographing of his father’s classical music), and the political. Kristina Chan’s intimate Conform used explosive synths to complement a stage full of male bodies in a performance that melded subtle movement-based sections with raw athleticism. Daniel Riley took a parallel approach to his Reign, contrasting traditionally feminine dance styles with dramatic performance and another highly modern, electronic score.

Aleisa Jelbart’s costume design (sand, clay and ice grey adornments) and Matthew Marshall’s soft blue light made for perfect execution of a performance that exemplifies the best of Australia’s daring, innovative dance talent.

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