Rafael Bonachela moved to Australia in 2009 to be the Artistic Director at Sydney Dance Company. He followed Graeme Murphy, who had been at the helm for decades, and took up the role after the tragic death of Tanja Liedtke, who was named as Murphy’s successor. Since his appointment, Rafael has brought the works of a diverse range of leading choreographers to Australia including Alexander Ekman, Adam Linder, William Forsythe, Jacopo Godani and Kenneth Kvarnstrom. While programing the works of Australian choreographers including Larissa McGowan, Stephanie Lake and Gideon Obarzanek.
Rafael works with a range of collaborators including with Toni Maticevski, Sarah Blasko, Nick Wales and Katie Noonan. His works includeg 360° C (2008), We Unfold (2009), 6 Breaths (2010), Shared Frequencies (2011), 2 One Another (2012), Les Illuminations (2013), and Lux Tenebris (2016).
Rafael has helped instigate a Pre-Professional Year for early-career dancers, as well as focusing on school students to help to develop the next generation of contemporary dance audiences.
Before moving to Sydney he ran his own company, the Bonachela Dance Company. Rafael danced for the Rambert Dance Company in 1992, where he developed a strong interest in choreography. This work lead to him choreographing for Kylie Minogue, on the Fever and Showgirl tours.
In this conversation we discussed Kylie, dance, leadership, inspiration and arts funding.
More information on Sydney Dance Company can be found at www.sydneydancecompany.com Rafael is his own social media celebrity and can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
Stay tuned for upcoming episodes including interviews with Gideon Obarzanek and Alexandre Hamel from Le Patin Libre.
Photo credit: Mariano Vivanco