Rafael Bonachela explains why Quintett is one of the seminal works of modern dance.

As I sit listening to Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company, speaking with contagious enthusiasm about the work of American choreographer William Forsythe, I can’t help but notice he’s star-struck. It’s a good indication of how revered Forsythe’s work is by those in the dance industry. “I came out of this Forsythe performance in London thinking, I don’t know what that was, but it was amazing,” Bonachela shares. “I was totally moved and transformed and inspired in every way possible. I can’t quite explain it but I felt different, just talking about it gives me goose bumps. I love that feeling and this piece gave me that feeling.”

Bonachela is talking about Quintett, which features in Sydney Dance Company’s first program of 2015, Frame of Mind. It’s over 20 years old, but for Bonachela it remains as fresh and relevant as when he first saw it in the 1990s. “Forsythe took classical ballet technique and deconstructed it, reinvented it, and pushed it in every direction you could imagine, but there’s a lot of emotive content in this work too.”

The seismic impact of...

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