Sydney Dance Company always starts a new season with a Welcome to Country offered by a local First Nations leader. It’s a brief ceremony that never fails to be moving and resonant, and never more so than at the opening of New Breed. SDC had to cancel everything else this year except New Breed, which, as the name suggests, celebrates promise and the future. Welcome back indeed. But of course a Welcome to Country is rather more than just saying hello. It speaks of inclusion, reconciliation and diversity, actions that aren’t only about a more equitable society but actually make for much more provocative, interesting work. The Welcome to Country is also a reminder of the absolute centrality of culture in the lives of Australian’s first peoples and of the eternal nature of art.

Inertiaby Jesse Scales. Photograph © Pedro Greig

New Breed is described as a platform for emerging choreographers, although some have emerged further than others. SDC dancers Jesse Scales and Chloe Leong are relatively inexperienced while the two other 2020 choreographers, Raghav Handa and Joel Bray, come from outside the ranks and have been making work for some...

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