Two unique choreographic visions to sweep you off your feet

Fri 15 & Sat 16 July, The Arts Centre Gold Coast

★★★★ Utterly mesmerising – The Guardian

★★★★½ A winning combination – Limelight Magazine

★★★★ – Sydney Morning Herald

Internationally renowned Sydney Dance Company is set to return to The Arts Centre Gold Coast with a stunning two-part program, juxtaposing works from two renowned contemporary dance visionaries – multi-award winning Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman, and Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela.

This latest offering from Australia’s leading contemporary dance company brings together movement, music, dramatics, philosophy and comedy, in an intoxicating double bill program presented by 16 of Australia’s finest dancers at the top of their game.

One of Europe’s most prodigious and highly sought-after artists, Alexander Ekman, has skyrocketed to celebrity in less than ten years since choreographing his first work. In this time he has been commissioned by more than 45 leading dance companies around the globe, including Netherlands Dance Theatre, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Atlanta Ballet, to name just a few.

In his 2010 work Cacti, Ekman turns his eye upon the scene that birthed him, presenting a gleeful and knowing parody of the affectations of contemporary dance.


Sixteen dancers stand – seemingly trapped, on oversized Scrabble tiles. While a string quartet plays, and spoken recordings give tongue-in-cheek narration of the action, the dancers run, fall, writhe and try to escape their invisible prisons. Eventually – and this is the important bit, they each acquire a cactus. But what does it all mean?

One of Ekman’s most popular and successful pieces, Cacti is a laugh-out-loud funny and affectionate deconstruction of art’s greater excesses, described by The Australian as, “An extraordinarily original and vibrant work of dance-theatre – witty, effervescent, playful, surreal and joyously physical.”

Rafael Bonachela’s world premiere, Lux Tenebris, provides the perfect contrast.

Named for the Latin term meaning ‘Light and Darkness’, this full ensemble piece explores the extremes of human experience, responding to a newly commissioned powerful and evocative visceral soundscape by frequent Sydney Dance Company collaborator, composer Nick Wales (Rafael Bonachela’s 2 One Another, Emergence, Scattered Rhymes).

Showcasing the dancers’ trademark poetic and technical mastery, Bonachela’s movement follows deep, unexpected twists to discover a dark place where there is space for beauty and light.


With only two Gold Coast performances and no Brisbane performances we recommend getting in fast, for what would have to be one of the most exciting double bills of 2016!

It had me laughing until tears ran down my face. – Dance Australia

Ekman has pulled off one of the most difficult challenges in dance, which is to be genuinely funny. Cacti is a delight: witty, effervescent, playful, surreal and joyously physical. – The Australian

The Arts Theatre, The Arts Centre Gold Coast
DATES: Fri 15 Jul, 7:30pm
Sat 16 Jul, 7.30pm
COST: Adult $56.00
Concession $48.00
Group 6+ $45.00
Student / Child (U15yrs) $32.00
Student Group $27.00
Booking: 07 5588 4000 or ONLINE

Images by Peter Greig

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