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Pick of the Sydney Festival SYDNEY Dance Company artistic director Rafael Bonachela reveals his picks of the Sydney Festival, which wraps up on Sunday. 2012-01-27T05:06:21+00:00 2012-01-27T05:07:13+00:00 > The Australian

Rafael Bonachela - The Australian

SYDNEY Dance Company artistic director Rafael Bonachela reveals his picks of the Sydney Festival, which wraps up on Sunday.

Sydney Festival 2012 kicked off, literally, with thousands of people swing dancing in the streets at Festival First Night. And that was just the start – since then, performances of dance, music and theatre have absorbed my evenings, and it’s been incredible.

This year’s Sydney Festival has been my most enjoyable yet. Here are my Sydney Festival highlights:

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s work is always excellent, and this show was no exception. This production featured an incredible integrated set, which itself was something of a work of choreography. Most striking was the cast, comprised of performers of diverse cultural backgrounds. This element added a richness to the performance, during which there were some wonderful duet moments. The audience reaction to Babel was phenomenal; on the night I attended, people were on their feet as soon as the stage lights went out. Deborah Jones' review
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Anatomy of an Afternoon
This show was hypnotic. I am a big fan of Martin del Amo’s style; his skill and precision are outstanding, and watching Paul White dance up close is always a pleasure. Deborah Jones' review

A History of Everything
A History was on one hand simple, and on the other complex and smart. The work was reportedly developed over a long period of time, in a very collaborative way with the performers, and this was evident in the performance’s shape and choreography. It was not linear storytelling, but true contemporary theatre, which really connected with me. It is a great example of how simplicity can go a long way. Visually, the ending was sublime. John McCallum's review

I am Eora
For a non-Australian, it was fascinating to experience the story of some of Sydney’s indigenous history played out on stage. The music was extraordinary, and the whole event felt truly momentous.

Beautiful Burnout
Despite living in Britain for 20 years, I never had the opportunity to see Frantic Assembly’s work, so this show for me was a must. I’m not into boxing, but was nicely surprised. The highlight was the excellent performances of the physically fit cast … and who doesn’t love a man with a Scottish accent? More

Meow Meow
What can I say? Meow Meow is always amazing, cheeky, skilful and fun.

The highlight for me this at this year’s event was iOTA.  Australians know him and his work well, but I’m relatively new to it and I enjoyed this show immensely. He’s a clever, funny, generous and honest performer - and I love the way he moves. Deborah Jones' review

I’m very much looking forward to seeing Force Majeure’s Never Did me Any Harm and Adam Buxton presents BUG (The evolution of music video). The only shame for me was that I had to miss Chunky Move’s Assembly. I had tickets, and then I put my back out in the studio that day. I guess that’s what happens when you burn the candle at both ends.

Still, if I’m honest, a little part of me can’t wait for it to all be over so I can get some sleep, and get back to work.

Congratulations to all involved, and a special mention to Lindy Hume for her final festival – it has been a real treat.

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