3 March 2016 | 4:21 pm | Bianca Healey

"Bonachela's premiere unleashes a muscular, primal exploration of light and shadow..."

There was something decidedly cinematic (and reminiscent of Hollywood's Golden Age of musicals) in the way Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman used symmetry, a chorus of bodies and a live musical performance to bring life to the stage in his work Cacti. 'Postmodern dance' as a concept was news to us, works that take a razor to contemporary criticism with the most charming of smiles. Oh, and there was also internal monologue voiceover between male and female dancer, architectural plinths whose arrangement formed a mirrored performance on the stage — and lots of cacti.

Along with Rafael Bonachela's latest work Lux Tenebris, Cacti forms Sydney Dance Company's CounterMove, which will tour nationally following the Sydney season. The two works display complementary respect for the dancer's body, and propel it to such extremes of raw energy as to highlight their immense achievement of subtle lightness and control. One humorous and self-referential, the other deeply felt, the two performances provide counterweights (and in succession, a countermove — hey!) that is supremely satisfying to the audience.

Bonachela's premiere unleashes a muscular, primal exploration of light and shadow on the audience with an original score by Nick Wales that could turn a head of hair white with its intensity. His music fuses classical progressions with erosive electronic styles. It's thrilling and immersive — a seamless accompaniment to Lux Tenebris.

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