Presenter Profile

Sydney Dance Company


Dance changes you. More than simply witnessing something beautiful, or engaging with culture, to experience dance is to be positively altered. Sydney Dance Company has proved that there are no passive observers in a contemporary dance audience.

The reward of truly moving audiences, and the raw pride of sharing Australian art with the world has driven our ensemble of 17 dancers, led by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, to become one of the world’s strongest forces in contemporary dance.

Sydney Dance Company has a broad community beyond the practice and performance of our lead dancers. We believe in the universality of dance, and with the largest public dance class program in Australia, we help over 70,000 people a year connect with the grace, strength and creativity that lives within all of us. Our nation-wide education program offers a strategic curriculum targeting primary and secondary students through to career focused study for pre-professional dancers and university graduates.

Company History

Sydney Dance Company began as a group founded in 1969 by dancer Suzanne Musitz. Soon known as The Dance Company (NSW), from 1975-1976 the Company was directed by Dutch choreographer Jaap Flier, before the appointment of Australian choreographer Graeme Murphy in 1976. In 1979 Murphy and his partner Janet Vernon instituted the defining name change to Sydney Dance Company and proceeded to lead it for a remarkable 30 years. Murphy and his collaborators created work that enthralled audiences in Australia and in extensive international touring, including being the first western contemporary dance company to perform in the People’s Republic of China.

Sydney Dance Company has been led since 2009 by Spanish-born Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. Over the past eight years the Company has cemented its reputation as a creative powerhouse, with an acclaimed group of dancers presenting new work by Bonachela and other choreographers, designers, composers and musicians. The Company has expanded its reach into the towns and cities it visits with work for schools and local dancers.

Further Information

Sydney Dance Company’s national Schools Program supports dance education for grades 3-12 through curriculum relevant programs for primary and secondary students and career focused study for pre-professional dancers and university graduates. The Program connects schools, teachers and students to leading professionals in the dance industry, providing invaluable insight, opportunities and role models.

Live Performances - In Theatres
Sydney Dance Company’s school matinees connect school students to the dancers, choreographers, artistic collaborators and the creative process. We share our cutting edge contemporary dance performances with school audiences in a specially designed program that includes pre-show talks, demonstrations and Q&A about the performance.

Workshops - In studio or in School
Sydney Dance Company offers workshops and dance classes in a wide range of different dance styles including, Jazz, Ballet, JFH, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Composition & Improvisation. Designed to complement the school or dance studio program participants of all abilities and level of experience are challenged and inspired by Teaching Artists, industry professionals and Sydney Dance Company dancers through innovative dance experiences.

Sydney Dance Company maintains a flexible offering of educational dance activities supporting teachers to design a program of classes or workshops that will maximise the learning and experience for students. Teachers have the option of everything from a one-hour session to an in-school dance residency.

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