The Sydney Dance Company will round out 2012 in typically busy style, with two shows on the go across multiple cities from now until December.

Sydneysiders will see Project Rameau, a collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, while audiences in Melbourne and Wollongong will have a chance to enjoy 2 One Another, which has already played to great acclaim in SDC’s hometown.

“It means we have to rehearse for both works at the same time, making new steps for Rameau, while remembering the existing steps for 2 One Another. It takes a bit of effort, but by the time we get into the theatre both shows should be looking hot,” SDC dancer Richard Cilli told the Star Observer.

Project Rameau continues SDC artistic director Rafael Bonachela’s penchant for inviting outside composers and musicians into the fold to collaborate with, or be inspired by, his dancers. In this case, a mutual passion for legendary composer Jean-Philippe Rameau’s French Baroque dance music united Bonachela and Australian Chamber Orchestra Richard Tognetti.

“Being exposed to so many different artists through the different works is such a gift to us dancers. The different composers, musicians, and other creatives that come on for the shows bring so many flavours to the work,” 2010 Helpmann Award winner (for Best Male Dancer) Cilli enthused.

“Consequently, performing each of Rafael’s works is like immersing yourself in a different world.”

The company is currently locked in rehearsals with the full orchestra. It’s proven something of a steep learning curve for Cilli, who admitted he wasn’t actually familiar with the esteemed works of Rameau before starting the rehearsal process.

“The first thing that struck me about the music was its structure and balance. Now dancing to it every day, I’m enjoying the nuances of the music, the mathematics, and all the themes and variation. At times it’s really fast and furious stuff, with choreography to match.”

Less than a week after taking their final curtain call for Rameau, the dancers will take to the stage in Wollongong to perform one of the hits of Sydney’s 2012 dance calendar, 2 One Another.

“Some of the best audiences we’ve had are at regional shows. They are usually much more appreciative because dance works like ours rarely make it out of the capital cities,” said Cilli.

The company will then head south to introduce Melbourne dance lovers to the show that ‘celebrates relationships, interactions and the sheer beauty of the human form’ in typically dramatic, full-bodied Bonachela style. Does the company breathe a little easier pre-performance, knowing they’ve got a proven hit on their hands?

“It is a little more relaxing to perform existing work that you already know well, you can dig a little deeper and find new things in every show. That is, if you could be relaxed performing 2 One Another. It takes a lot of focus to prepare for that show, because it’s absolutely exhausting.”

INFO: Project Rameau, Sydney Theatre, October 29-November 3. 2 One Another, Merrigong Theatre Wollongong November 9-10, Arts Centre Melbourne November 21-December 1.

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