Adelaide Festival Centre Presents Sydney Dance Company's Frame Of Mind Double Bill

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Friday 4 August 2017

Internationally renowned Sydney Dance Company is set to return to Adelaide in August 2017 with their wildly powerful double bill featuring the smash hit Wildebeest by Adelaide’s own Gabrielle Nankivell and the multi award-winning Frame of Mind by Rafael Bonachela.

Having premiered as part of Sydney Dance Company’s inaugural New Breed season, choreographic prodigy Gabrielle Nankivell’s eloquent Wildebeest showcases the power of dancers as individuals and strength en masse. Moody and animalistic, it is backed by a stormy and industrial score by Luke Smiles.

Wildebeest was recently nominated in the 2017 Helmpann Awards for ‘Best Choreography’ for Gabrielle Nankivell and ‘Best Male Dancer’ for Bernhard Knauer.  The work features an assembly of dancers and features their fascination for physicality while tapping into their wildebeests within. With the head of an ox, the hindquarters of an antelope and the mane and tail of a horse, the wildebeest morphs between living animal and fanciful creature.

Bonachela’s Frame of Mind features a dramatic contemporary-classical soundtrack by Bryce Dessner (from American hit rock band The National), recorded by San Francisco’s virtuosic Kronos Quartet. Winner of two categories for the 2015 Helpmann Awards including ‘Best Choreography’ and ‘Best Dance Work’ for its critically acclaimed premiere season.

Gabrielle Nankivell says of bringing Wildebeest to her hometown of Adelaide"I've enjoyed treading the boards at Her Majesty's as a performer over the years so it will be great to be back. I'm looking forward to sharing my work with audiences in Adelaide and it's quite exciting this time around to be sitting in the stalls with them.

"My work Wildebeest draws inspiration from the power of instinct, forces of nature and the relationship between animal, human and machine. Growing up in the Adelaide Hills and experiencing the wild SA weather of recent years I feel these elements very much in play in this part of the world.”

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “We are thrilled to have Sydney Dance Company return to Adelaide with two powerful and critically acclaimed works. Frame of Mind and Wildebeest will showcase some of Australia’s finest contemporary dancers and award winning choreography. It’s not to be missed.” 

Sydney Dance Company is a legendary force in Australian contemporary dance.  The Company has performed on the great dance stages of the world, from the Sydney Opera House in Australia, to the Joyce Theatre in New York, the Grand in Shanghai and the Stanislavsky in Moscow.

The Company maintains an ensemble of 16 exceptional dancers actively creating and touring new work under the Artistic Directorship of Rafael Bonachela. Bonachela started with the company in 2009 and has cemented the company’s reputation as a creative powerhouse, with an acclaimed group of dancers presenting new work by Bonachela and other choreographers, designers, composers and musicians.

Professional dancers from Sydney Dance Company will also hold an exclusive dance Masterclass for Adelaide Festival Centre’s GreenRoom members on Tuesday, August 15 in conjunction with Adelaide College of the Arts. The AFC’s GreenRoom program inspires and assists young South Australians (18-30) to engage and gain work experience in the arts.

More information:

★★★★ Every time you might think the Sydney Dance Company performers have reached their peak, they push their abilities up another notch’ - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

About Gabrielle Nankivell:
Gabrielle Nankivell is an Australian director, choreographer and performer whose work has seen success across Australia, Europe and Asia. Her recent choreographic work includes Wildebeest for Sydney Dance Company, nominated for a 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production, Thorn for Tasdance, Order of Things and Focus for Frontier Danceland Singapore and new works for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Adelaide College of the Arts. As a dancer, Gabrielle has performed with Ultima Vez (Belgium), Australian Dance Theatre, Branch Nebula, Chunky Move and many other prominent dance companies both nationally and internationally.  Gabrielle trained with Jacqueline Tucker in Adelaide and holds a Bachelor of Dance (Victorian College of the Arts), a Master of Arts in Writing (Swinburne University) and a foundation level teaching certificate in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

About Rafael Bonachela:
Rafael Bonachela was born in Barcelona where he began his early dance training before moving to London, and in 1992 joined the legendary Rambert Dance Company.  As a choreographer, Rafael has been commissioned to make works for Candoco, George Piper Dances, ITDANSA Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Transitions Dance Company and Dance Works Rotterdam amongst others.

In 2008, he premiered his first full-length production 360° for Sydney Dance Company.

Less than six months later, he was appointed Artistic Director making headlines around the dance world.  Rafael Bonachela’s internationally recognised talent has seen him work not only with contemporary dance at the highest level but also with artists from popular culture, such as Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner, Sarah Blasko and Katie Noonan as well as leading fashion designer Dion Lee and Toni Maticevski. Such collaborative efforts reflect the inspiration he finds and utilizes from culture today.  More information:

About Luke Smiles:
Luke Smiles is a dancer, composer and sound designer, earning a Helpmann Award nomination for his Sound Design in School Dance (Windmill Theatre). Under his business name motion laboratories, Luke has composed music and produced soundtracks for Australian and International artists including: Australian Dance Theatre, Bare Bones Dance Company (UK), Byron Perry, Chunky Move and other national and international arts companies. As a dancer, Luke has worked with many of Australia’s most innovative contemporary dance companies including Chunky Move, Vis-a-Vis Dance Canberra, The One Extra Dance Company and Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre.


FRAME OF MIND A double bill and Wildebeest


Thursday August 17 – Saturday August 19 7.30pm


Her Majesty’s Theatre, Grote Street, Adelaide.

For information about access for patrons (including those with disability), please visit


Thu – Sat 7.30pm                                                                                              


Premium $60, A Res $55, A Res Conc $45, Green Room $27.50 Groups (6+) $50

Season Subscription A Res $50, Season Subscription A Res Conc $45

A one off service and handle fee of $8.95 applies per transaction regardless of the number or value of items purchased


BASS 131 246 or online at

More info

For further information visit /

Get social with us on Twitter @AdelaideFesCent or Facebook 

Frame of Mind
will also tour regional South Australia, with shows in Mt Gambier, Port Pirie, Whyalla and Renmark. Details at 

Francesca Belperio 08 8216 8699 / 0402 842 204 /
Clare Axford 08 8216 8540 / 0414 794 400 /