Buvette Masthead

Immerse Yourself in Orb

Rosalie Iannelli

Theatre experiences can be intimidating for the uninitiated, and that’s especially true when it comes to contemporary dance.

Unlike many musical theatre productions, where the plot is prescribed and simple-to-follow, contemporary dance can be more open to interpretation.

What’s the story line? Do they speak? Is there a narrator? Does anybody else know what’s going on? Does everybody else know what’s going on? I think it might be better if they spoke.

If you’re worried about being THAT person, but you’re really interested in watching dancers at their best, the latest production from Sydney Dance Company, Orb, is a great place to start. Presented by Canberra Theatre Centre, Orb is a double bill of two brand new works – Ocho and Full Moon.

“Sometimes contemporary dance is a bit abstract…it can be a little overwhelming because there isn’t a story that you can necessarily grasp onto, but that’s the beauty of Orb,” says Sydney Dance Company’s senior dancer, Charmene Yap.

“The audience can have their own interpretation of what they see, so anything is correct.”


Ocho is lead by the company’s legendary Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela. Using only eight dancers, Rafael used the number eight and the infinity symbol to inspire his choreography and create a ‘never-ending’ feeling for the audience.

Full Moon is choereographed by the Artistic Director of the prominent Taiwanese dance company, Cloud Gate 2, Cheng Tsung-lung. It’s inspired by the real and symbolic beauty of the moon, its importance to Taiwanese and Chinese cultures, and the idea that if you look up at the moon, you might just uncover the mysteries of the universe.

“It was a combination of interests that brought the two choreographers together,” says Charmene.

Both works embrace this sense of other-worldliness – for Bonachela’s Ocho, this is achieved through his movement language, but also through the physical set: an abstract glass and concrete box in which the dancers exist, expressing their individual performances. This lends a sense of isolation, both from the audience and from each other. In Full Moon, Tsung-lung looks to global mythology, borrowing threads from various cultures and religions to weave a unique surreal experience.


According to Charmene, Orb pairs strong physicality with powerful music that will sweep any audience member into the moment.

“When I look at all the other dancers and what they’re doing I’m like ‘wow, that’s pretty amazing’…the dancing paired with the music is quite electrifying,” says Charmene.

“Orb is a double bill of amazing and intricate movement and theatricality that will entrance each audience member’s emotional and physical beings…I hope the public enjoys the show, because we’re definitely putting all of our energy into it.”

the essentials

What: Sydney Dance Company’s Orb
When: Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 May 2017
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
Tickets: Purchase your tickets online or visit the Canberra Ticketing box office
Web: canberratheatrecentre.com.au


Rosalie Iannelli

Rosalie Iannelli has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Public Relations. Despite her grandmother’s longing to have her become the “family lawyer”, Rosalie decided to pursue a career in media and PR. Previously the Online/Deputy Editor of an independent wedding magazine, Rosalie is currently the Communications Manager for a local PR Agency. She loves writing, eating and talking. In fact, she is (more often than she likes to mention) complimented by strangers in cafes who have enjoyed listening to her boisterous conversation and super-long stories at a nearby table. More about the Author