Creative Types with Virginia Trioli: April 16

Kylie Minogue reflects on collaborating with Rafael Bonachela, now the Spanish born artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company.

This week Rafael Bonachela invites Virginia Trioli to see what a contemporary dance choreographer does.

Creative Types also features an interview with Kylie Minogue.

Rafael rehearses with his dancers at the Walsh Bay studios and feels the inspiration of Sydney Harbour under his feet. In his apartment, he shares the story of his early years: the eldest of four, he says he was born to dance, making up dances in the streets of his town La Garriga in Spain. His dancing caused tension in the home from the start. His brother, Ivan, says their father never understood Rafael’s dancing and was very hard on him.

He left to study in Barcelona, and won an audition and a scholarship to Rambert Dance Company. He graduated to choreography but received cutting reviews. He gave choreography one more try and that show was seen by Kylie Minogue. She asked him to choreograph her now iconic 2002 performance at the BRIT Awards and then her entire Fever world tour. Kylie says she loved his work from the very start.

This was his first brush with Australia, but then Sydney Dance Company came calling seeking a new artistic director. His vision for the dancers was an energetic, youthful company that spoke to the expansive light and beauty of his new home.

His success has been immense: record crowds, a profitable company but his father’s approval always eluded him. His latest work, Somos, is the first that directly draws on his Spanish heritage. His brother Ivan says Rafael is the inspiration he shows his own boys in their quest to find their own path.

9pm Tuesday on ABC.

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