PPY23 Revealed Program

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PPY23 Revealed 11-12 December

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Rafael Bonachela Artistic Director

Welcome to PPY23 Revealed and thank you for joining us. This year celebrates the remarkable 10th anniversary of Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year and with immense pride I would like to reflect on the journey of the past decade, witnessing the evolution and outstanding success of the program and the alumni that grace our stages.

I also would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the Doug Hall Foundation Scholarship, The Wales Family Scholarships, The Ian Wallace Family Scholarship, Mary Zuber Scholarship, and The Hephzibah Artist Development Program. Your commitment and support have been essential in nurturing the talents and dreams of aspiring dancers within our program.

This milestone is a testament to the dedicated efforts of Linda Gamblin, Head of Training, and the entire Pre-Professional Year Team. Their tireless work has been instrumental in shaping the next generation of contemporary movers and thinkers. The impact of their commitment resonates in the achievements of our alumni, who continue to thrive in the dance industry worldwide.

In honouring this milestone, I’m genuinely thrilled to be celebrating the performance of PPY23 Revealed. The shift from rigorous training to the dynamic stage presence is undeniably invigorating. We extend our sincere wishes for prosperous and artistically fulfilling careers to all our current students and the alumni who’ve paved the way before them. May their journeys be marked by continued success and triumphs.

I extend my deepest gratitude to our esteemed donors and training partners for their unwavering support of Sydney Dance Company and the Pre-Professional Year program. Special thanks to Tim Fairfax, whose visionary support played a pivotal role in facilitating the much-needed expansion of the Pre-Professional Year team.

Rafael Bonachela Artistic Director

Front cover photo by Wendell Teodoro Photo on left page by Justin Ridler


Linda Gamblin Head of Training

Celebrating a decade of dance training is not just a milestone; it is a testament to the ever-evolving spirit of creativity, exploration, and transformation shared by both students and seasoned experts within the PreProfessional Year each year. I have witnessed the birth of new ideas and the continual challenge and change that defines the world of contemporary dance. Collaborations with exceptional educators, artists, choreographers, and practitioners worldwide have enriched the program, shaping an ethos that has become its backbone. This unique journey is marked by rigorous training and boundless creativity, offering a dedicated time and space for playfulness and experimentation. This 10-year anniversary is a celebration of the ever-expanding possibilities that dance offers with a commitment to supporting resilient and imaginative artists. I extend sincere gratitude to our Pre-Professional Year training team, fortified by the invaluable contributions of Training Associate Juliette Barton, Course Coordinator Tobiah Booth-Remmers, Conditioning Manager Felicity McGee, Learning Associate Lexy Panetta, and Learning Administrator Eugénie English. Their trust in our shared dialogue and collaborative efforts is genuinely appreciated. Together, we navigate the present moment, confronting new and rewarding challenges each year with a commitment to holistic growth. Their unwavering commitment plays a pivotal role in shaping the ongoing evolution of our program.

With deep gratitude, I express my appreciation to Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela, who has supported the vision of the Pre-Professional Year from its inception to this day as we celebrate our 10th-year anniversary. Rafael’s insightful guidance and visionary leadership has been the cornerstone of its success. This year Rafael shares with us an excerpt of his masterpiece Anima with music by Dobrinka Tabakova. You will witness the joy and excitement we have had rehearsing this work and now performing it for you tonight. You will bear witness to five newly commissioned works by extraordinary choreographers and artists themselves: Charmene Yap, Gabrielle Nankivell, Jenni Large, Rachel Arianne Ogle, and a jointly choreographed work by Lee-Anne Litton and Alejandro Rolandi. Their expertise and genuine interest in the program have elevated these works, showcasing the rich tapestry of creativity that defines the essence of our year together. And finally, to the dancers of the PreProfessional Year, to both the present cohort and the many creative individuals who have graced the past 10 years. To each of you, we extend our deepest gratitude. From your colleagues, mentors, collaborators, friends, and family - watching from the wings - we say, ‘Go for it.’ You represent our past, our present, and our future. Linda Gamblin Head of Training


Program PPY23 Revealed Pretend That You Live Here Gabrielle Nankivell

20 Mins

Cymatics Charmene Yap

18 Mins

Excerpt of Anima Rafael Bonachela

7 Mins


20 Mins

Desencuentro Lee-Anne Litton & Alejandro Rolandi

10 Mins

Into Forever Rachel Arianne Ogle

13 Mins

Synthetic Seduction Jenni Large

22 Mins

PPY23 Revealed is presented on the land of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation. Carriageworks and Sydney Dance Company acknowledge the Gadigal and pay respect to Elders past and present. 5

Photo By: Wendell Teodoro



Pretend That You Live Here Gabrielle Nankivell Pretend That You Live Here is a moving reflection on time and how we choose to stand in our world. Once there were horrors. They crawled in people’s memories like an absurd vision of the future - something they thought they remembered, but perhaps was yet to come… A cracking, crumbling cacophony - cities sinking, waters rising. Once there was beauty. It rose in people’s memories, a gleaming vision of the future - something they thought they remembered, but perhaps was yet to come…

Sound Design

Luke Smiles


Broken Mantra - Lorn Love Like a Sunset, Pt. 1 - Phoenix Drained Lake - Loscil Gravity that Binds - Caterina Barbieri

Lighting Design

Alexander Berlage

Costume Design

Bronte Hilder


PPY2 Full Company


Cymatics Charmene Yap Cymatics is the scientific study of sound and vibration made visible, typically on the surface of a plate, diaphragm or membrane. Through the bodies of the dancers as individuals and as a collective, this work explores how sound can resonate, transform and trigger different forms and patterns, and reveal its unexpected beauty not only through the ears but also the eyes.


Alyx Dennison with excerpts from Potassium by Michael Gordon & Kronos Quartet

Lighting Design

Alexander Berlage

Costume Design

Bronte Hilder


PPY1 Full Company


Excerpt of Anima Rafael Bonachela Pre-Professional Year students present an excerpt of Anima re-staged by Rehearsal Associate Charmene Yap & Training Associate Juliette Barton. “Anima is an exploration of the boundary between spirit and form. ‘For me that boundary is expressed through flight and flying, a desire to inhabit that space that opens when our mortal bodies have elevation and freedom.” - Rafael Bonachela.


Dobrinka Tabakova

Lighting Design

Alexander Berlage

Costume Design

Aleisa Jelbart

Costume Realisation

Bronte Hilder


Jannah Allen, Paige Carr, Alisha Douglass, Tayla Gartner, Mia Hamilton, Annaliese Macdonald, Lucinda Mann, Maya Miller, Lou Lou Mitsis, Angus Onley, Sam Osborn, Xanthe Pheeney, Eva Puata, Sabine Roberts, Keisha Sunderland.


Sydney Dance Company (2016) Photo By: Pedro Greig


Into Forever Rachel Arianne Ogle Between this world and the next…


We Don’t Need Other Worlds, We Need Mirrors by Ben Frost, Daniel Bjarnason Simulacra I by Ben Frost, Daniel Bjarnason Saccades by Ben Frost, Daniel Bjarnason

Lighting Design

Alexander Berlage

Costume Design

Bronte Hilder


Alisha Douglass, Thomas Evans, Tayla Gartner, Stephanie Hedley, Rebekah Kennedy, Annaliese Macdonald, Lucinda Mann, Layla Meadows, Maya Miller, Lou Lou Mitsis, Zoe O’Byran, Xanthe Pheeney, Eva Puata, Sabine Roberts, Keisha Sunderland, Laura Taylor, Alexandria Young.


Desencuentro Lee-Anne Litton & Alejandro Rolandi The piece is constructed using the physical language of Contact Improvisation in a counterpoint with choreographed ‘Contactlike’ phrases, to explore a wide range of emotional embodiments and behavioural patterns.

Desencuentro is a physical poem about the unique relationships we develop with our brothers and sisters. Growing up, we play with our emotions to learn about them, and our siblings are the perfect partners for these experimentations. Loving, admiring, fighting, hating, forgiving, supporting, accepting, caring, bullying for love... reconcile and repeat. You can’t divorce your siblings. With both of us now residing away from our (younger) brothers and sisters, we reflect on the ebb and flow of familial bonds and celebrate the nuances of that prearranged, life-long relationship that we have with them.

Few dance forms may be more challenging to choreograph than one, which, is both free and deprived from this type of structures. So, if despite of attempting to lock-in its unpredictable pathways, one is to honour its most defining sense of causality, each movement must truly respond to the previous one. The choreographed phrases pushed the dancers to develop new levels of awareness and physical control, demanding great effort and commitment. We greatly enjoyed the collaboration with them. We cherish their creativity, interest and humour and are forever grateful for their trust and persistent dedication. Lee-Anne and Alejandro


Lee-Anne Litton and Alejandro


Trevor Brown

Costume Realisation

Bronte Hilder


Jannah Allen, Wareya Anuyahong, Paige Carr, Lily Cole, Hannah Joseph, Angus Onley, Sam Osborn, Scout Robinson Gale, Alani Siswoyo and Cameron Turner.

Special thanks to Miranda Wheen, Kimberly McIntyre, Joey Lerher and Critical Path for their support of the early stages of our choreographic research. Their seeds of

inspiration have nourished the process and enhanced our artistic exploration with Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year dancers. 13

Synthetic Seduction Jenni Large Drawling en masse like languorous cows, sensual undulations catch fire then rearrange with militant order Pleasure remains political Our ceaseless appetite for the next thing becomes a monotonous slow-motion fever dream A treadmill of effort seemingly goes nowhere Bear no delineation between the superficial and the salient We are primal and modern, instinctively collaborative yet deeply vain There is an obscurely alluring logic in this strangely cohesive world Infinite identities create a united front We make the rules but the rules made us… Inspired by disparate references spanning film clips, TV show title art, A.I. and fashion, Synthetic Seduction is an ensemble based choreography of moving images and rhythms which explores the seductive influences of media and popular culture. I would like to extend my heart felt gratitude to the graduating dancers of PPY2! Thank you for being the most excellent collaborators, for generously sharing your ideas and skills, embracing each other with genuine care and bravely growing together towards graduation! This process has been deeply enjoyable and I cannot wait to see how you all change the world. Thank you Anna and Alex, you always embolden, clarify and amplify my dreams. Thank you Linda, Tobiah, Bronte, team wardrobe, the Pre-Professional Year staff and Sydney Dance Company production team for working tirelessly to support important young artists.


Jenni Large in collaboration with PPY2


Anna Whitaker

Lighting Design

Alexander Berlage

Costume Design

Bronte Hilder


PPY2 Full Company


Photo By: Wendell Teodoro

Pre-Professional Year Class of 2023 PPY1


Photo By: Pedro Greig


Photo By: Pedro Greig


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Jannah Allen (PPY2)

Wareya Anuyahong (PPY2)

This training course has been such a rich two years of my life. I feel very centred in my body and my sense of self after the past years of researching, pushing boundaries, holding back, letting go, and letting go some more. My discovery has come from a yearning for stronger technique and stamina while being able to access freedom and release in my movement. I have really valued the continual conversation about mind and body connection and understanding a deep listening between the two.

This course has challenged me as a person and a dancer. I have never felt more comfortable and confident within my body. Sharing a space with loving, open hearted and minded people has greatly impacted my experience over the past two years. I feel like the connections I’ve made within this course are like no other and I feel so lucky to be able to dance with such beautiful people every day; it will always be a valuable time in my life.

With this deep listening, awareness, and the practice of letting be, I’ve opened my heart and stripped back many layers of the egoic agenda that naturally arises. So much wisdom and knowledge came in and out of the studio, there was so much information to grab onto, and so much to let go. I envision this whole journey as a series of spirals that constantly drift and change direction. I am wholeheartedly appreciative, thankful to have had this experience, and feel prepared to fly. 18

Matilda Backus (PPY1)

Paige Carr (PPY2)

Passion (to its fullest literal value) is something that not every human understands. Not every human gets to feel something as deep and true. What an artform, what teachers, and what peers we are exposed to that shows us the real-ness of the word. Passion.

This year has been insane. I feel like I have thrown myself into so many things, and life has also decided to throw some things back. As it is my second year of training here at Pre-Professional Year, I felt this year hit harder mentally and physically than any other year I’ve had in dance. But, with it being my second year, it has also been tremendously rewarding. I feel as though I have finally come into myself, not only as a dancer but as an individual, and that is due to this course and the many experiences we all encounter through it. I feel stronger, confident and more myself in my movement. To boogie, love and laugh with this crazy group of dancers over the past couple years, as well as all of our incredible teachers/mentors, is the best feeling, and I’m so proud to put on a killer show with them for our finish to this course.



Pre-Professional Year 2023

Vivienne Clements-Lee (PPY1)

Lily Cole (PPY2)

I am new in so many ways, yet still the same, and have no idea who I am, all simultaneously.

As I approach the end of my time in the Pre-Professional Year I begin to reflect and reminisce on the “why”? Why PPY? Ever since I was 9 years old, I dreamt of dancing here Who would’ve thought 11 years later, my time is over at the pier.

The Pre-Professional Year is a magical and wonderful world I hope to always exist in, within my art. I feel it has opened up my understanding of the possibilities, not only in the industry but simply as a creative being, surrounded by other like-minded creative beings. I found it incredibly difficult to describe the course to others throughout the year because it is so much more than a full-time ‘dance’ course. It is a year of introspection, evolution and reflection diving into our mental and physical selves. It encourages individuality and provides us with the tools to successfully progress beyond the course. The culture of Sydney Dance Company has allowed me to be a more vulnerable and fearless person, aiding me in making the most out of every opportunity. So much to learn. So much to share. So much to love.


Lifelong friends have been made along the way I am grateful for everything I have learnt since my first day- PPY has shown me growth is born from vulnerability I feel powerful and proud within my personality. Expanding my love and passion for dance Educating me on how to give myself the chance; Chance to speak up and use my voice Allowing myself to stand confident, now it’s time to rejoice. Thank you PPY for all you have shown me What a beautiful journey it turned out to be. Now it’s my time to spread my wings I’m excited to see what this next chapter brings.

Julien Cravero (PPY1)

Lauren Davidson (PPY1)

Pre-Professional Year has benefited me in so many ways from challenging my movement style, to the way I see myself as a dancer. One of the key moments this year was the perspective shift I had surrounding ballet. A multitude of conversations in and out of ballet class surrounding the foundational ideas of classical ballet prompted this epiphany and led me to understand what ballet means to me and how I can utilise it in my practice alongside contemporary dance. Through this, I have learned to challenge and explore my abilities in a different light, aiding my development as a dancer.

Pre-Professional Year has been an outlet for me to explore my own style of dance and creativity, developing my artistry in a way I have not been able to in the past. It has pushed me to be vulnerable and go beyond what is comfortable and easy, allowing me to grow not only as a dancer but also as an individual. It has broken many of the preconceptions I had about what dance is and how a dancer should move, giving me a freer outlook with greater possibilities. I will forever cherish my time and the community I have been a part of at Pre-Professional Year.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Alisha Douglass (PPY2)

Thomas Evans (PPY2)

The Pre-Professional Year course has allowed me to find my authentic self through developing my individual artistry. Not only finding value in dance technique but also in quality of movement. Delving deeply into many practices, I have explored numerous movement ideologies from the wide range of industry professionals that we had the privilege to work with. This allowed me to understand what naturally comes to my body and what styles and aspects of contemporary dance I enjoy the most. I am beyond grateful for these past two years, the course has not only prepared me for the industry of contemporary dance, but also whatever life may bring my way.

What did I learn from Pre-Professional Year? I learnt how little I live in my body and how much I live in my head. I learnt to let things go, to set them down simply because they are heavy. I learnt to feel my heartbeat and listen to my own breath. That to speak a problem aloud was half the battle won. Instead of being swept up in the dance of what people tell me art should be, I have learnt to define it for myself. To find peace within the grey spaces and thrive in the uncomfortable moments.


Vincent Garcia (PPY1)

Tayla Gartner (PPY2)

I’ve discovered there is more to dance than I knew and have learnt to express myself through an authentic and sensitive approach; a greater connection to my mind and body. The various artists that share their practices and ideologies with the Pre-Professional Year course has opened my mind to the creative possibilities and complexities of this alluring art form. Pre-Professional Year is a place to explore, experiment, and create, but also a place to be comfortably vulnerable and challenged. The birth of my artistic identity has just begun, and I am interested in where this beautiful art form will take me.

The past two years of Pre-Professional Year have been the biggest gift in the most unexpected and beautiful of ways. The course has challenged me, nurtured me, and has ultimately shown me the power in showing up for yourself. I couldn’t be more grateful to have been through a space that truly supports curiosity in movement and beyond. To feel great comfort in knowing that the lessons learnt during my time in Pre-Professional Year will continue to shape the way I move through the world.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Mia Hamilton (PPY2)

Stephanie Hedley (PPY2)

The last two years at Pre-Professional Year have helped me grow tremendously. I feel as though my eyes have been opened to not only the dance world but the world around me. As I exit Pre-Professional Year whilst simultaneously entering my 20’s, I am starting to build my sense of self. I initially found this quite frightening, however I am excited to gain even more personal agency over my life and the ways this will further aid me in my career both in and outside of dance.

Looking back at this year I can see what a truly transformative one it has been for me. This course has allowed me to discover a new authenticity in my movement and within myself, it has challenged me to explore my vulnerabilities as a dancer and human in a way which I have been previously afraid to. I’ll be forever grateful for the experiences and people that this course has brought into my life, for its ability to open my mind to how diverse the world of contemporary dance truly is.


Joseph Ipsaro-Passione (PPY1)

Zoe Jewell (PPY1)

This year has definitely been one to remember. Being a part of the PreProfessional Year has challenged my view on contemporary dance, allowing me to discover different forms of movement and storytelling. Moving from Perth to Sydney was a challenge within itself, but I found the atmosphere at Sydney Dance Company and the amazing people I’ve met really helped in making the transition a lot easier. It’s amazing to be in a cohort where everyone is so different and unique that I can learn from each person and watch how they approach all situations in dance as well as life. I’m so grateful for how this year has shaped me not only as a dancer, but as a human.

Through the spaces created during my Pre-Professional Year training, I have learnt the importance of accepting change and that what is uncomfortable is a part of your journey. A journey where willingness allows you to seek self-discovery and growth, enabling the ability to form a unique creative identity. ‘We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’ - T. S. Eliot


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Hannah Joseph (PPY2)

Rebekah Kennedy (PPY2)

The past two years of Pre-Professional Year have been a journey of constant discovery, redefining my relationship with this artform as I am exposed to how multifaceted dance truly is. Being surrounded by such a safe space has allowed me to find comfort in the unknown. It has been such an eye-opening experience that I am so grateful for.

As my time in Pre-Professional Year comes to a close, I am incredibly grateful for this course for facilitating a space for me to develop as a dancer and artist. The past two years have not only challenged my concept of dance and movement but inspired me to explore what I individually offer to the industry. The mentors and choreographers I had the pleasure of working with have helped me to redefine my relationship with this beautiful artform. Their encouragement to dance authentically has enabled me to move and create with a feeling of absolute freedom and joy. I will forever hold this special experience close to my heart.


Arabella Kiefer (PPY1)

Eva Kolak (PPY1)

Being a part of Pre-Professional Year has been an incredible opportunity that has completely shifted my perspective on contemporary dance. The program has allowed me to not only improve myself as a dancer but improve myself as a person, discovering who I want to be and not who I think I need to be. I am deeply grateful for all the support that is provided by the staff and cohort of the program, creating a safe environment for all of us. I am excited to see what next year brings and continue dancing with all these wonderful people.

Pre-Professional Year has been an invaluable year of growth not only as a dancer but also as a person. I have gained so much knowledge about dance and movement practice, but even more so about who I am as an artist and as a human. This year has tested my resilience, self-confidence, purpose and direction but I have come through every one of these challenges stronger. This year has changed me for the better and I am excited for whatever is to come. Regardless of whether that is dance or not, I will always be moving and dancing even if it is just for me.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Isobella Laidlaw (PPY1)

Ellie Lovison (PPY1)

Pre-Professional Year was filled with lots of laughter, sweat and maybe a few tears. The supportive community here has unleashed the creative soul within me. Each day there is always something new to challenge me, whether it is from fellow dancers, teachers or even myself. At Pre-Professional Year I feel I am always evolving, and I have never been more grateful to be a part of something so unique.

Being privileged enough to be a part of the Pre-Professional Year this year has opened the door to endless possibilities and new discoveries. Coming from a heavily based ballet background, Pre-Professional Year has helped shape me as a dancer, teaching me to explore movement in my body in different and creative ways.


Not only have I grown as an artist, but also as a person, as I am surround by the most amazing people on a day-to-day basis that inspire me to be the best version of myself. I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community.

Alexandra Lusty (PPY1)

Charlie MacArthur (PPY1)

Pre-Professional Year has revealed a different part of me as a dancer and the contemporary dance industry we’re part of. I’ve learnt to trust my body with how it moves and functions, never comparing my capabilities and limitations to others, but most importantly having conviction in myself as a dancer and human. There are so many opportunities out there for everyone and Pre-Professional Year has taught me to explore the contemporary dance world to discover what keeps me passionate about dance.

Pre-Professional Year has helped to remind me of my fullest self, finding my creativity, discipline and connection to people, the universe and myself. Enjoying dancing, growth, friends and the space to create, explore and develop practice.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Annaliese Macdonald (PPY2)

Lucinda Mann (PPY2)

Pre-Professional Year has given me the space to delve into my own practice and has allowed me to shape who I am not only as a dancer but also as an individual. After working in a few ballet companies, I noticed myself resenting dance as these environments began to take more from me than they gave me. However, my love for dance remained which is why I was determined to find a space that would nurture that and re-ignite my passion. Pre-Professional Year has been that and more. I can truly say my passion for dance has returned.

In my second year of Pre-Professional Year, I discovered so much about myself. I not only felt myself evolve as a dancer but simply as a human. For as long as I can remember, it was ingrained it me that ‘full time’ dance training was all about how much you can do, what you could squeeze into every day and dedication meant pushing yourself beyond your own limits in order to ‘get better’. Although this may be true at times, Pre-Professional Year has truly taught me how to look after myself, that every individual’s journey and experience is different and unique. I learnt how to work with what I had each day, and how to listen to myself. This meant knowing when to push and when to allow myself to rest or pull back. This was the work that day by day allowed me to deepen the connection with myself and create the growth that I can now look back and say I’ve developed. Although the experience was challenging, I am incredibly grateful for Pre-Professional Year for the part it’s played in my dance and life journey.


Ella Marshall (PPY1)

Layla Meadows (PPY2)

This year has definitely been an emotional roller coaster for me moving across the country from Perth to being in a completely new environment to what I have been used to. However Pre-Professional Year quickly became a space that always made me feel safe and supported. I am so grateful that I have been taught by so many amazing and inspiring dancers and artists over this year that have all brought so many different skills and practices to pass on, I am so excited to take all of these skills that I have learnt onto my next journey.

My time at Pre-Professional Year has flown by… It has given me an endless key, unlocking many creative possibilities and a new community of wonderful friends. I am forever grateful for this experience.

If I could go back and give myself advice for before starting Pre-Professional Year, I would tell myself that this year is not about trying to impress anyone. It’s your own journey that helps you to find your authentic self and that it’s ok to make mistakes or feel silly sometimes because it’s all a part of your growth as a dancer.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Maya Miller (PPY2)

Lou Lou Mitsis (PPY2)

As my time in Pre-Professional Year comes to a close, I am able to reflect on this two year journey and the gifts it has given me. The unwavering support from all of my mentors has granted me the opportunity to expand beyond my comfort zone and grow my confidence with the safety to make mistakes.

I am so grateful for Pre-Professional Year because it has truly helped me learn who I am.

I have learnt the true meaning of self-respect and have discovered how to listen to my body without compromising my work ethic or self-discipline. Moreover, having the chance to absorb the countless perspectives shared everyday has opened my mind to all the possible avenues that exist beyond training, inspiring me to take the time to find what my unique path will be. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow in such a well-rounded environment and will carry this special experience with me wherever I go.


I am so inspired by all of the amazing individuals that I have met along the way at Pre-Professional Year, I will forever be thankful for them. I feel so confident and excited knowing, now that I am graduating Pre-Professional Year, that I can leave with all of this gathered knowledge and insight from the course regarding dance, but also so much more.

Evie Morwood (PPY1)

Maya Munro (PPY1)

This year for me has been a lot about learning to embrace change and step out of my comfort zone. Mindset has been everything. ‘How you spend your days is how you spend your life,’ is a quote I read that puts what I want to say into perspective. The decisions I make every day and the mindset I decide to have may change the way I endure feelings and actions, as these are the moments that make up my life.

Pre-Professional Year fosters an environment for introspection, self-discovery and personal growth. I have learnt about my own limitations and weaknesses, further how to view them as opportunities for learning and creative expression, rather than barriers. I feel that I am on the journey to developing self-efficacy that will support any career, but particularly one in the performing arts.

This year I feel as if I have broken out of the bubble and discovered how big the world really is for the first time. In Pre-Professional Year I have thought, felt and danced a lot, but throughout this I feel as if I have discovered so much about the world and matured as a human being in life. I feel grateful to have met the people I have met, lived the experiences I was unsure of and overall to be able to learn and grow.

This course exposes us to a broad spectrum of styles, workshops and aspects of the dance industry both local and international. More importantly, the people who comprise the dance industry: current industry professionals. I am surprised by the areas I am drawn to and want to explore - they’re different to what I thought I wanted at the beginning of the year.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Zoe O’Bryan (PPY2)

Angus Onley (PPY2)

During my time at Pre-Professional Year, I have discovered growth not only as a dancer but as an artist.

Like a rebellious muse, contemporary dance defies the norms and invites us to question our assumptions. It breaks free from the confines of tradition, embracing innovation and pushing the boundaries of movement. Through its captivating expressions, it challenges us to see the world anew, to embrace the unfamiliar, and to open our minds to endless possibilities.

This journey has allowed myself to fade out any of my past insecurities in contemporary dance through such a welcoming and inspiring group each day. The opportunity to work with various choreographers and their creative processes has given me a glimpse into what is beyond this course, and through this I have allowed myself to expand into all the new directions that have inspired me this year.


Sam Osborn (PPY2)

Ayesha Peerbaye (PPY1)

5 stars for Pre-Professional Year.

I found my way deeper into the mysterious world when I let go almost completely of what I knew to be right or wrong in the movement of my limbs. And every time I found my way further into that world, I was exuberant. I felt wild and calm. I felt beautiful and strange. Then, an invisible light suddenly appeared, and I was connected to the other dancers. We became a single entity, together exploring the different holes and archways of the unknown. Yet we remained individual, each a unique facet of a glittering multifaceted gemstone.

I’ve had the most transformative two years that have grown my appreciation for the art of dance in so many new ways. They have expanded and challenged my practice of dance and my everyday life, while giving me many enriching and dynamic experiences I am super grateful for. Dance can be so many things. But in my years at Pre-Professional Year, dance has been fun, liberating, inspirational, curious and therapeutic. The trajectory of these years has been a roller coaster but reflecting at the end of it, it’s been one of the most special and formative things I’ve done. Being surrounded by so much inspiration, personality, passion, laughter and wealth of knowledge has been so fulfilling. I haven’t just danced around for two years, I’ve grown and connected with some seriously beautiful people. Thank you Pre-Professional Year!


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Xanthe Pheeney (PPY2)

Eva Puata (PPY2)

The past two years have really broadened my perspective of both contemporary dance and dance as an art form. I am so thankful to PreProfessional Year for continually challenging me to think deeply about what it is I love about dance and encouraged me to find out more about myself. Pre-Professional Year has been the most challenging and rewarding two years and I am immensely grateful for the person it has shaped me to be.

These past two years I have been consistently overwhelmed with gratitude. I feel so lucky to have been in the right place at the right time and manifested such meaningful connections with the people I have - choreographers, teachers and peers. These people have brought me endless inspiration that will stick with me now and always. I have been on a journey of reshaping, shifting, altering and at times, completely flipping my perceptions of dance and what it truly means to me. The challenges, struggles and conflicts that have been brought up from within have only made me stronger. I now feel completely confident I have the skills to set myself up for a career in this alluring art form. The invaluable lessons I have learnt over these two years is something I will always credit back to the beautiful culture and warmness created in this course. Choosing to take part in Pre-Professional Year was one of the best choices I could have ever possibly made. Forever fortunate, forever thankful.


Hannah Roberts (PPY1)

Sabine Roberts (PPY2)

This year in the Pre-Professional Year course has been an eye-opening experience, full of exploring who I am not only as an artist but as a person. I have learnt so much about myself that I did not think was possible. Pre-Professional Year has pushed me well beyond my comfort zone, to seek out such vulnerability each day has aided my selfdiscovery. I have been opened up to the remarkable world of contemporary dance, encountering a range of ways to approach improvisation that I will cherish throughout my path as an artist.

The Pre-Professional Year course has been everything to me, and more. The immense greatnesses and diverse challenges that accompany the program have enhanced my fond appreciation for the inquisitive nature of the mind and body and how they coexist. I am forever grateful to have learnt in a place that celebrates individuality and authenticity in such a rich way, as it has allowed me to uncover who I am as an artist within the boundlessness of contemporary dance. Throughout the past two years I have felt constantly inspired and appreciative of all that has been thrown my way, I am rich with excitement to see what arises post PreProfessional Year.

When I began the course ten months ago, I was very naive about contemporary dance unsure how to approach having a sustainable career beyond full-time training. However, the incredible artists that we have had the honour of working with throughout the year have helped me understand the endless opportunities out there. I came into PreProfessional Year introverted and afraid to share my thoughts, but I am leaving my first year with a full toolkit of skills and a deeper understanding of who I want to be in life.

As I reflect on my time within the course, I truly know that Pre-Professional Year is the gift that keeps on giving, and I will always cherish the pure magic that is and has been created within the walls of these studios.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Scout Robinson-Gale (PPY2)

Amelia Russell (PPY1)

Summed up, Pre-Professional Year to me was a constant feeling of ‘someone pinch me right now’. The entirety of my Pre-Professional Year experience allowed me to grow and explore, both in the realm of dance and everyday life.

Pre-Professional Year has been a big eyeopener for me. Being trained by so many industry professionals, my knowledge of contemporary dance has been challenged and expanded. The course has provided me with many opportunities with renowned choreographers to explore and shape my individuality and maturity as an artist. I have learnt so much about my personal movement vocabulary and have been able to use it as a tool to create and collaborate with my peers. It has taught me to notice what I like and dislike and that sometimes being pushed past my boundaries and feeling vulnerable is positive growth. I am forever grateful for the constant support and love from my mentors and peers.

It’s impossible to explain the impact both years of Pre-Professional Year have had on me but know that I mean it when I say this had been the most fulfilling two years I could ever ask for.


Alani Siswoyo (PPY2)

Keisha Sunderland (PPY2)

I feel overwhelmed with an immense amount of love.

My journey through Pre-Professional Year has given me the opportunity to step forth into life filled with positivity, freedom and new outlook on the world around me. I have rediscovered what dance means to me and how to approach dance with a holistic perspective. This art form can present the unexpected and I feel confident and prepared to enter the next phase of my life as a dancer. I am beyond grateful for the experiences that PreProfessional Year has given me, I will carry what I have learnt from the past two years all throughout life.

I am deeply appreciative of the spiritual and physical space where I have been able to explore the genuineness of movement and conversation I am also grateful for the people I get to see, talk to and learn from almost everyday. For me, that is what has truly made this experience so beautiful.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Roxie Syron (PPY1)

Olivia Talevski (PPY1)

Pre-Professional Year has furthered my ability to dance in an expressive, freestyle movement. Both in a physical sense and mentally this has allowed me to explore who I am and what I want to become as an artist.

My journey throughout Pre-Professional Year has enabled me to explore endless aspects of contemporary dance that I always knew I needed to fulfil. I had a number of notions going into my first year of full-time training, especially moving away from home. Pre-Professional Year has given me the freedom to discover different qualities of my movement in ways I can’t express and have never experienced in my previous years of dance. The industry professionals I have been able to work with have given me the opportunity to achieve this. Being gifted with the support from such an amazing group of mentors, teachers and friendships has confirmed my future path with contemporary dance.

The teachers and choreographers have instilled in me their vast experiences of movement which has given me confidence to create and experiment in a supportive environment. To learn is to grow and PreProfessional Year has given me the skills to continue to develop as a contemporary artist with a focus on spontaneity and selfexpression.


Laura Taylor (PPY2)

Maggie Teasdale (PPY1)

My time at Pre-Professional Year…

Pre-Professional Year is everything I had hoped for and more than I could have ever imagined. It is so much more than just dancing - it is connection, discovery, questioning, conversations and learning to find trust and comfort in myself. It fills me with so much gratitude to be surrounded by so many talented, insightful people and not only learn alongside them, but learn so much from them.

In hindsight, this course has truly been a crucial part of my own self-discovery as a dance artist. Across the two years, I’ve met with some of the most creative and experienced minds who have shared their knowledge in the form of movement, this has been continually inspiring to watch and learn from. Further to grow alongside so many other artists and to be a part of their professional journey as well. I have gained insight of the many opportunities there are in the industry to create dance work and offer my own knowledge gathered from my time at Pre-Professional Year which is an exciting prospect.

This year has brought me so much joy (and too many giggles).


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Jye Thomspon (PPY1)

Cameron Turner (PPY2)

Participating in the Pre-Professional Year course this year encouraged me to push past my comfort zones and develop as an individual artist. The variety of knowledge, experience, teachings and dance styles offered throughout the year has been incredible! My understanding and approach to dance has broadened, which has greatly benefited my dance ability. The amazing support and guidance that is so willingly given and accessible is second to none. I have gained confidence, grown as a dancer and have a clearer vision for the future.

The second year of Pre-Professional Year has been an incredibly illuminating journey of discovering and refining movement pathways on top of the foundations we have built in the first year. This has collated a toolbox of various techniques, skills and methods I can utilise when performing and creating movement. Over the past two years I have been immersed in such a diverse range of movement languages and styles that have been passed on to us by the various teachers and choreographers we have had the privilege of working with. This has allowed me to enrich and develop my own unique movement language, providing me with the strength and ability to explore, play and create throughout the workshops and classes of the past two years, further supporting me to pursue future opportunities with dance and movement.


Georgia Vincent (PPY1)

Chloe Warwick-Smith (PPY1)

As I look back at the person I was 12 months ago I realise how much I’ve grown. Jumping straight out of high school into full-time dance has been a big adjustment, full of challenges, both mentally and physically. The course has taken me out of my comfort zone in so many ways through immersive exploration, cultural discovery, diverse performing arts development and most importantly experiences that have given me a much deeper understanding of myself and my potential. I have built strong friendships nurtured in a highly supportive, non-judgemental and loving environment. I have rediscovered my love for dance and all its curiousness and philosophical possibilities that are communicated by movement practices and art. I’ve had freedom and space this year to find myself and my artistry, I have grown not just as a dancer, but as a person.

This year in Pre-Professional Year has definitely been one to remember. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to not only grow as a dancer but also grow as a person. The new experiences and support I have been provided during this year has been incredible and allowed me to fully indulge and explore my creative practices.


Pre-Professional Year 2023

Eva Wells (PPY1)

Ariana Wolf (PPY1)

Pre-Professional Year has allowed me to delve deeper into art. Cherished moments have been created through movement within myself and with others, especially in improvisation. Moments that don’t seem significant have stuck with me. Worlds I have been able to access within my own mind through various practices have been insanely rewarding. These dimensions that I have entered through movement have provided healing and growth. The warm environment created within this group is never going to leave me. Thanks to Pre-Professional Year and all the people I have met this year, I feel I have met myself again.

I came into this year feeling unsure, limited, and only knowing that something in my training was unfinished. I was extremely grateful when the opportunity of PreProfessional Year presented itself. I now finish the year certain that I’ve only scratched the surface of the body and mind’s capabilities, inspired by the limitless nature of movement and even more certain that something is unfinished.


Alexandria Young (PPY2) My time at Pre-Professional Year has provided me with a deeper understanding into my own work ethic and value within a professional dance environment. I’ve learnt how to maintain hard work and dedication to my own practice, as a person and as an artist, in ways that go beyond dance training. While challenging my creative boundaries, I’ve formed a newfound confidence. It’s truly opened my eyes to what may come and how I choose to approach and remain resilient through further endeavours or challenges.


Photo By: Wendell Teodoro



Sydney Dance Company Staff Board of Directors


Emma-Jane Newton (Chair) David Baxby Prof Larissa Behrendt AO Jillian Broadbent AC David Friedlander Emma Gray Alexa Haslingden Mark Hassell Sandra McCullagh Paris Neilson Bianca Spender

Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela

Learning Administrator Eugenie English

Executive Director Lou Oppenheim

Head of Training Linda Gamblin

Executive Assistant Amy Burrows

Pre-Professional Year Course Coordinator Tobiah Booth-Remmers

International Patron Dame Darcey Bussell DBE

Associate Producer - Ensemble Kerry Thampapillai

Founding Patron Dancers’ Circle Julian Knights AO Ambassadors Judy Crawford Bee Wood Jules Maxwell Dance Noir Committee Co-Chairs: Mandy Foley Peter Reeve Committee Fuzz Ali, Sally Burleigh, Jane Clifford, Debbie Coffey, Irene Deutsch, Georgie Fergusson, Alexa Haslingden, Sarah Myer, Paris Neilson, Mim Stacey, Stephen Thatcher, Michelle Walsh

Producer Dominic Chang

Associate Producer - Wharf Michael Sieders Chief Financial Officer Sean Radcliffe Accountant Melissa Sim Payroll Assistant Carina Mision Director Training and Education Polly Brett Head of Open Programs & Learning Samantha Dashwood Dance Class Manager Ramon Doringo Learning Manager Justine Turner Learning Coordinator Jacqueline Cooper


Training Associate Juliette Barton Learning Associate Alexandria Panetta Conditioning Studio Manager Felicity McGee Customer Service & Venue Manager Andy Grant Customer Service Assistant Jack Calver Director Philanthropy and Partnerships Alan Watt Head of Philanthropy Michelle Boyle Philanthropy Manager Lachlan Bell Trusts and Foundations Manager Madeleine White Head of CRM and Business Intelligence Louise Davidson

The Company

Pre-Professional Year Teaching Faculty

Ticketing Specialist John Calvi

Rehearsal Director Richard Cilli

Yoga and Wellness Coach Jolie Brook

Marketing Manager Natalie Zagaglia

Rehearsal Associate Charmene Yap

Marketing and Communications Coordinators Vivienne Crowle Laurance Corbett

Dancers Lucy Angel Timothy Blakemanship Naiara de Matos Dean Elliott Riley Fitzgerald Liam Green Madeline Harms Luke Hayward Morgan Hurrell Ngaere Jenkins Sophie Jones Connor McMahon Jesse Scales Piran Scott Emily Seymour Chloe Young Coco Wood

Guest Teachers and Choreographers Germaine Acogny Emily Amisano Omer Backley-Astrachan Huey Benjamin Narelle Benjamin Jana Castillo Shane Carroll Kristina Chan Penny Chivas Eliza Cooper Matt Cornell Eli Crawford Davide Di Giovanni Tra Mi Dinh Holly Doyle Harrison Elliot Saskia Ellis Samantha Hines Louella May Hogan Iva Hortavic Rebecca Jensen Annabel Knight Lucky Lartey Fode Mane Yacou Mbaye Lisa Maris McDonell Emma Moran Jenni Large Lee-Anne Litton Gabrielle Nankivell Casey Natty Tony Osborne Christen Patinyotis Alvin Rangle Elizabeth Ryan Alejandro Rolandi Jakki Tobin Melissa Toogood Oliver Savariego Carl Sciberras Lana Šprajcer Olga Sukhovskaya Shone Weiler Josie Weise Heath Wilder Pru Wilson

Head of Media Communications Alexandra Barlow Resident Multimedia Artist Pedro Greig Technical Director Guy Harding Company and Resident Stage Manager Simon Turner PPY Revealed Stage Manager Stephanie Storr Production Coordinator Tony McCoy Head of Wardrobe Annie Robinson

Head Physiotherapist Ashlea-Mary Cohen Company Doctor Dr. Michael Berger Psychologist Dr. Sallie Grey Sports Doctor Dr. James Lawrence Wellness Coach and Nutrition Kristen Wenborne


Pre-Professional Year Alumni Sydney Dance Company celebrates our Pre-Professional Year graduates entering the industry in a broad spectrum of employment. Our aim is to empower young dancers as they embark on their own unique journey, be it within the realm of contemporary dance or outside of it. Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year alumni have gained employment with the following contemporary dance companies, productions and independent directors in the last ten years: Australasian Dance Collective (Brisbane)

Moulin Rouge (Paris, Sydney)

Australian Dance Theatre (Adelaide)

Narelle Benjamin (Sydney)

Ballet Junior De Geneve (Geneva, Switzerland)

Ochre Dance Company (Perth)

Bangarra Dance Theatre (Sydney) Catapult Dance (Newcastle) Chunky Move (Melbourne) Cirque du Soleil (Montreal, Canada) Configuration Co (Sydney) Crystal Pite/ Kidd Pivot performances with Strut Dance (Perth)

Omer Backley-Astrachan (Sydney) Opera Australia (Sydney) Opera Ballet Vlaaderen (Belgium) Poetic Disaster Club (Den Hague, Netherlands) Prevolution Dance Company (Hungary) Punchdrunk /Maxine Doyle (International)

Dance North (Townsville)

Sara Black (Sydney)

Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company (Frankfurt, Germany)

Shaun Parker & Company (Sydney)

DV8/ Lloyd Newson (England) Eileen Kramer (Sydney) Force Majeure (Sydney) Fresco Dance Company (Tel Aviv, Israel) Göteborgsperan (Gothenburg, Sweden) ITDansa (Barcelona, Spain) Ivan Perez (Heidelberg, Germany) Kristina Chan (Sydney) Martin Del Amo (Sydney) Meryl Tankard AO (Sydney)


Stephanie Lake Company (Melbourne) Strut Dance (Perth) Sydney Dance Company (Sydney) Sydney Experimental Arts Ensemble (Sydney) TasDance (Launceston) T.H.E Dance Company (Singapore) The Farm (Queensland) Theo Clinkard & Company (Brighton, England) Wayne McGregor Dance Company (England) West Side Story (New York City, USA)

Photo By: Wendell Teodoro


With Special Thanks

Sydney Dance Company partners with Carriageworks to present PPY23 Revealed through the ongoing support of the NSW Government through Create NSW and the Australian Government through Creative Australia. Sydney Dance Company thanks Carriageworks for its support of PPY23 Revealed. We would also like to thank all our generous Partners for their support of the PreProfessional Year course. A special thank you to Tim Fairfax AC for his visionary support of Sydney Dance Company’s Training Associate and Learning Administrator roles. We’re also deeply grateful for the opportunities provided by the Doug Hall Foundation Scholarship, The Wales Family Scholarships, Ian Wallace Family Scholarship, Mary Zuber Scholarship, The Hephzibah Artist Development Program and Hermès Australia. 52

Make a gift today You can help to nurture and inspire future generations of dancers and audiences by making a tax-deductible donation to Sydney Dance Company. As our Partner, you will know that your gift of any size is hugely appreciated and will make a truly transformational impact. For more information, please call: 02 9258 4882 or email: philanthropy@sydneydancecompany.com

Photo By: Wendell Teodoro


Sydney Dance Company Wharf 4/5, 15 Hickson Road Dawes Point NSW 2000 Join the Conversation @SydneyDanceCo #SDCPPY23 sydneydancecompany.com Photography Pedro Greig Wendell Levi Teodoro Justin Ridler

Sydney Dance Company


Sydney Dance Company, celebrating more than 50 years of defining contemporary dance in Australia, is a not-for-profit organisation supported by Creative Australia and Create NSW. Actively creating and touring new work both nationally and internationally under the Artistic Directorship of Rafael Bonachela since 2009, the Company maintains an ensemble of 17 professional dancers. In 2014, Sydney Dance Company launched the Pre-Professional Year course providing worldclass professional training in an unparalleled environment. 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the Pre-Professional Year.

Carriageworks is the largest multi-arts centre in Australia commissioning Australian and International artists to make monumental new work that intersects with contemporary ideas. Reflecting the diverse communities of urban Sydney, Carriageworks’ artist-led program is ambitious, radical and always inclusive.

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