A walk down memory Lane


It will be a homecoming of sorts for Canberra-born choreographer and performer Melanie Lane as the Sydney Dance Company celebrate their 50th birthday with a performance in the national capital early next month.

Lane’s 2017 work, Woof, is one of the three works on the bill for Bonachela/Nankivell/Lane, alongside Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela’s Cinco, and Gabrielle Nankivell’s Neon Aether.

Lane told Canberra Weekly the three works on the bill are very different and diverse.

“It does transport the audiences to three particular, distinct places,” she said.

Woof somehow transports you to a place that is otherworldly; we really tried to invent something that oscillates between being something quite futuristic and something quite ancient.”

Lane said Woof was originally created for Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed in 2017, a program showcasing Australian choreographic process.

“As a young dancer, it is a company I always followed and revered so it’s quite dreamy to be choreographing for the company now and for something that celebrates their legacy.

“The company has such a long history of working together as a group, and that’s quite a rare situation in the dance world I guess because there’s very few companies like that in the world.”

Lane said her work is about collective actions, and the potential of group energy and group action.

“The work has a lot of references toward collective actions and I steal from many genres like classical dance languages, pop genres as well, working with military ideas, too.”

Having enjoyed a fruitful career that’s seen her work to wide acclaim across the world, Lane said her early foundations in Canberra at National Capital Ballet put her in good stead.

“It was an amazing school to be educated in; it supported not only ballet and modern dance but also choreography. (Instructor) Janet Karin was someone who really pushed the creative juices.

“You often go to ballet as an after school hobby, while she actually encouraged it as a real possibility for a life choice.”

Bonachela/Nankivell/Lane by Sydney Dance Company will be presented at Canberra Theatre on 2-4 May; canberratheatrecentre.com.au

More stories: