Manchester Evening News

Square Map of Q4
Philip Radcliffe

The Lowry

Bonachela Dance Company

13/ 2/2008

YOU'D expect something special from a choreographer whose client list ranges from Rambert to Kylie Minogue and Tina Turner.

And we weren’t disappointed. Rafael Bonachela has moved on not only to form his own company, but to enlist the considerable talents of award-winning composer Marius de Vries, winner of two BAFTA awards and responsible for the music of the film Moulin Rouge, and ace lighting designer Guy Hoare.

In an energy-sapping one-hour spectacle, enigmatically entitled Square Map of Q4 (don’t ask), the team, together with six remarkable dancers who could double as Olympic gymnasts, have embarked on an exploratory combination of movement, lighting and soundtrack.

It is very much a shared experience, each art form challenging the others. The dancers are changed by lighting effects and shadow, by beams of shimmering light making their bodies wave-like and by projected images intensifying their sinewy movement.


Behind it all runs a soundtrack ranging from the amplified noises of a tropical forest to the human voice or a soulful cello. At times, it reaches crashing climaxes too ear-shattering for my taste.

The overall effect is novel, hypnotic and stirring. The movement can be violent, erotic or simply dreamlike.

Bonachela and his team have embarked on an experimental journey, stretching the boundaries of dance, whilst sacrificing pure dance in the cause of spectacle. All credit to him for exploring the possibilities. And all credit to those dancer-athletes – Amy Hollingsworth, Annamari Keskinen, Adam Linder, Cameron McMillan, Sarah Storer and Paul Zivkovich.

They now move on to Stockholm and Barcelona, Bonachela’s native city.



© - Philip Radcliffe Feb 08

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