You will never, ever see me on a dance floor. Perish the thought. At weddings , gigs, outdoor festivals — I’m inevitably the sourpuss in the corner or cross-legged in the grass, refusing even to tap either of my two left feet.
But where Lady Gaga and Gangnam Stylefail to sway me, the music of French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau is so infectious, charming and full of vigour that it gets me shaking my booty every time. And I’m not the only one: I’ve seen several Rameau operas staged overseas with inspired choreography – even breakdancing, crumping and voguingat the Paris Opéra.
I was starting to think I’d been born in the wrong place and the wrong era, until two major Rameau performances in Australia were announced this year. Not long before Pinchgut stages one of his tragédies en musique, Castor et Pollux,the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Dance Company unveil their first, highly anticipated collaboration: Project Rameau. It combines the skills of 17 dancers, choreographed by Rafael Bonachela (below, left), and 21 musicians with Richard Tognetti (below, right) at the helm.
“When I was talking with Rafael about this project...