For Sydney Dance Company's 50th anniversary year, four new choreographic works are coming to life within the city's industrial cultural precinct, Carriageworks. New Breed nurtures emerging Australian talent, and the new works pack some serious punch.

<i>In Walked Bud</i> © Pedro Greig
In Walked Bud
© Pedro Greig

Playful, jerky and clean choreography in the first piece In Walked Bud is set to jazz music, with swing reminiscent of a quartet in the corner of a smoke-filled speakeasy bar. Choreographer Davide Di Giovanni, a company dancer, was inspired by the conversation between the piano and saxophone. The movement has both moments of awkwardness and poise; it's angular, funny, flirty and unpredictable. Dancers feet skid across the floor in perfectly precise partner work, with sharp direction changes. Beautifully driven by Thelonius Monk's music, the choreography is filled with accents creating all sorts of musical imagery; a pianist's fingers fluttering across the keyboard at high speed, hammers hitting strings inside a piano, or even lips vibrating on a saxophone's mouthpiece. The choreography is charming, yet shadows created by spotlights give it an air of darkness and suspense.

<i>Arise</i> © Pedro Greig
Arise
© Pedro Greig

Arise, the next work presented by company dancer Ariella Casu, is immediately adrenaline pumping. The dancer's bodies are half covered in skin-tight latex hooded suits. The movement is contorted, like the dancers are being hit by jolts of electricity. Powerfully striding across the stage, dancers fall in and out of the pack like a malfunctioning machine or electrical impulses sparking in a busy brain. Moments of complete darkness midway through the piece create unnerving, but exciting, intervals. The choreography is tightly controlled, and clever cannons create clone-like synergy that's satisfying to watch. It's bold, intimidating, and the dancers move at near impossible speed. The work conveys conformity and rebellion, with the lighting by Alexander Berlage restricting the dancers to a square. The eventual unmasking gives rise to free flowing movement and a newfound calmness.

<i>Creeper</i> © Pedro Greig
Creeper
© Pedro Greig

Creeper is the first of two pieces by independent Australian choreographers. Lauren Langlois' creation sees dancers jolt frame by frame, as if they're moving in fast-forward or rewind. It's truly remarkable they're able to keep it up throughout the 25 minute piece. It begins as if the dancers are insects being zapped by an outdoor night light, but transforms into an alien-like exploration as dancers discover their own bodies while scattering around each other with curiosity.

Josh Mu's Zero is the final work by an independent choreographer, unearthing the creativity of emerging Australian talent. It's full throttle as dancers energetically power through the 22 minute piece. Mu excels in creating connections - with dancers expertly avoiding each other as they hurry through each other in circles, and pass movement down the line with the push of a shoulder or swing of a hip. Transitions are also mesmerising – diagonals, lines and clumps seamlessly merging and re-forming. There's a supernatural moment when a dancer appears to levitate, turning horizontally on the floor, without as much as a muscle twitch visible. The athleticism of the company dancers shines through, their strength, stamina and agility a thrill to watch, as they wildly whip their hair around as intensity builds.

<i>Zero</i> © Pedro Greig
Zero
© Pedro Greig

The showcase is creative, quirky, bold and, best of all, experimental. The four choreographers explore not just intricate shapes and sequences, but whole new ways of movement. The unique works are a testament to the mentoring of the next generation of contemporary brilliance. It's in good hands.

****1