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By Chloe Smethurst
Chunky Move’s sensational Connected tours the U.S.
Photo by Jeff Busby, Courtesy Chunky Move.
From kaleidoscopic patterns to frenetic, body-flinging chaos, from simple walking to a mellifluous duet of action and reaction, the movement vocabulary of Chunky Move’s Connected is ever-changing. The adventurous Australian company returns to North America this fall to perform the dance-theater piece. In Connected, created by choreographer Gideon Obarzanek and sculptor Reuben Margolin, five dancers first construct, then control the movement of Margolin’s graceful white grid, manipulating strings that affect its shape.
As choreographer and artistic director, Obarzanek has thrived on exploring nontraditional territory. Previous productions have included science fiction–style special effects, comedic dance satires, and site-specific work in nightclubs and abandoned buildings. His populist work is less about choreographic innovation and more about connecting with audiences. But after 15 years, Obarzanek has announced his resignation. “I always felt Chunky Move was a project for me,” he says. “I never expected it to last this long, actually.” Obarzanek plans to develop work independently.
Dutch dancemaker Anouk van Dijk (a 2006 “25 to Watch”) will take up the artistic directorship in 2012. Van Dijk has led her own company since 1998, and while her fluid “Countertechnique” movement is very different from Obarzanek’s thrashy aesthetic, she too creates unpredictable work.
Chunky Move has been building a reputation in North America since 2005, when it performed the unforgettable, Bessie award–winning Tense Dave, made with Obarzanek’s partner and frequent collaborator Lucy Guerin (who has her own company, Lucy Guerin Inc.).
Connected will tour from Oct. 20 until Nov. 19, in the following cities: Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; NYC; West Lafayette, IN; Terre Haute, IN; and Philadelphia, PA.