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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Gideon Obarzanek, 2012

Dave Tacon

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 48.2 cm x 34.6 cm, image: 40.6 cm x 26.9 cm, frame: depth 4.2 cm)

Gideon Obarzanek (b. 1966), choreographer, spent his early life in Israel, attended school in Melbourne and won a place at the Australian Ballet School, choreographing his first piece there in 1987. Having joined the Queensland Ballet as a dancer, he continued to create works including Mr Crowther and the Wallflower (1989). Moving to the Sydney Dance Company, he made Sleep No More in 1991. In 1995 he co-founded Chunky Move, a dance company based first in Sydney and then, from 1997, in Melbourne, where it became Victoria's official contemporary dance company. He was its CEO and artistic director until 2012. Now, Obarzanek’s stage pieces, installations, site-specific performance and videos are performed around the world. His many awards include two Helpmanns for Glow and Mortal Engine (2008), three awards for best short documentary film for Dance like Your Old Man (2007) and a New York Bessie award for outstanding choreography and creation for Chunky Move's Tense Dave. His recent projects include There's definitely a prince involved (2012) for the Australian Ballet; I Want to Dance Better at Parties (2013) for the Sydney Theatre Company, made into a docu-drama that won best short film at the Sydney Film Festival in 2014; Interplay (2013) for the Sydney Dance Company; the virtual reality film Stuck in the Middle with You (2016) for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image; and several pieces for Australian and international festivals.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Accession number: 2012.35

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Dave Tacon (age 36 in 2012)

Gideon Obarzanek (age 46 in 2012)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.