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Gideon Obarzanek
, 2012

by Dave Tacon

type C photograph (sheet: 48.2 cm x 34.6 cm, image: 40.6 cm x 26.9 cm)

Gideon Obarzanek (b. 1966), choreographer, spent his early life on a kibbutz in Israel, attended school in Melbourne, was accepted into the Australian Ballet School and choreographed his first piece in a workshop in 1987. From that point, he was unstoppable, joining the Queensland Ballet as a dancer whilst continuing to create works like Mr Crowther and the Wallflower (1989). Moving to the Sydney Dance Company, he made Sleep No More in 1991 before electing for a career as an independent choreographer in Australia and abroad. He co-founded Chunky Move in 1995, a dance company first based in Sydney before relocating to Melbourne in 1997, where it became Victoria’s official contemporary dance company. Leaving the company in 2012 after more than twenty years at the helm, Obarzanek continued to embrace changing technology, using installations, site-specific performances, and documentaries. He has received many awards including several Helpmann awards and a New York Bessie award for outstanding choreography and creation for Chunky Move’s Tense Dave. In 2010 he appeared on stage for the first time in a decade in the solo work Faker. His recent works include Connected, incorporating a mobile sculptural installation, and There’s definitely a prince involved (2012). He has co-written and directed two Virtual Reality films, ‘Once upon a time in the Western suburbs’ and ‘stuck in the middle with you,’ and he continues to write, direct, produce, choreograph productions in Australia and the United States of America.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2012
Accession number: 2012.35