Spring Dance Festival
Sydney Opera House, The Studio
21 - 26 September 2010
After twenty years making works for individuals, groups and his own company Chunky Move, Obarzanek has created Faker, a disarmingly personal solo performance of his own, exposing the expectations and disappointments, creative aspirations and personal doubts of dance and theatre making.
Faker arose out of a two-week workshop Obarzanek undertook with a young dancer. Despite best intentions, not everything went to plan.
Success, experience and earned respect count for little when compared to the doubts that haunt an empty studio. We find Obarzanek at his computer reading an email he received from the young da ncer letting him know, in the most brutally honest language, her thoughts on the time spent working with him. Frank and darkly humorous, Faker offers a rare insight into the mind of one of Australia’s most acclaimed creators.
"Obarzanek's depth and breadth of inquiry is stimulating" The Australian
“It's (Obarzanek's) boldness and constant pushing of the envelope that secured Chunky Move a reputation of Australia's most innovative dance outfit.” HQ Magazine
Duration: 45 minutes (no interval).
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE INTERVIEW
A NOTE FROM GIDEON OBARZANEK
I think it was vanity that originally drew me to dance. I embraced its rigorous practice, driven by self-interest in my appearance and virtuosic ability. Being desirable and impressive to others was important and exciting for me. Today vanity has not completely deserted me, but this kind of relationship to dance is no more. It did not end just because of my declining agility and physical power, or even when my body slackened, the skin loosening off my slowly deflating muscles. Initially my relationship to dance was also one of sensation, I felt it, and I wanted to show it off to others. I don’t remember when, but at some point long ago that feeling left me. For physical exhilaration I surf, for an interesting story I read and for easy tears and laughter I watch movies and TV. Watching dance however, is less straightforward. I am interested in performances that reveal something that shifts or challenges my perception and understanding of the world within and around me. But this does not happen often and the works I make as a choreographer do not come easily. In fact for the greater part of my adult life my relationship to dance has been questioning its legitimacy as an art form. One of my strongest motivations in making new work is a search for proof that dance performance is indeed a compelling medium of expression.
Despite dancing and choreographing with various companies within Australia and abroad and creating many critically successful and popular works for my own company, Chunky Move, I have always considered myself as something of an imposter. Oddly, I most often feel on the periphery of dance, even though I have always been at its very centre. Regardless of my wide interest and insatiable curiosity for many other things, I have done little else for over twenty-five years.
In most respects choosing to perform this work is not unique from a history of middle-aged choreographers who have drifted from the stage to running a company and felt the need to re-connect to what drew them to dance in the first place. I am repelled however by this notion of finding one’s way again by baring oneself to the public through a revealing and challenging performance. So what am I doing here? I think I am here because I have an interesting story to perform and it only makes sense if I do it, no one else.