Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge discusses Australian dance company Chunky Move, who present the Connecticut premiere of their hour-long work “Connected” on March 30 and 31.
The Center for the Arts has never hosted a dance company from Australia before, and it’s high time that we do, considering the strength of contemporary dance that is touring the world from down under. And I can guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it.
Beginning with simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces, the dancers build their performance while they construct a kinetic sculpture in real time. During the performance, these basic elements and simple physical connections quickly evolve into complex structures and relationships. The work, Connected, is the brainchild of Chunky Move’s Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek and California artist Reuben Margolin. The two met at PopTech, the renowned conference that brings great minds together to focus on social change through current innovations in science, art and economics. The result is thrilling: athletic and agile dancers’ bodies twisting and hurtling through space, alongside movements from everyday life. As Aldous Huxley wrote: “All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”
Suzanne Sadler, the CFA’s Assistant Technical Director, said they’ve created two line sets that work in tandem, each with a truss, and the sculpture is attached with a circular pipe. 220 strings are suspended from there: “I can’t wait to see it in the space. It’s going to look really beautiful.”
Chunky Move, along with Australian Dance Theater and Lucy Guerin’s company, have garnered great acclaim as they have toured the world. The Dance Department and CFA were interested in bringing Connected because of its interdisciplinary nature. When I was speaking with Kristy Edmunds, a faculty member in Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, and the Director of UCLA Live (formerly the director of the Melbourne Festival), she said: “What is particularly intriguing about Gideon is his fascination and willingness to explore and collaborate with design and technologies. Increasingly, he is able to forge unique collaborations with artists from other fields, and orchestrate that discourse into a work of art where dance is the central vehicle.”
So we invite you to experience Chunky Move at the CFA this weekend – and if you come at 7:15pm on Friday in the CFA Hall, you’ll have a chance to hear dance scholar Debra Cash contextualize their work, and give you some things to look out for. Join us!
Chunky Move: Connected
Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8pm
Pre-performance talk by dance scholar Debra Cash on Friday at 7:15pm in CFA Hall
Tickets: $21 general public; $18 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students, $6 Wesleyan students