Gideon Obarzanek

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Gideon Obarzanek (born 1966, Melbourne)[1] is an Australian choreographer and the former Artistic Director of Melbourne, Australia based contemporary dance company Chunky Move which he formed in 1995, in collaboration with Garry Stewart.

Gideon Obarzanek spent his early childhood in Israel on an agricultural kibbutz. His family returned to Melbourne where he took jazz ballet lessons, he later went to the Australian Ballet School, graduating in 1987.[1] He danced with the Queensland Ballet after graduation. He later joined the Sydney Dance Company before pursuing a career as a performer and choreographer with various dance companies and independent projects within Australia and abroad. In that period he worked with The Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Opera Australia and the Netherlands Dance Theatre.

His works for Chunky Move included stage productions, installations, site-specific works and film. His works have been performed in many festivals and theatres around the world in the U.K, Europe, Asia and the Americas. In New York, he has been presented at BAM Next Wave Festival,[2] Dance Theatre Workshop and the Joyce Theatre.


  • 2008 Helpmann Award for Glow which incorporates sophisticated interactive technology for body, sound and light won the for best ballet or dance work.
  • Dance Like Your Old Man a film co-directed with Edwina Throsby won best short documentary at the 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival
  • Bessie Award, with Lucy Guerin and Michael Kantor, for outstanding choreography and creation for Chunky Move's production of Tense Dave.[3]
  • Melbourne Green Room Awards for best concept and choreography for I Want to Dance Better at Parties
  • a Mo Award for best choreography for Bonehead 1999
  • 1996 he received the Prime Minister's Young Creative Fellowship
  • 1997 the inaugural Australian Dance Award for outstanding achievement in choreography
  • Mr Crowther and the Wallflower, (1989) was filmed and won the Queensland Young Filmmakers Award for 1989.


  • The Heat, (1987) whilst at the Australian Ballet School and later performed by the Dancers Company of The Australian Ballet.
  • Drift Office, (1988) for a Queensland Ballet choreographic workshop
  • Mr Crowther and the Wallflower, (1989) for an Australasian Drama Studies Association conference in 1989. Mr Crowther was subsequently filmed and won the Queensland Young Filmmakers Award for 1989.
  • Sleep no more
  • Petrol Head Lover (1994) Netherlands Dance Theatre[4]
Chunky Move[5]
  • Fast Idol, (1995)
  • Bonehead, (1997)
  • Wet, (1998)
  • FLESHMEET program, (1998)
    • Corrupted
  • EXPORT FILE program, (1999)
    • All the Better to Eat You With
    • Corrupted
  • BODYPARTS program, (1999)
    • All the Better to Eat You With
  • COMBINATION NO. 3, (2000)
    • Crumpled
  • Hydra, (2000)
  • Live Acts program
    • Disco.very
    • Soap
    • Antistatic
  • Arcade program, (2001)
    • 100% Off
  • Closer, (2002)
  • WANTED program - Wanted: Ballet for a Contemporary Democracy Clear Pale Skin, (2002)
  • Tense Dave, (2003)[6]
  • Three's a Crowd, (2003)
    • Crowds
  • I Want to Dance Better at Parties, (2004)[7]
  • Glow, (2006)[8]
  • Singularity, (2006)
  • Dance Like Your Old Man a film co-directed with Edwina Throsby
  • Two Faced Bastard, (2008) with Lucy Guerin
  • Mortal Engine, (2008)

Further reading[edit]

  • 'Gideon Obarzanek: Daring Dance' in Potter, M., (1997), A Passion for Dance, Canberra: National Library of Australia, pp. 79–91.


External links[edit]