After fifteen years as Artistic Director and CEO of leading Australian and world-renowned dance company, Chunky Move, Gideon Obarzanek has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of 2011 to pursue other freelance opportunities in dance and other art forms. While he will continue to work on touring productions in an associate director capacity the following year, he will hand over to a new Artistic Director and CEO at the beginning of 2012.
Gideon Obarzanek, Artistic Director says: “Chunky Move has literally been the greater part of my adult life. The organization has allowed me extraordinary creative flexibility on so many different, unique and exciting projects with an array of inspiring artists. So now, having considered my future departure, it feels as though I will be strangely uncoupling from a significant part of myself. I do however want to realise some future ideas and adventures independently and it is time for me to create that opportunity. Dance has been such an inspiring art form for me and it is my hope that Chunky Move continues to reinvent and push the boundaries of what dance can be within our ever-evolving contemporary culture.”
Gideon Obarzanek founded Chunky Move in 1995. During its thirteen years as Victoria’s flagship dance company Chunky Move has premiered over 25 new productions, creating a body of work that is both diverse in form and content, including site specific, new media, installation and stage work and earning an enviable reputation for producing a distinct yet unpredictable brand of genre-defying dance performance. Under Obarzanek’s directorship, Chunky Move has evolved into Australia’s most successful contemporary dance export, touring to more than 30 cities and performing in just the last twelve months to more than 10,000 international dance lovers. The company has performed at the Luminato Festival in Toronto and the Venice Biennale earlier this year, and in early 2011 will perform in New York, Middle East, Korea, and Barcelona. Back home, it has played a vital role through initiatives such as Next Move, Choreolab, Maximised and secondments to foster and support a strong and vibrant dance culture in its home city of Melbourne.
Peter Biggs, Chair of the Chunky Move board says: "This is an exciting - but also sad - moment in Chunky Move's history. We will say farewell to our founder and, in so many ways, our artistic soul. But, at the same time, we have an opportunity, with Gideon's help in 2011, to find a new and world-class Artistic Director/CEO who will define and implement a new long-term artistic vision. I want to recognise Gideon's massive contribution to Chunky Move and its success - it is his extraordinary vision and talent that have made the company such a success at home and around the world - and thank him for his generosity in giving us a full year to do the almost impossible: hire and transition in a successor who is as outstanding as Gideon is."
Chunky Move will be looking to appoint a new Artistic Director in mid 2011. The position will be advertised in January 2011. The appointment will commence work in 2012.