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From Glow to Interactive Whoa

Fest 08: Chunky Moves’ Glow
Date 01 November 2007


From Glow to Interactive Whoa

Get set to Glow as the NZ International Arts Festival presents a miraculous dance work that analyses the relationship between bright luminous light, absorbing graphics and the sensuous movement of the human body.

“A single dancer writhes, slithers, struggles and gasps, a constantly changing amoebic form under the microscope of our raptly attentive eyes.”
The Age 2006

This groundbreaking production is conceived by Australian company Chunky Move’s Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek in his first collaboration with German interactive software creator Frieder Weiss. Glow uses a solo dancer to trigger and control a video tracking system via an infra-red camera. This in turn generates graphic animation and music in real time according to how fast the dancer is moving, where she is and what part of her body is moving.

Premiered in the company’s home town of Melbourne in 2006, this unique and intimate interplay between dancer and computer makes for a visually electric show; the abstract co-ordination of light and body appears fascinatingly tumultuous in its execution. An angelic playfulness is offset by acute vocal outbursts, enhanced luminosity versus trancelike darkness, and graceful shape construction versus frenzied deconstruction.

Collaborators Obarzanek and Weiss first met in 2004 to discuss the use of a data projector for lighting a moving body. The question that Obarzanek posed to Weiss was whether one could illuminate the isolated body of a dance in the dark. The result is a digital environment that is an illustrative extension of the dancer’s movement, a visual expression of internal emotions as part of an animated habitat.

“This dance performance might convert you,” said ABC Sydney. “Obarzanek has proven again he's capable of making dance exciting, accessible and innovative while not leaving you behind or frustrated and wondering 'what was all about?'. It's so entertaining, so rich in visual and physical art”

Bask in the Glow of an intriguing marriage of light and innovative technology. Audiences will be left breathless and transported from their everyday lives.

There will be 11 performances of Glow, in the Renouf Theatre at the Michael Fowler Centre on 7 March at 6, 7 & 8pm; 8, 9 March at 3, 4, 5 & 6pm. Duration: 30mins
More about Chunky Moves’ Glow
Recent recipient of the New York Bessie award for Outstanding Choreography, Gideon Obarzanek has also received a Mo award for best choreography for Bonehead and the Prime Minister’s Young Creative Fellowship in 1996. His choreography “with its brutal sometimes violent physicality, its in-yer-face references to popular culture, its cartoony characters and dark, satirical humour… is not so much a breath of fresh air as a gale force wind ripping through contemporary Australian dance.” The Age

Frieder Weiss is a musician and computer engineer for various companies in Germany, including Bosch and Siemens. He is the creator of Eyecon, a system that allows the individual muscle contractions of a dancer's body to control sounds and projections, such as a dancer’s heartbeat controlling the tempo of music.

Glow features the music and sound design of dancer / composer Luke Smiles, with light-capturing costumes by designer Paula Lewis.

Gideon Obarzanek is pronounced: Gideon O-bah-zan-ek

Praise for Chunky Moves’ Glow
"The creative team has hit its mark. Bulls eye."
Herald Sun

"...a tour de force that will live long in the memory."
The Australian

"Obarzanek is always looking for different ways of presenting dance ... and in Glow he has found something extraordinary." Sydney Morning Herald



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