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Center for The Arts




Contact: Andrew R. Chatfield, Press & Marketing Manager
860-685-2806 achatfield@wesleyan.edu

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts and Dance Department presents
Australian dance company Chunky Move
Friday, March 30 & Saturday, March 31 performances to feature Connecticut premiere of the work "Connected" (2011)

Middletown, Conn., March 21, 2012—The 12th annual Breaking Ground Dance Series presented by Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Dance Department concludes with two performances by the Australian dance company Chunky Move, featuring the Connecticut premiere of the work "Connected" on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8pm in the CFA Theater, located at 271 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown. "Connected" is directed and choreographed by Chunky Move’s Gideon Obarzanek and features a kinetic sculpture by California-based artist Reuben Margolin.

There will be a pre-performance talk with dance scholar Debra Cash on Friday, March 30 at 7:15pm in CFA Hall, located at 287 Washington Terrace. Ms. Cash is a Scholar in Residence at both the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Bates Dance Festival. She was the dance critic for the Boston Globe for seventeen years.

In their sell-out, international sensations "Glow" (2006) and "Mortal Engine" (2008), Chunky Move transcended the limits of earthly form by immersing dancers in an illusory world of motion tracking and projection technology. In "Connected" (2011), this dynamic is flipped on its back and digital technology is side-stepped in favor of pure mechanics. Teaming up with Reuben Margolin, Chunky Move’s Gideon Obarzanek animates both the body and the machine through physical connection between the dancers and Mr. Margolin’s purpose-built, kinetic sculpture. Mr. Margolin’s startlingly live sculptural works – constructed from wood, re-cycled plastic, paper and steel – transcend their concrete forms once set into motion, appearing as natural waveforms in a weightless kinetic flow. Suspended by hundreds of fine strings receiving information from multiple camshafts and wheels, his sculptures reveal in articulate detail the impulses of what they are coupled to. In "Connected", it is people – athletic and agile dancers’ bodies twisting and hurtling through space, as well as people in recognizable situations. Beginning with simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces, the dancers build their performance while they construct the sculpture in real time. During the performance, these basic elements and simple physical connections quickly evolve into complex structures and relationships. The world premiere of "Connected" took place in the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, Australia on March 15, 2011. At Wesleyan, "Connected" will be performed by Stephanie Lake, Ross McCormack, Gabrielle Nankivell, Marnie Palomares, and Joseph Simons.

Click here to watch a preview video of Chunky Move's "Connected" on YouTube.

The performances of "Connected" at Wesleyan are made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. "Connected" was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.

Admission for the performance of "Connected" by Chunky Move is $21 for the general public; $18 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, and non-Wesleyan students; and $6 for Wesleyan students. Tickets are available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa, by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University”, and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount – please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges.

About Chunky Move

Founded in Australia by Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek in 1995, Chunky Move has earned an enviable reputation for producing a distinct yet unpredictable brand of genre-defying dance performance. Chunky Move’s work constantly seeks to redefine what is or what can be contemporary dance within an ever-evolving Australian culture. The company’s work is both diverse in form and content; to date the company has created anumber of works for the stage, site specific and new-media and installationwork. Chunky Move’s multi-tiered programming initiatives foster and support a strong and vibrant dance culture in its home city of Melbourne and also creates critically acclaimed and popular larger productions for touring. Recent international engagements include Barcelona, Seoul, Beirut, Hong Kong and New York. In 2008, Chunky Move received Best Dance Work for "Glow" and Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production for "Mortal Engine" at the Live Performance Australia Helpmann Awards. In 2009, "Mortal Engine" received an Honourable Mention in the Prix Ars Electronica Awards in the Hybrid Arts category. Other recent works include "Faker" (2010) and "Assembly" (2012).

Gideon Obarzanek became interested in dance towards the end of high school, and after graduating deferred science at university to study at the Australian Ballet School. He later danced with the Queensland Ballet and Sydney Dance Company before working as an independent performer and choreographer with various dance companies and independent projects within Australia and abroad. His multi-award winning works have been performed in many festivals and theaters around the world in the U.K., Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Chunky Move is supported by the Victorian Government, through Arts Victoria and the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

For more information about Chunky Move, please visit www.chunkymove.com.

About the Music Department

The Wesleyan University Music Department provides a unique and pioneering environment for advanced exploration committed to the study, performance, and composition of music from a perspective that recognizes and engages the breadth and diversity of the world's musics and technologies. As an integral part of one of the nation's leading liberal arts institutions, the department has enjoyed an international reputation for innovation and excellence, attracting students from around the globe since the inception of its visionary program in World Music four decades ago.

Recent annual music festivals in partnership with the Center for the Arts have brought to campus a diverse array of artists, including Max Roach, Pete Seeger, Zakir Hussain (India), Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), Boukman Eksperyans (Haiti), and Boogsie Sharpe (Trinidad).

A recording studio, a computer and experimental music studio, the Center for the Arts media lab and digital video facility, the World Instrument Collection (which includes the David Tudor Collection of electronic musical instruments and instrumentation) and the Scores and Recordings Collection of Olin Library (which includes the World Music Archives) offer many learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

For more information about the Music Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/music/.

About Reuben Margolin

Reuben Margolin was raised in Berkeley, California. A love of math and physics propelled him to Harvard, where he changed paths and completed a degree in English. He then went on to study traditional painting in Italy and Russia. In 1999, he became obsessed with the movement of a little green caterpillar, and set out to make wave-like sculptures. In 2004, he moved to his current studio in Emeryville and began making a series of large-scale undulating installations that attempt to combine the logic of mathematics with the sensuousness of nature. He has since made over ten of these mechanical mobiles and shown them internationally. He also makes pedal-powered rickshaws and has collaborated on several large-scale pedal powered vehicles.

For more information about Reuben Margolin, please visit www.reubenmargolin.com.

About the Breaking Ground Dance Series

The Breaking Ground Dance Series at the Center for the Arts features cutting-edge choreography, world-renowned companies, and companies pushing the boundaries of the art form, and is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts is the only dance presenter in Connecticut to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts dance program.

Past companies from the U.S. and abroad that have been featured on the Breaking Ground Dance Series include Bebe Miller Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Cathy Weis Projects, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Compagnie TcheTche, Compagnie Vincent Mantsoe, Dance - The Spirit of Cambodia, David Dorfman & Dan Froot, David Dorfman Dance, Delfos Contemporary Dance, Doug Varone & Dancers, Jane Comfort & Company, Joe Goode Performance Group, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Mark Haim & Bill Shannon/Crutchmaster, Morgan Thorson & Company, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Rubberbandance, Sean Curran & Company, Stephen Petronio Dance Group, STREB, Susan Marshall & Company, Tere O’Connor Dance, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Urban Bush Women & Compagnie Jant-Bi, and Viver Brasil.

About the Performing Arts Series

The Performing Arts Series at the Center for the Arts brings a wide array of world-class musicians, cutting-edge choreography, and groundbreaking theater performances and discussions to Wesleyan University. This season's performances include the Fernando Otero Quartet (April 14) and the 11th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend featuring the Jay Hoggard Quartet (April 28). For more information, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

Save 10% when you buy tickets to four or more Performing Arts Series events. Call or visit the Wesleyan University Box Office at (860) 685-3355 to take advantage of these discounts.

About the Dance Department

The Dance Department at Wesleyan is a contemporary program with a global perspective. The curriculum, faculty research and pedagogy all center on the relationships between theory and practice, embodied learning, and the potential dance making has to be a catalyst for social change. Within that rigorous context, students encounter a diversity of approaches to making, practicing and analyzing dance in an intimate learning atmosphere. The program embraces classical forms from Ballet, Bharata Natyam, Javanese, and Ghanaian, to experimental practices that fuse tradition and experimentation into new, contemporary forms.

For more information about the Dance Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/dance.

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts is an eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus that houses the departments of art and art history, dance, film studies, music, and theater. Opened in 1973, the CFA serves as a cultural center for the region, the state and New England. The Center includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 414-seat Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Center for Creative Research, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford and New Haven Advocates, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

For more information about Center for the Arts performances and events, please call (860) 685-3355, or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

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Jay Hoggard
Photo courtesy of Jeff Busby.

Jay Hoggard
Photo courtesy of Jeff Busby.