Volume 18, Number 1 | MAY 27 —JUNE 2, 2005, 2005

A filmic quartet
Chunky Move offers a succession of paranoid vignettes in dance

“Tense Dave”
Dance Theater Workshop
219 W. 19th Street
Tue.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.
May 25-Jun. 11
$23; 212-924-0077 or dtw.org.

Photo by Basil Childers
“Tense Dave,” created by Gideon Obarzanek, Lucy Guerin and Michael Kantor, is a dance merry-go-round that creates a startlingly cinematic effect.


Three prominent Australian artists––Gideon Obarzanek, artistic director of the extraordinary group Chunky Move, choreographer Lucy Guerin and theater director Michael Kantor––created “Tense Dave,” a psychological merry-go-round that generates the effect of a montage film.

A circular platform revolves, creaking endlessly, revealing four rooms, one at a time, as they pass under the light of a single, bare bulb. Fragments of curious and solitary lives appear and accumulate in cinematic style––cuts made by cross-section slices of wall blocking out the light and related quick dissolves. Obsessions, dreams, fantasies and fears are exposed, obscured, played out. The walls fold up, come apart and are rearranged to change the frame of view.

Paranoid Dave stumbles from one space to another and becomes consumed by each of the dramas, including a dance for a finger, a cartoon violence trio and a musical number you might expect to see at an insane asylum.

“Tense Dave” is also on the bill at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina, June 20 - 22, and in the Berkshires at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Beckett, Massachusetts, June 30 to July 3.

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