tense dave, 2003

Luke Smiles, Kristy Ayre, Brian Carbee, and Michelle Heaven (foreground), Tense Dave, Chunky Move

Luke Smiles, Kristy Ayre, Brian Carbee, and Michelle Heaven (foreground), Tense Dave, Chunky Move

Luke Smiles, Kristy Ayre, Brian Carbee, and Michelle Heaven (foreground), Tense Dave, Chunky Move

Tense Dave can be seen as one man’s moment of crisis blown apart like an exploded diagram; each of its components are separated and pushed out to their extremes. Dave journeys through strange and fractured versions of a recognisable world distorted by fears, paranoias and unfulfilled fantasies. Created by some of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Gideon Obarzanek (Artistic Director Chunky Move), Lucy Guerin (Choreographer) and Michael Kantor (Theatre Director), Tense Dave is Chunky Move’s most theatrical work to date.

The initial inspiration of the work came from the idea of simultaneous narratives, as seen in films such as Time Code, Mystery Train and Short Cuts, or in Tom Stoppard’s, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, where other narratives unfold simultaneously around the story of Hamlet. It is a way of seeing the world, where many things are happening and overlapping with each other.

Set on a continually revolving stage, the work has a certain cinematic quality, as personal spaces and domestic scenes are revealed and then obscured and Dave stumbles from one space to another, drawn into the dramas and confusion of the characters he encounters. There is a strong sense of time passing, a fear of not being able to control one’s unforeseeable future, of not knowing what is around the corner.

Sharp, edgy and darkly humorous, Tense Dave is a world in motion created by one of Australia’s boldest contemporary dance companies. [Text courtesy of Chunky Move.]

credits: choreography, direction Lucy Guerin, Michael Kantor, Gideon Obarzanek, dramaturg Tom Wright, designer Jodie Fried, composer, sound design Franc Tetaz, lighting design Niklas Pajanti, inital design collaborators Bluebottle (Andrew Livingston, Ben Cobham), performers Kristy Ayre, Brian Carbee, Michelle Heaven, Brian Lucas, Luke Smiles

performances: premiere Malthouse, Melbourne, October 2003; Sydney Festival, January 2004; Perth International Arts Festival, February 2004; Whitebird, Portland, Oregon, US, June 2005; American Dance Festival, Durham, North Carolina, US, June 2005; Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, Massachusetts, US, June-July 2005; Malthouse Theatre, April 2007; Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE program, Adelaide, May 2007

Brian Lucas (foreground), Tense Dave, Chunky Move

Brian Lucas (foreground), Tense Dave, Chunky Move

Brian Lucas (foreground), Tense Dave, Chunky Move

reviews/articles – realtime

contaminating bodies, existential dances
jonathan marshall, realtime 58, december 2003-january 2004

the darkness that yields light
keith gallasch, realtime 59, february-march 2004




theatre/dance: tense dave
neil jillett, sunday age, october 5, 2003

festival’s first moves a rich symphony of chaos
lee christophis, the australian, october 6, 2003

choice and chunky cuts
stephanie glickman, herald sun, october 7, 2003

the tension in moving worlds
hilary crampton, the age, october 7, 2003

dancing to a very different rhythm
chelsea clark, daily telegraph, january 23, 2004

delusion yields grandeur
gillian wills, courier mail, march 1, 2004

tense dave potent mix of physicality and psychodrama
catherine thomas, the oregonian, april 10, 2004

things are spinning, starting with the stage
john rockwell, new york times, may 27, 2005

borrowing liberally: tense dave
helen shaw, new york sun, june 6, 2005

chunky move: tense dave
back stage, june 16, 2005

intriguing dance defies category
roy c dicks, news & observer, june 22, 2005

tense dave may be adf masterwork
susan broili, herald sun, june 22, 2005

tense dave enchants, explores
tresca weinstein, times union, july 2, 2005

present tense
lee christofis, the australian, april 8, 2006

tense dave
stephanie glickman, april 27, 2007

review: tense dave
alison croggon, theatre notes, april 27, 2007

dancing revolution
peter burdon, the advertiser (adelaide), may 11, 2007



© RealTime; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 January 1999