Slideshow: Chunky Move at ICA

Chunky Move performs I Want to Dance Better at Parties at the Institute of Contemporary Art, March 27, 2009
By GREG COOK  |  April 1, 2009

The Australian troupe Chunky Move performed its 2004 work I Want to Dance Better at Parties at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art from March 27 to 29. It’s part documentary narrative, part comedy, part kinetic metaphor about the pleasures and terrors of social dancing.

The show developed out of interviews choreographer Gideon Obarzanek conducted with five guys around Melbourne, where the company is based. The fellows tell their stories in voice-overs. The title comes from a man left lonely after his wife has died.“It was great fun dancing with you,"  a woman he dances with at a party tells him, "but you ought to learn to move your shoulders or your butt a bit.” So he takes ballroom and Latin dance lessons, but they’re too formal. He realizes, “I want to learn how to dance at parties.” And he does. Ultimately the show’s about men, their bodies, and love.

The performance moves from country western clogging to traditional Israeli dancing to a scene in which deeply-breathing dancers seem to inflate and deflate like holiday lawn ornaments. The moment that sticks in my head: A woman swaying to a slithery, sultry belly dance gets tackled by a guy flying out of the wings. And a brawl erupts.

Photos by Greg Cook

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |   next >
  Topics: Dance , Dance , Visual Arts , Institute of Contemporary Art ,  More more >
| More
Featured Articles in Dance:
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PERFECTLY HUMAN  |  April 16, 2014
    Sometimes I think you can understand everything about our society today by considering it through two themes — the perfection of technology versus the messily human handmade.
  •   THE LAST FRONTIER  |  April 02, 2014
    They say that temperatures in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica haven’t been above freezing in millennia.
  •   ASSURED ABSTRACTIONS  |  March 19, 2014
    “The golden age of abstraction is right now,” ARTnews informed me last spring.
  •   COMMON GROUND  |  March 12, 2014
    “I did everything in the world to keep this from happening,” exclaims the assistant to the rich man in Kerry Tribe’s There Will Be ___ _.
  •   LOCAL LUMINARIES  |  March 05, 2014
    Reenacting a childhood photo, portraits of fabulous old ladies, and dollhouse meditations on architecture are among the artworks featured in the “2014 RISCA Fellowship Exhibition.”

 See all articles by: GREG COOK