It's nice to see Gideon Obarzanek's Assembly pick up accolades, as it was the last piece Obarzanek made for Chunky Move before finishing up his post as artistic director (and founder) of the company. With a cast of over 50 performers, including singers from the Victorian Opera choir, it's one of those pieces that transforms pedestrian movements into an extraordinary whole. The power of numbers - so many bodies organised together and working as a large group - has a mesmerising pull and this was well-exploited in the work.
I was really happy to see that Becky, Jodi, John won the Concept and Realisation award. This little gem made by John Jasperse (American), Melbourne girl Rebecca Hilton and Jodi Melnik (American) was my absolute highlight of the Dance Massive season (and probably the whole year.) A post-modern take on how post-modern dancers think about getting older, it's full of humour and wit and brings relevance to dance vocabulary that has the potential to be alienating and academic. Totally fantastic!
Congratulations to all the well-deserving nominees and winners. Keep up the great work!
Betty Pounder Award for Choreography: Gideon Obarzanek, Assembly (Chunky Move / Victorian Opera, presented by Melbourne Festival in association with Sydney Festival & Brisbane Festival)
Design: Toni Maticevski (Costumes), Richard Nylon (Millinery), Matthew Bird (Nest Design & Backdrop), Gavin Brown (Curtain Design) & Benjamin Cisterne (Lighting), Aviary (Phillip Adams BalletLab in association with Melbourne Festival)
Sound and Music Composition and/or Performance: TIE BETWEEN:
Cast of Assembly (Live Performance), Assembly (Chunky Move / Victorian Opera presented by Melbourne Festival in association with Sydney Festival & Brisbane Festival)
Soloists and Victorian Opera Chorus & Orchestra Victoria (Live Performance), Requiem (The Australian Ballet)
Male Dancer: Luke George, Body of Work (Luke George / Jo Lloyd / Phillip Adams BalletLab in association with Melbourne Festival)
Female Dancer: Kirsty Martin, The Merry Widow (The Australian Ballet)
Ensemble: Concerto (The Australian Ballet)
Concept & Realisation: Becky, Jodi & John (Becky Hilton, Jodi Melnick & John Jesperse / John Jesperse Company and Dancehouse)