Internationally acclaimed for the emotional punch packed into her inventive choreography, Meryl Tankard is one of Australia's finest contemporary artists. Tankard continues to work around the world, with recent projects ranging from a sell-out Sydney Festival collaboration with Taiko drummers, to a Broadway musical.
Having leapt to fame in Europe with Pina Bausch, Tankard returned to Australia to create a dance theatre aesthetic all her own. Her time at Australian Dance Theatre is noteworthy for the succession of hit productions she created on a dynamic, versatile company, touring extensively to high acclaim. Tankard's signature piece Furioso packs the emotional and sensual punch which epitomises her work in a nuanced, sometimes poetic, sometimes fierce production of dense choreographic invention.
Tankard has created work for some of the world's finest companies and her large scale commissions, such as the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 bear testimony to her imaginative range. Work in film and opera accompanies her choreographic research and ongoing engagement with contemporary dance theatre on the world stage.
Commissioned by Sydney Opera House & Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne
Conceived and Directed by : Meryl Tankard
Choreography : Meryl Tankard & Paul White
Set and Video Design : Regis Lansac
Music : Igor Stravinsky, "The Rite of Spring"
Lighting Design : Damien Cooper & Matt Cox
Costumes : Meryl Tankard
Performer : Paul White
Length : 1 hour with no interval
THE ORACLE is driven by the powerful score of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and was inspired by the haunting work of Scandinavian painter Odd Nerdrum, the powerful images and spirit of Ingmar Bergman’s film ‘Virgin Spring’ and Nijinsky’s own traumatic life and experiences of choreographing Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
When Nijinsky premiered the piece in 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the scandal of a riot made it one of the most internationally well-known and controversial works in performance history.
Images from pagan Russia shocked audiences and the complex music and violent dance steps depicting fertility rites were soon followed by shouts and fistfights in the aisles.