Local Power Duo To Lead New Winter Festival

Two home-grown, globally acclaimed creative leaders will join forces as the inaugural Co-Artistic Directors of Melbourne’s blockbuster new festival kicking off in winter 2020.

Director and choreographer Gideon Obarzanek and artist, curator and festival director Hannah Fox have been announced as Co-Artistic Directors of the yet-to-be-named festival which will run for 18 days.

One of Victoria’s most successful and innovative creative talents, Obarzanek founded dance company Chunky Move in 1995, serving as its CEO and artistic director. His works have been performed across the globe at leading festivals and venues.

Obarzanek was artistic associate with the Melbourne International Arts Festival (MIAF) from 2015-17 and co-curator for XO State at the inaugural Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts. He has recently created works for The Australian Ballet and Sydney Dance Company, as well as a virtual reality film for ACMI.

Fox is one of the creative forces behind Tasmania’s Dark Mofo, currently serving as Associate Creative Director.

Specialising in sound, live and large-scale art and contemporary music, Fox’s bold work ranges from painting hundreds of sheep for Latitude Festival in the UK to choreographing cranes for a vast car-stunt show and collaborating with Banksy and Jane’s Addiction.

The first winter festival will be Victoria’s largest cultural event and will take place from 20 August – 6 September 2020.

Fox and Obarzanek have been appointed to curate the festival until 2023, celebrating Melbourne through exclusive artistic collaborations and commissions, large-scale public events and installations, food and wine, and an extensive artistic program.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“The new festival will be of global significance and distinctly Melbourne, reflecting the creativity and culture of our city.”

“The festival will be shaped by two boundary-pushing and globally connected homegrown talents. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.”

Quote attributable to Co-Artistic Director Hannah Fox

“Gideon and I are honoured – we share the mission to make a festival that is specific to Melbourne, that brings people out of their homes for experiences, art and ceremony that shift the status quo.”

Quote attributable to Co-Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek

“Melbourne’s new festival will be the crucible for diverse histories, communities and ideas to come together and define what it means to be in the here and now. I am thrilled to be working with Hannah and the rest of the team to create this extraordinary event that will both reflect and inspire this unique city.