The Oracle

Artists. Meryl Tankard, Paul White, Régis Lansac

Organisation. Performing Lines

Years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Meryl Tankard, director and choreographer.
The Oracle was performed by Australian dancer Paul White.

This intense and sensual dance work explored the conflicting forces of nature and humanity, religion and sex, violence and nurturing, and strength and vulnerability.

The Oracle formed a new interpretation of Vaslav Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Paul White danced solo to Stravinsky’s seminal composition, which caused riots at its Paris premiere in 1913. Tankard’s version places emphasis upon Nijinsky’s decent into madness and his creative brilliance.

The intensity of the subject, the power of the complex, rhythmic musical score and the stark and brooding aesthetic, created by visual and set designer Régis Lansac, deliver an atmosphere of coiled-spring emotions and conflict in this haunting and critically acclaimed work.

The Oracle was commissioned in 2009 for the Sydney Opera House and Malthouse Melbourne. The Oracle won Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Male Dancer at the 2010 Australian Dance Awards and has toured to Brisbane Festival, Montpellier Dance Festival, Lyon’s Maison de la Danse, Holland Dance Festival, Steps Festival Switzerland and a six-week tour of the USA appearing in a number of venues. The Keir Foundation is delighted to have been commissioning partner for this work.

Meryl Tankard is a dancer, director and choreographer with a strong national and international reputation. After dancing with the Australian Ballet and performing with Pina Bausch’s company, Tanztheatre Wuppertal, she held the position of Director of Australian Dance Theatre. Tankard became a freelance choreographer in 1999. She has created ballet, opera, music and dance theatre; many of her works transcend the boundaries of dance, theatre and visual art incorporating filmic elements.

Paul White is an Australian dancer, choreographer and ensemble member of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheatre Wuppertal since 2013.