Navigating changes in leadership, policy and audience engagement so vital and beautiful work can continue to redefine dance.

Learn more about this project


Chunky Move is much more than a leading contemporary dance company. It represents Melbourne’s brave and vital cultural scene — at home and overseas.

Contemporary art responds to society, holding a mirror to our behaviour and collective psyche; our potential and our failure. In doing so, it shocks us into facing intimate truths and inspires us to be expressive. To move.

In Australia, the arts are predominantly funded by governments. Evolving priorities and major policy shifts regularly shake the foundations of our leading and emerging companies. The competition for audiences – here and in global arts cities – becomes ever more fierce, particularly as our lives become busier, and virtual, and the options for entertainment diversify.

Relevance, creativity, singular performances, reach – these are but some of the goals of great arts companies.


For over a decade, Ellis Jones has worked with the Chunky Move executive and board to navigate changes in artistic and executive leadership, funding and audiences.

Over the course of our working relationship, Ellis Jones has facilitated and delivered the following to Chunky Move:

  • Strategic advice
  • Facilitation of executive workshops
  • Re-visiting and articulation of the company vision
  • Brand identity evolution and activation
  • Customer journey and persona development
  • Market research and marketing strategy

In addition, we completed a review of the brand and positioning of Next Move relative to its key audiences: government, the dance community, audiences and philanthropy. The work led to a commitment to this unique and important pathway for Australia’s top emerging choreographers, and a strategic approach to its next stage of development.


We began work with Chunky Move as Gideon Obarzanek, its founding artistic director, was preparing to leave. Setting a vision for the company itself, beyond the work, we assisted Anouk van Dyk as she assumed artistic leadership. Anouk brought a European sensibility, a curious mind, a new physical form and more award-winning creative works. During that time, we were fortunate to work closely with CEO, Vanessa Pigrum, to address Next Move, providing confidence over its future.

Chunky Move must be seen and felt to be understood. Go and see a show!


“[the] wonderful approach helped our Executive and Board in all areas of discussion and planning regarding the strategic future of our organisation.”

Rachael Azzopardi, Executive Producer, Chunky Move