Wildebeest & Valley

Riverside Archives

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Wildebeest & Valley

Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 15 February - 17 February 2018
Category Live Event

FORM Dance Projects and Riverside present
Omer Backley-Astrachan

Young Israeli choreographer Omer Backley-Astrachan’s double-bill launches the 2018 Dance Bites season.

A world premiere, WILDEBEEST examines the artifice of social and gender behaviour through a distillation of human interactions. The piece has been choreographed to an original score by sound composer Kieran Warner-Hunt.

First created as a solo in 2016 Valley has developed into an ensemble work featuring performers Omer and his Australian wife, Sharon Backley-Astrachan, Allie Graham and Matthew Mizyed. The work premiered at the 2017 Summer Dance Festival in Tel Aviv. Valley is set on a frozen and desolate Arctic island where a small society of four co-exist. Solitude, vulnerability and sensuality are touchingly drawn through Omer’s choreography in this exquisite Sisyphean cycle.

The embodiment of geographical collapse and rebirth through the human body is extraordinarily effective.” – Ana Harmon, 2017

“It seems to me that at some point in the process Valley started breathing and living and thinking on its own and is now withholding secrets from us that we so eagerly discover every time we perform.”  – Omer Backley-Astrachan

Watch the film Mr Gaga, directed by Tomer Heymann, on Saturday 17 February at 4.45pm at Riverside and see any show of Valley, 15 – 17 February, 2018
“My practice takes its starting point from an extensive Gaga Movement Language training. Improvisation based, my language is focused on a conscious flow that comes from heightening our awareness of the body and wakening to the full extent of our dance knowledge.” – Omer Backley- Astrachan

Dates & Times:
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 8pm
Friday 16th February 2018 at 12:30pm and 8pm
Saturday 17th February 2018 at 8pm

Omer Backley-Astrachan


Chimene Steele-Prior, Naomi Hibberd, Allie Graham, Mason Peronchik, Sharon Backley-Astrachan

Kieran Warner-Hunt


Sharon Backley-Astrachan, Allie Graham, Mathew Mizyed And Omer Backley-Astrachan  

Lighting Designer
Karen Norris  

Timothy Constable

Special Thanks to Kay Armstrong And Melanie Berson

Omer Backley-Astrachan

Omer Backley-Astrachan
Photo by Benjamin Nunney

Omer Backley-Astrachan is a NSW based dancer and choreographer. Originally from Israel, Backley-Astrachan has worked extensively overseas with numerous choreographers and dance companies. Since moving to Sydney in 2014 Omer has been dedicating himself to his artistic practice, making dance works with local professionals and working with young artists through elite professional dance training programs.

In 2009 Omer joined Kamea Dance Company, performing in works by choreographers Tamir Ginz, Uri Ivgi & Johan Greben, Lior Lev and Eyal Nahum. Later Omer joined the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company 2 and performed in the creations of artistic director Rami Be’er.

In 2012 Omer moved to Tel-Aviv where he worked and collaborated with countless independent artists such as Rotem Tashach, Maya Levi and Sally-Anne Friedland. In 2013 Omer performed with Jerusalem Dance Theater in works by artistic director Lior Lev. In the same year Omer joined the Idan Cohen Dance Company performing in a number of company works, as well as two solo pieces with which he toured worldwide.

In 2014 Omer has moved with his wife Sharon Backley-Astrachan to Sydney Australia. In Australia Omer worked with choreographers such as Dean Walsh, Kay Armstrong and Joshua Thomson as well as artists Marina Abramovic, Vivienne Linsley and Nick Cave. Backley-Astrachan was a resident artist with various arts organizations such as Bundanon Trust, BrandX (Sydney) and Catapult Dance (Newcastle). His works were invited to copious venues and festivals both in Australia and overseas such as Sydney Fringe Festival, Perth Fringe Festival, Summer Dance Festival (Tel Aviv), Riverside Theatres – FORM Dance Bites Season and more.

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90 minutes (Including 20 minute interval). Please note this performance has a complete lock out.

Ticket Prices

Film & Performance Package $40
Adult $35
Concession $28

Transaction fees apply

Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
School Bookings $4.00