Australian Dance Reviews

Stephanie Lake’s Dual

Arts House Meat Market
March 13, 2013
As part of Dance Massive

By Rebecca Martin.

I’ve been a fan of Stephanie Lake’s work for a couple of years now.  As a general rule, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to contemporary work and I like to see fluidity, line, and originality.  Lake’s work ticks all those boxes yet challenges my views and pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance, creating works that are almost like physical theatre rather than dance.

In her new work presented as part of Dance Massive, Lake presents a jarring exploration of personal and interpersonal relationships.  The piece works brilliantly on the stark white stage flanked by audience on two sides, encased inside an old meat market in North Melbourne.  On the night I attended, the seats were all but filled and the audience’s faces were clearly visible for the duration of the piece. Their concentration and attentiveness was evident.

Dual was a piece that had to have been created on the dancers given that the movements seemed to be entirely unaffected although obviously stylised.  I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Sara Black and Alisdair Macindoe being able to pull off the intricate steps or command the space in the way these dancers did.

On the face of it, the premise of the piece seemed familiar – the male solo was well lit and hyper energetic while the following female solo was imbued with soft light and fluid movements.  As the piece progressed, however, the audience was drawn into a more complex story that transcended what was expected.  When the two dancers met in the finale and combined their styles, they created a whole new vocabulary of movement and Dual really hit its stride.

The piece was abstract and physical whilst maintaining sensitivity and intricacy.

Stephanie Lake continues to shine.

Photo (top): Stephanie Lake’s Dual. Photo by Byron Perry.

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