Colossus by Stephanie Lake Company: Breathe. Watch. Wonder. Feel.
This outstanding performance captures the attention of the audience from the moment you enter the theatre. Dancers dressed in black are displayed in a simple, incredibly intimate setting, creating immediate intrigue and wonder. Time passes in the blink of an eye as the audience is swept up in the emotion and fascination of Lake’s intricate choreography.
Opening last night to a packed house, the power of Colossus comes from the dancers’ ability to portray Lake’s vision of ‘the push and pull of humanity’. Her evocative display takes the audience on a journey of birth and growth as the dancers navigate the evolution of their collective group while desperately trying to maintain their unique individuality.
Isolated movements of fingers, feet and twitching muscles are cleverly juxtaposed with long lines and powerful movements as the dancers flow across the circular stage. Quiet moments of contracted vulnerability are challenged by the rise and fall of individual control, and the embracing expansion of the group working as a whole. Often displaying a tribal-like synchronicity, the dancers unite in their expression and energy of ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘us’ throughout the entire performance.
Lake’s vision cleverly incorporates the use of sound. The dancers use their bodies and voices to emulate the resonance of the universe. Controlled breathing, sighs, shouts, slaps of hands, and the brushing of feet on the floor combine with the music to create a powerful, additional expression of the fight to remain unique while existing in a mass society.
Visually, the simple backdrop and white floor add a further dimension to this intricate performance. Shadows shift on the wall of fabric cocooning the group. During moments of frenetic energy, the wind of their bodies creates ripples on the cloth, and flows out to be felt by the audience. The shapes of the dancers’ bodies are echoed in their surroundings. Arms and fingers create a vine-like field of living intensity which rises and falls in a raw expression of the human need to belong.
Lake’s complex choreography combines with the incredible teamwork shown by this group of emerging young dancers to create this evocative contemporary work of art. Their passion and commitment is unquestionable, their obvious joy and pride apparent during last night’s standing ovation. A must-see performance, Colossus is a challenging and beautiful expression of humanity.
Arts Centre Melbourne in association with Melbourne Fringe presents Colossus by Stephanie Lake Company. 26-30 September 2018