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Thought-provoking world of Stephanie Lake and Colossus

Colossus Stephanie Lake Mark Gambino

Thought-provoking world of Stephanie Lake and Colossus

Since its 2014 beginning, Stephanie Lake Company has toured the world showcasing their original and relevant creations. Well-respected for their contemporary dance works, Colossus consists of 50 performers pouring their passion and talent onto the stage in this unique contemporary work of art.

Choreographed by Stephanie Lake, this breathtaking work is staged from the minute the audience enters the silent theatre to find all 50 dancers lying in a circular position, embraced in bright light. Breaking into movement utilising repetition, canons and motifs to create variation, the audience is immediately awed and captivated by the dance unfolding in front of them.

Each sub-work holds an individual message relating to an aspect of society. This is, however, completely open for audience interpretation. Added to moments of pre-recorded dialogue, the dancers make audible sounds – breaths, finger clicks, sibilant vocalisation, claps and yells. This draws the audience through an emotional journey with the performers as they instruct, isolate and connected.

COLOSSUS by Stephanie Lake. Photo: Mark Gambino.

Control, a key concept of the piece, is explored through movements between individual dancers and the group as a whole. The routines are magnetising, creating a sense of action/reaction as all 50 dancers are continuously pulled together and drawn apart, in both large and small dimensions.

The quantity of dancers creating movement through numerous shape formations is mesmerising. Simple lighting adds dimension through shadows; unique shapes consisting of universally known lines and circles, as well as clumps and other asymmetrical placings. The transition movements from shape to shape are grounded, as individual as the structures they form. Inspiring in many ways, this highly contemporary-based show includes subtle accents of other styles while the exceptional choreography perfectly showcases the personal strengths of each dancer.

Through the whole hour long work, a sense of support is extended from the performers to the audience members. Reminiscent of a family, when the whole group isn’t dancing together, all 50 dancers remain on stage to surround, watch and support. Clothed in plain black attire, complemented by black nail polish, the simplicity of the costumes draws the audience deep in to the choreography and emotion being displayed directly in front of them.

From the beginning to end, the sold-out audience is silenced and on the edge of their seats. Interpreting both sound and movement, the audience sits still, heads tilted in pure awe of this touching, thought-provoking piece of art. Earning a standing ovation, Colossus is a work that can be experienced in many ways and leaves the audience speechless, wanting more of Stephanie Lake’s original style.