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SCAN 2003

Stephanie Lake

Jonathan Marshall

Stephanie Lake Stephanie Lake
photo Virginia Cummins
Melbourne has been a centre for muscular, bony and often violently articulated choreography. Stephanie Lake is not new to this scene. She has danced for Phillip Adams (balletlab), Lucy Guerin, and Gideon Obarzanek (Chunky Move), and the influence of all 3 choreographers can be seen in her own pieces. Now that the physical characteristics of this trend within Melbourne dance have become fairly well defined, there has been a return to theatricality amongst such practitioners and it is here that Lake’s distinctiveness is most apparent. Her work is closest to Adams’ in its movement style and dramatic, violent energies, but if Adams’ dramaturgy is as much defined by the juxtaposition of theatrical ideas and elements as by anything else, then his is arguably a non-aesthetic, rather than a style per se. As such, this broad field of dance leaves plenty of room for Lake to invent her own mad imagery and strangely funny, off-kilter scenarios. Lake’s full-length work Love is the Cause (2001) represents the summit of her independent career to date, while her short study The Loop was the highlight of Chunky Move’s recent Three’s a Crowd program (2003) and exhibited considerable potential for development in its wryly angular, contemporary ballet. Lake has also collaborated with James Brennan on his staged events (namely Piglet, 2001). In the spaces between theatre and dance, surreal comedy and the avant-garde, Stephanie Lake has emerged as an important and invigorating new artist.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 32

© Jonathan Marshall; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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