Melbourne Critique is back in action, taking a look at what will be the last Melbourne Festival as we know it, and as Jonathon Holloways last festival as Artistic Director, it is a program brimming with goodness, focusing not just on the big international names, but also the work of local creators. Perhaps the most exciting of these locally made works, isColossus, created by Stephanie Lake. A work which explores the beauty and ugliness of the collective experience, Colossus builds and re-builds towards a united, frenetic and formidable utopia. 

“Look, in my own life and I can only speak for myself. I don’t know what else I would do, I’m compelled to keep doing this”

I’m in my 25th or 30thyear of creating work, and I’ve suffered all sorts of weather throughout, experiencing opportunity as well as rejection and of course disappointment. But I’ve had to keep going because I love creating work, even despite how hard it sometimes is because at times you don’t feel supported. Though I am one of the lucky ones, for other creatives, out there I realise it is a lot more precarious.

Colossus is not strictly dance as it pulls into the enigmatic fold – voice and also moments of sheer physicality. Here, these young virile bodies are exploited for the sake of movement, the sake of pleasure, and for the sake of experience, and it is nothing short of beautiful to watch.

It is because I can consider myself one of the lucky ones, that it is important for me particularly at this point in my life and career to try and support other people, to lift them up. That is what Colossus is about, it is a was way of giving back to these student dancers that I’ve been privileged to have worked with before, to give them something grand and epic to perform. 

How would you say that dance, and your practice, help to define time and space, those parameters of work?

“If you strip it back, dance is and always will be concerned with space, time and bodies, that is its most basic ingredients.”

A work like Colossus, is interesting because you are cramming 50 bodies onto a fairly restricted stage. It explores the notion ofbeing in such a small space, the human dynamics of when we are forced to share a pretty small diminishing space there are some really beautiful things that come out of that, like those amazing interlocking patterns, but on the flip side of this, it is also about isolation and rejection, the pivoting of the group against one person. 

For more info, or to book your tickets, click here.