From darkness, they emerge as a twisting sensation of bodies curled. As the lights slowly rise, so too does this performance unfurl.

There’s something maleficent,  rhythmic and disruptive to the choreography. Brash and unapologetic, the performance continues. Repeated moments that allude to the more classic are elbowed aside. Dancers shift from character to object  and from lucid vision to solid form Through various scenes a loose but clear narrative established. Stephanie Lake Company’s Pile Of Bones, is a direct and all together personal meditation upon themes of genesis, desire and the human condition. 

Each dancer, commands the respect of audience. The detail and precision of which they apply here, incredible. The choreography forms a detailed and intrinsic language that is beautiful and loaded, bringing you inwardly to a place that is realised and authentic. Here we see a display of the way in which we can mould, train and teach the human body to communicate without words.

But amid the refinement, the creators have also allowed room for each dancer’s own personality to feature. There is a cheeky and playful element that rebuts the darker and more pressing subject matter being examined; an intelligent choice that brings further shade. 

Pile Of Bones works intelligently with lighting and owns a keen sense of spatial awareness. Choices made in terms of the soundtrack do border on the cliche, but the unique and altogether contemporary approach taken here manages to just skirt this outcome, for its production values the performance, made all the more refreshing. 

Some scenes do detract from the performance as a whole, whether due to the introduction of props, or a need for more time in development, a question to be asked. But for all the detraction that these brief moments introduce, they also achieve something else, bringing audience into a new place and introduce new trains of thought, to an already heady and cluttered mix of ideas.

Dance work, such as Pile of Bones, is electric, white hot and of universal appeal. It presents the perfect example of dance and its form, in the here and now. Thought provoking, and highly recommended, it’s playing this week at Arts House, North Melbourne. For tickets or more info click here

REVIEW OVERVIEW
4.5
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Jessi Lewis is a keen writer and reviewer, his focus is on experimental and fringe theatre, dance and fashion. Having previously written for both Melbourne Arts Fashion and Australia Arts Review, he has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, while witnessing some of the best, worst and most obscure performances Melbourne has offered up in the past two years. He also creates solo performance works that are cross disciplinary and highly visceral. He has recently returned from Malaysia performing for the 3rd year as part of Melaka Art and Performance Festival. He also performed as part of Arts Island Festival and Tobong Arts Festival (Indonesia) and Mangar Art and Performance Festival (India). His work has been deeply influenced inspired by these experiences, most notably the people and cultures unique to these places. Ultimately his work seeks to inspire thoughts and conversations by challenging the status quo.