Tag: Lee Serle

REVIEW: Stephanie Lake’s A SMALL PROMETHEUS

Fanning creative flames

By Myron My

A single match is struck and a candle lit. Then another and another and another. The darkness that was on stage is soon illuminated by five dancers in Stephanie Lake’s A Small Prometheus.

ARTS HOUSE NORTH MELBOURNE

Performed as part of this year’s Melbourne Festival, the show uses the story of Prometheus from Greek mythology, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to as a gift to the newly-created humanity, to spark off this performance about unpredictability, uncertainty and the fragility of life.

Lake has brought together five extremely talented and strong performers in Rennie McDougall, Lauren Langlois, Alana Everett, Lily Paskas and Lee Serle. I continue to be impressed with the skill and finesse that Paskas (Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box and P.O.V) and Serle (P.O.V) display and the limits to which they constantly push themselves. With such a physically and mentally demanding performance, I was surprised to discover that this is Everett’s professional debut as she is very confident and able on stage.

The show moves between solo and ensemble pieces that are rigidly choreographed, to moments that have varying levels of improvisation which not only heighten the feeling of instability that Lake is creating but also the notion of something more dark and primal at play. Indeed, there are moments where the dancers’ only light is provided by matches and candles, casting many shadows and illuminations.

The fusion of dance, sound and light remains strong and constant throughout A Small Prometheus, but I was just as intrigued by Robin Foxs fire-driven kinetic sculpture which created some powerful moments during the production, and in its own right seemed to lead and guide the performance a certain way.

I was very much drawn into the world created by A Small Prometheus and surprised when it reached its conclusion as it had felt like mere minutes had passed since I began watching. Having seen Lake also perform in A Conversation Piece for Dance Massive earlier this year, it is clear she has a profound interest in exploring dance, music and the self through various means. A Small Prometheus is a clear and fine example of such a show – and should not be missed.

Venue: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne

Season: Until 20 October | Friday 7:30pm, Sat 2pm and 7:30pm and Sun 5:00pm.

Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Conc | $20 Student

Bookings: www.artshouse.com.au, 9322 3713, www.melbournefestival.com.au or 1300 723 038

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REVIEW: Lee Serle’s P.O.V.

Experience the dance like never before

By Myron My

Commissioned by Lucy Guerin for contemporary dance festival Dance Massive and choreographed by Lee Serle, P.O.V. is a unique dance piece that looks at proximity, reactions and interactions with audiences as participants rather than just mere observers.

Being fortunate enough to grab one of the 36 swivel stools on the stage, I was thrust into this bold experience. The four dancers – Serle, James Andrews, Kristy Ayre and Lily Paska – appear and begin dancing in unison through the grid-like formation, gradually breaking off, going down various paths, like balls in a pinball machine.

P.O.V.

It’s very much an up-close-and-personal-feeling as an audience member, seeing the heavy breathing and the sweat dripping off their brow. These guys are definitely giving all they’ve got – and it works.

We are initially ignored and you can’t help but feel like an intruder. Eventually we are acknowledged and then warmed to and then we interact with the dancers in extremely unique and personal ways. P.O.V. is about blurring the line between audience member and participant: looking at how we deal with each other and what we feel from that. As Serle himself explained in his notes, it is much like life and about taking the time to interact with one another.

I went through a range of emotions throughout P.O.V: laughter, warmth, intrigue and even loneliness when asked to wear a blindfold and to experience part of the show in that state.

Hearing movement and laughter and not being able to see it allowed me to go in a deeper place and explore those emotions for some time and it was quite a moving experience. Upon removal of the blindfold it was a surprise to see everything that had occurred in the space of those minutes to other participants: all safe, all fun, and all-willing.

P.O.V. is part dance and part theatre performance and was a great introduction to Dance Massive. Highly recommended show, but do get in early to grab one of the seats on stage, as it really does make the performance so much more unique.

Venue: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St

Season: Until 16 March | 8:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc

Bookings:  www.dancemassive.com.au