German Season:
23 – 24 November 2015
Ludwigshafen, Germany

World Premiere Season:
Next Move Commission
22 – 30 November 2013
Chunky Move Studios, Melbourne

Winner of two Australian Dance Awards:
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography (Stephanie Lake)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer (James Vu Anh Pham)

Creative Team:
Direction & Choreography:
Stephanie Lake
Composition, Lighting & System Design:
Robin Fox
Projection Design:
Rhian Hinkley
Costume Design:
Shio Otani

Original performers:
James BatchelorJosh MuJames Vu Anh Pham

German season:
James Batchelor, Alisdair Macindoe, Harrison Ritchie-Jones

Photo credit:
Jeff Busby

Media response:
“[Aorta] combines intricate and dynamically nuanced choreography, powerful performances, and a deft and beautifully pitched sound composition.” The Age
“Lake’s plethora of physical metaphors and choreographic ideas evolve, revolve, devolve in constant stream through Aorta.” The Herald Sun
“Pham, Mu and Batchelor are all excellent in Aorta.” The Age
“AORTA is a complex and beautiful work that, like all living things, amounts to more than the sum of its interconnected parts.” RealTime Arts
“A gripping, visceral sixty minute experience” ArtsHub

Read more:
The Age, 25 November, 2013
The Australian, 25 November, 2013
Herald Sun, 26 November, 2013
Daily Review, 25 November, 2013
RealTime Arts, February, 2014
ArtsHub, 25 November 2013


The aorta is the elastic artery that lies at the centre of our physical system. Consisting of smooth muscle, nerves and cells it is the central corridor that branches from the heart: our ticking clock. Inspired by the metronomic nature of the heart as it charts the unwinding of time, AORTA is a work that turns the body inside out.

Integrating Stephanie Lake’s physically complex and visceral movement style, three male dancers and an original composition by Robin Fox, AORTA is a work that brings the interior workings of the body – the surge of blood, our biomechanical impulses – to the surface. Exploring growth and decay, electricity and magnetism AORTA dissects the notion that at any given moment we are both alive and dying.

A note from Stephanie Lake

It could easily be argued that we are our biology; that there is no separation between mind and body and that, in fact, our every action is predetermined by our genetics and physiology. Despite vast breakthroughs in science we still don’t know it all. What drives us is essentially a mystery.

Much of AORTA is a choreographic investigation of our complex physical system – how does blood move? What does a
 neural pathway look like? But it is also the story of our mortality, our growth and decay. I wanted to explore both our tremulousness as well as the driving surge of our aliveness; the fragile, crumbling bones and the bombastic beat driven animal.

Threading throughout the work is the notion that at any given time we are both alive and dying and that the inevitability of death joins us all.