“Riveting urgency” The Australian
World Premiere | Chunky Move, November 2013, Melbourne, Australia
Commissioned by Chunky Move, AORTA had a sold-out premiere season in 2013 and won the Australian Dance Awards for both Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Male Dancer, James Pham. Aorta was also nominated for two Green Room Awards.

Inspired by the metronomic nature of the heart – our ticking clock – AORTA attempts to bring the interior workings of our bodies to the surface.

It could 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 death joins us all.

Photos: Jeff Busby


Australian Dance Awards: 2014
Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer 2014 WINNER James Pham
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography 2014 WINNER Stephanie Lake
Outstanding Performance by a Company, Nominee

Green Room Awards: 2014 Nominee
Best Ensemble
Best Male Dancer
(James Pham)


“The dancers were completely fearless in execution, imbuing this intriguing work with a sense of disconcerting, riveting urgency.”
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- The Australian

“Intricate visual poetry…”
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– Realtime Arts

“Powerful, pulsing performance gets the audience’s blood pumping”
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-The Age

“A gripping, visceral sixty minute experience”
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-Arts Hub



Director and Choreographer:
Stephanie Lake
Josh Mu, James Pham, James Batchelor
Composer/Lighting Designer:
Robin Fox
Video Designer:
Rhian Hinkley
Costume Designer:
Shio Otani
Production Manager:
Michael Carr
Stage Manager:
Blair Hart
System Operator:
Nick Roux
Catherine Jones, Chunky Move


60 minutes


World premiere, Chunky Move Studios, November 21-30, 2013
Aorta was commissioned by Chunky Move as part of Next Move.
This project was generously supported by Arts Victoria, the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, Sofitel, TimeOut Melbourne, Round and the Ian Potter Foundation