Stephanie Lake’s Manifesto makes triumphant return to Melbourne

Stephanie-Lake's-Manifesto-photo-by-Mark-GambinoStephanie Lake’s explosive Manifesto is coming to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse from 25 – 28 October much to the delight of Melbourne audiences who may have missed out on the hottest ticket in town back in 2022.

“I am beyond thrilled that we have the chance to bring Manifesto back to our home city and onto the beautiful Playhouse stage,” said Stephanie Lake. “After an incredible national tour, and on the back of our first international season, we can’t wait to blast the roof off with Melbourne audiences once again.”

Following roaring standing ovations and stellar reviews – in what has been described as “pure genius” (The Australian) – Manifesto sees nine dancers and nine drummers on nine drum-kits in front of a towering watermelon-pink velvet curtain. The frenzy of exhilarating movement and rhythm coalesce to create a vortex of irresistible human energy.

Composed by sought-after iconoclast Robin Fox (of 2020’s Single Origin fame), it all begins with a loud bang as the flurry of movement builds with each rhythmic tempo change. Over the hour, audiences will be captivated by bodies twitching, gliding and ricocheting across the stage in and out of solos, duos, trios, quartets and collective moments.

Together, the drummers and dancers work in harmony as the raw, unamplified sound wraps around the audience with overwhelming power. And, as the rhythms become more complex, so do the movements. Even in the silent moments, you can hear the beating of the drum through the athleticism and endurance of the dancers.

The constant back and forth between drummers and dancers conducting each other through movement shows the perfect synergy between all artistic forms. Think Busby Berkeley opulence meets pounding percussion in a rallying cry for solidarity.

Having just completed their first international tour to Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen festival in Germany, the life of Manifesto knows no borders with tours coming up in Europe, the UK, New Zealand, North America and Asia.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc, commissioned by RISING, Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, Perth Festival and Sydney Festival.

Manifesto has been supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, City of Moreland, City of Melbourne and Creative Partnerships Australia though Plus 1. Manifesto has also been assisted through the generous support of the Canny Quine Foundation, Humanity Foundation, Chloe Munro Fellowship and many generous individual donors.

Stephanie Lake Company is a multi-award winning dance company based in Melbourne. Known for a gutsy, original choreographic style and striking visual aesthetic, Stephanie Lake Company’s recent works include Manifesto, Colossus, Skeleton Tree, Replica and Pile of Bones.

Working in collaboration with Australia’s leading dancers and designers, the company has been presented in major festivals and venues around Australia and has toured internationally to France, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Singapore, Taiwan, Scotland and Ireland.

Stephanie Lake has won two Australian Dance Awards for Most Outstanding Choreography (Pile of Bones and AORTA), the Helpmann Award for Outstanding Choreography (A Small Prometheus) and the Green Room Award for Best Choreography (Mix Tape).

She is a recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship, Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, Peggy Van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship and Chloe Munro Fellowship. The company collaborates across theatre, film, music video, opera and visual art and has created several large-scale projects for over 1,500 participants.

“From the very first beat, the work explodes in seismic waves of motion and rhythm, pulling the audience closer into its sweaty grip.” – Limelight

“Manifesto caused a sensation in Australia and everywhere it has been performed. In Recklinghausen, the last beat and an ecstatic finale literally rips the audience out of their seats.” – Westfalium, Germany

Choreographer: Stephanie Lake | Featuring: Samantha Hines, Marni Green, Melissa Pham, Harrison Ritchie-Jones, Robert Tinning, Tra Mi Dinh, Kimball Wong, Jack Ziesing, Rachel Coulson | Composer: Robin Fox | Lighting Designer: Bosco Shaw | Costume Designer: Paula Levis | Set Designer: Charles Davis | Production Manager: Emily O’Brien | Assistant Lighting Designer & Operator: Rachel Lee | Sound Engineer: James Wilkinson | Costume Maker: Fiona Holley | Producer: Beth Raywood Cross | Consultant Producer: Vivia Hickman | Dance Intern: Zoë Brown-Holten

Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 25 – 28 October 2023

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Stephanie Lake’s Manifesto – photo by Mark Gambino