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Theatre

The Age I'm In @ Cinquième Salle de la Place des Arts

Posted by Carolyn / October 16, 2009

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Directed by Kate Champion, Australian theatre company Force Majeure's production The Age I'm In brings ten performers from all different walks of life to the stage. Dancers and actors ranging in age from 15 to 80 years old artfully depict the ways in which our bodies, minds, outlooks and circumstances shift as the years go by.

An abstract amalgamation of multimedia and contemporary dance, the performance also features actors lip-synching over a soundtrack playing recordings of real people whom they represent. In the first scene, the cast comes out together, voicing over a track of men and women of different ages introducing themselves: "Hi my name is ___ and I'm __ years old." Though the performance provides an interesting glimpse at some of the personalities and experiences represented, others are notable lacking. Aiming to be a reflection on transiency and the passage of time, the journey of life and the human spirit, the performance--though commendable for its innovation in melding visual arts, theatre, and contemporary dance-- doesn't quite live up to this lofty goal.

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The show is entertaining and humorous at times, however. An interpretive number that starts out with a young girl in between her grandparents transitions to a pas de deux with a teenage boy in headphones suggests the process of leaving childhood behind. In other scenes, middle-aged women complain about their bodily imperfections and discuss cosmetic surgery and a five-year-old shares his opinions on God--"How could I not believe in something that created me?" Though sections of the performance tackle metaphysical questions such as immortality, God and freedom, better-chosen voiceover selections could have provided greater depth and social commentary.

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Though the acting was hit and miss, the use of digital screens was the most impressive part of the show added an interesting visual to the vocal component, and greatly enhanced the scenes in which they were used. .

Like a too-random mix CD, the scenes seemed to follow in a jumbled order and the performance ultimately lacked cohesion, leaving its underlying message unclearly defined. Too abstract to be poignant and too disjointed to be profound, the show succeeds in providing several interesting slices of life, but fails to provide, as it professes, "a portrait of Australia today."

The Age I'm In is playing at Cinquième Salle de la Place des arts (175 St. Catherine) October 14-17 and 20-25.

Photos by Heidrun Lohr.

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