Review: Me So You So Me by Out Innerspace Dance Theatre
It’s arguably the most common, well-worn subject on the planet – the tale of a boy, a girl, and the love that binds them. Consequently, it’s then a rare and special occasion indeed to experience this familiar narrative presented in a fresh and innovative language; it’s cause to sit up, and pay attention.
David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen of Out Innerspace Dance Theatre certainly had the attention of every member of the audience during Tuesday night’s opening performance of Me So You So Me presented at The Cultch. Drawing inspiration from Japanese historical and pop culture, classical Indian tabla rhythms, and cartoons, David and Tiffany have created a performance that reveals projections of the self, told through the eyes of a partner.
The show began with a single, strikingly brilliant light encased in a sideways-tilted lampshade pointed out towards the audience. The first of many creative lighting manipulations, the lampshade appeared to float unsupported in space – an eerie and spectacular sight. Additional lighting effects included the smart use of words and images projected onto the dancer’s bodies, and the repetition of bold and bright squares of light that the dancers would move in, amongst, and around.
While it’s obvious that Tiffany and David are wonderfully accomplished dancers, they refrained from merely showcasing their technical skill, and instead embraced a full body physicality that deepened and strengthened each of their characters. Tiffany growled and hissed her way through much of the performance, and David’s hulking, brooding physicality never disappeared, even during the faster, technically challenging elements.
What struck me most about this performance – and what felt truly inventive when compared to other dance shows – was how the choreography was constantly morphing before my eyes. David and Tiffany never dwindled on one “segment” for very long, choosing instead to offer just a taste before moving onto the next idea. This speedy progression kept the audience on the edge of their seat, and I do mean this literally; at one point the woman next to me seemed close to falling off her chair.
It’s no doubt a quirky show, and despite the quirkiness, or perhaps because of it, I left the theatre with the sense that I had witnessed something deeply special. Moreover, I was left wanting more. I therefore recommend that you take in this exceptional performance from this truly talented duo, before it’s too late.
Me So You So Me runs at The Cultch until March 1.