By Jay Menard
A Life Within is a presentation of youth dancing. But by no means is it superficial or immature. It is a performance that features performers who embrace a maturity of performance and attitude that is well beyond their years.
There is a term in French, “Belle/laide” or “Jolie/laide” which is usually ascribed to architecture and art – a finding of the beauty in something that’s considered ugly. It`s an imperfect term to use when describing A Life Within because there is absolutely nothing ugly there.
However, what there is is an incredibly beautiful performance whose whole is comprised of parts that would not be considered “beautiful dance.” The choreography and the movements are raw, visceral – almost primal in nature.
They represent a growth and development of each of the dancers. The dancers are presented in a common style – dress, hair, look. But each is able to differentiate themselves through movement and story.
All is represented: from combat to joy; from opposition to support; from anger to love; from callousness to compassion; and from decent into awakening.
It is an uplifting performance. It is mature. And it is incredible.
This opening weekend review has been posted on behalf of Theatre in London.ca (http://theatreinlondon.ca/).