By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
“What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?” Anna (Zoe Glassman) asks Jeff (Kristian Stec) as their attraction blossoms before our very eyes — and ears. “Music!” he says instantly.
Jeff is in the right show.
There is something magical about the way sound becomes music and music becomes narrative in To Be Moved. It’s a love story, spun out in sound, movement, and light, on a stage dominated by a glowing turntable suspended on a textured vertical wall, a cascade of angled white album covers (designer: Megan Koshka).
This seductive collaboration of talents is led by Braydon Dowler-Coltman, a young actor/ director/ theatre artist of the experimental stripe, and the premier sound designer/composer Matt Skopyk, whose soundscape is a digital dissonances, open-ended melodies, surges that gain symphonic swells that increase and subside as the relationship starts in attractions, gains traction and hits obstacles.
The sound is amazingly theatrical. And so is the movement: both Glassman and Stec are eloquent and inventive dancers, who explore the story in a viscerally physical way.
The verbal text is more problematic. The playful interplay whereby the two characters “discover” each other — “what’s your favourite place?” “if your life was a movie, what would it be?” — has charm. There are patches when the text tries a little too hard to be poetic, and ends up sounding a bit over-written and inert.
Maybe the lesson is that love stories live and breathe beyond words, in exhilaration and wonder of the body and the senses. And is this, To Be Moved speaks volumes.