body geometry: the 7th angel with works by bluemouth inc., sue balint & kayt lucas, jane miller, viv moore and julia sasso presented by the Theatre Centre at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to December 16, Thursday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 2:30 pm. $21, stu/srs $16, Sunday pwyc. 416-504-7529. Rating: NNN
like the recent problematic piece Peep Show, Body Geometry: The 7th Angel is fascinating but only partially satisfying. It uses film, voice, movement, text and pretty much every cubic metre of space above the audience at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace to explore the idea of the seventh angel.According to the program notes, the seventh angel refers to some kind of interior human quality like imagination, heart or soul.
Not much of that's on view initially.
Performance art troupe bluemouth inc.'s films get things off to a confusing start. Projected onto several screens simultaneously (resulting in instant audience whiplash), they take a purposefully ambiguous look at war, with some specific references to the September 11 tragedy in New York alongside seemingly unrelated images of a musician.
The next two segments are Viv Moore's imaginative but underdeveloped piece exploring the area beneath the stage and Julia Sasso's straight dance work (performed by the dramatic Heasuk Kim), which seems to be more about gender and power than anything angelic.
Best are the final works. In Gong!, the clown-like Jane Miller navigates a high wire while reciting Rilke (you sense her voyage as a leap of faith), while in You Yourself Have Seen, aerial dancer Kayt Lucas climbs a vertical rope, ties up her body and allows herself to fall, thrilling us with the contrast to Miller's horizontal journey. Too bad her words, by Sue Balint, are so banal.
All the works were developed separately, then brought together, and there's an obvious lack of unity, especially early on.
The all-female aspect -- the only male present is talented pianist/composer John Kameel Farah -- seems like an unexpected surprise that the creators clued into too late.