BREATH[E]designed and directed by Steve Lucas. Presented by Theatre 2.0 in association with the Theatre Centre (1087 Queen West). Runs to May 18, Tuesday-Saturday 7, 8, 9 and 10 pm (late-night Friday-Saturday 11 pm), Sunday 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 pm. $12. 416-504-7529. Rating: NNNN
steve lucas's fascinating 30-min-ute Breath[e] takes its audience -- if they're willing, for the show won't be to everyone's taste -- to the depths. What those depths are, though, is defined by each viewer. The wordless, actorless, non-narrative piece, driven by the taped breathing of Jane Miller, can be taken as a meditation exercise with a heartbeat, a journey to the centre of awareness or any variation on this idea that you want.
The movement consists of a series of smoky, differently coloured vistas opening up -- and back -- toward an ultimate point, and then the movement reverses. Steve GordonMarsh's shimmering soundscape, complete with a primal bass line, matches the sensual breathing; in fact, the entire piece can be seen as one big inhale/exhale -- and as a member of the 27-person audience, there's nothing wrong with one's focus coming and going in a similar fashion.
An oceanic tidal flow quality can be felt as well, even a sense of deep-sea diving, with the different light levels taking us further into the piece. And who would have imagined that at the centre of it all -- this is my reading -- is something resembling a Turner painting of a dull, wintry sun reflected in scintillating waters?
It's hard not to be drawn into this inspired sound-and-light show, and you'll be surprised how quickly it's over. You'll forget time and just drift along with the breathing -- and don't be surprised if yours starts to match the rhythm on tape.