“The only thing you have to do is let go.”
Calgary’s Ghost River Theatre explores how far people are willing to go for love in One, by Jason Carnew, now playing at the Belfry Theatre’s fifth-annual Spark Festival of new works (until March 23).
A visually stunning and emotionally provoking piece of contemporary dance theatre, One is a free-play on the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
The story about love, loss and memories takes the audience on a whirlwind ride through worldly and other-worldly realms, leaving them feeling the burning passions of their own memories and experiences.
Bibliophile Philistine (Amber Borotsik) falls in love with stargazer George (Cole Humeny), but before they can live happily ever after, George sails away on a mission of discovery. When Philistine realizes George has been lost at sea, she’s directed to the underworld by Charon, the memory keeper (played by Keith Wyatt). Philistine is warned that if she follows George to the underworld, she’ll never be able to return, but she decides that is the price she’s willing to pay for her one true love.
The immense physicality that both Borotsik and Humeny display in their first encounter will take your breath away. Without even touching, the two budding lovers dance around their love for each other. You can hear, and feel, the electricity between them. The lovers’ dance is mesmerizing.
Fading in and out of complete darkness, One has an etherial quality thanks to Snezana Pesic’s innovating lighting design.
Sound designer Matthew Waddell helps create that mystical feel with his booming soundscape, where every bell’s chime and every door’s bang amplifies the otherworldliness.
While one of the main themes of One is memory, it’s not just the characters’ memories that get pulled into the play — this work requires that the audience delves into their own memories — connecting their personal experiences with love with those of Philistine and George. Without having to set foot on stage, the audience becomes a vital part of the show.
For a “new work,” Ghost River’s production of One is polished, even perfected.
If you’ve ever been in love and lost, you’ll understand where this piece is coming from — the heart.
One runs at the Belfry Theatre until March 23
Tickets are $20 (+ tax); discounts are available for all performances for Seniors (10% off, age 65 +), Post-Secondary Students (25% off) and High School Students (50% off) — valid ID required to receive discounted price. Tickets are available at belfry.bc.ca or 250-385-6815
Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9UtZCs-rCE