Spaceman ****

Spaceman is one of the most original and intriguing encounters I have had in some time.

I call this an ‘encounter’ out of respect because I cannot think of a better name.  Is it dance, theatre or performance art?  Well, yes to each, to some degree.  The full beauty of watching this is in seeing the way performer Paul Rous moves and uses the stage.  It’s not necessarily ‘about’ any idea or style, it just ‘is’.

A glance at the programme shows the stimuli that Rous and director Clea Wallis have used in the creation of this piece.  And while none of this is overtly apparent when watching the performance, it is easy to see how these ideas have shaped the concept of the piece.

The concept is thus: it looks at an evolutionary process.  Rous begins with a slow sweep downstage that is both beautiful and creepy, and in the course of the production manages to change the way he moves, before leaving the space completely altered.  It is a challenging performance that is at times difficult to watch, but it is always compelling and performed brilliantly.

I can say with full certainty that Rous does some things in Spaceman, physically and vocally, that I have never experienced as an audience member.  I am in awe at the skill he shows as a performer and am still moved by what I witnessed.  And for that, I am grateful.

Performing at The Arches @ St. Stephens until August 31.

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