Having studied theatre and the art of expression, I am constantly taking in the world around me. What new observations about human interaction do I notice? How can these observations contribute to a more fully-engaged life?
I think that is why I fell in love with DynamO Théâtre's Mur-Mur (the wall) when I saw it. The piece is filled with outsized human interaction and physicality. The story takes place against the backdrop of a building where five young friends congregate every afternoon. Four of the characters are experiencing that first blush of attraction, and their blossoming feelings toward each other cause them to dance, dodge, and play. There is also a pesky younger brother who hangs around making mischief.
I was enthralled watching the company literally throw themselves at the wall in a Cirque du Soleil-style aerial ballet, their limitless energy making the theatre vibrate. The young audience with whom I watched the piece gasped in delight each time a character leapt on or somersaulted off the wall. Their non-verbal interactions were just as engaging and thrilling as their physical play.
Many of us don’t want to be reminded of that time when our first crush awkwardly developed. But watching the characters play and enact those experiences reminded me of the scholarly work of Paul Bloom. Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world through imagination, and asserts that our understanding and appreciation of art reflects universal aspects of human nature. Bloom discussed this premise, with a lot of rich, interesting visual examples, at our fall Festival in 2010.
So, go ahead, come watch DynamO’s Mur-Mur (the wall) and remember your first crush.
Museum of Contemporary Art, May 6 - 12, daytime and evening performances available.
Tags: Mur, Wall, youth, crush, Quebec, physical theater, adolescence, adolescent, coming of age