Air is a collection of short physical theatre pieces ranging from the mundane to the profound, performed with imagination and skill by Trevor Copp. The exquisite control he has over his body allows him to communicate with an enthralling clarity. Copp is a world-class artist.
Copp is trained in mime, a discipline he studied at the Marcel Marceau School in France, though in this show's program he describes his work as "Mime 2.0". Although he relies mostly on his movements to communicate, he also uses a few words and sound effects when he needs to.
The few elements of staging are appropriately minimal, and support Copp's storytelling without pulling focus. The projected title cards announcing each new episode provide a nice visual through-line, and are a clever way to frame each piece.
Some of the stories are more immediately accessible than others. The opening piece, for example, about a novice deep-sea explorer, is funny and concrete and completely engaging, an excellent way to introduce the audience to a discipline with some not-so-positive connotations.
It's easier to get lost in the more abstract pieces, in which constant focus is required so as not to miss the context for a sequence of movement. But even during this occasional disorientation, Copp is wonderful to watch, and his total immersion in each character and scenario is mesmerizing.
A lot of the fun of Air comes from the huge range of genres Copp explores. From magical realism to slapstick to parody to fable, Copp forces us to reconsider why we call most of these genres "literary"; with few or no words, he creates classical examples of each.
Air is a piece that is being workshopped with professional production as a near-future goal. Do not miss this chance to see Copp's expert work, and to give your own feedback toward the development of this beautiful show.
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