"I feel my character was raised on another planet, and the only connection to Earth was through cable TV and the internet," says Vancouver's Out Innerspace co-artistic director David Raymond. He's speaking about his Astro Boy/Leon: The Professional/pop culture amalgam character from the hyper-realistic Me So You So Me, a duet between Raymond and fellow Out Innerspace artistic director Tiffany Tregarthen.
Tregarthen and Raymond began brainstorming the piece in 2008, inspired by the evocative music of Japanese percussionist Asa Chang. "We took dogmatic approach, we created the whole show around his music," says Raymond. "We imagined different types of worlds that the sounds painted—one song sounded like a barren, desert land, we imagined a western standoff, another piece of music was a dark, stormy cold work."
Me So You So Me has developed since 2008—Tregarthen and Raymond's characters now share instead of broadcast, the duet is more of a dialogue, albeit a larger than life one. "We wanted to go over the top and not be apologetic for going over top—really exaggerating emotions, over-expressional and over-representational," says Raymond. With striking work from Out Innerspace's longtime lighting designer James Proudfoot and cartoon-style movements from both dancers, the piece lies between fiction and non-fiction, with the "freedom to extend beyond reality."
Me So You So Me
April 23-25 at 8pm
Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue
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