Little machines and big dreams | NUKU

Little machines and big dreams

02. June 2017 | 16:10

The production of I Watch Air Move by Magali Rousseau is a simple and heartl-felt story of dreams, memories and flying.

Before entering the hall, a technican reminds me that you are about to enter darkness, so mind the step and keep your head in the clouds. I am instantly drawn into the magical story. The hall of the venue is almost dark, gently illuminated. Looking closer, I can see the whole room filled with many interesting little machines. The director and author, Magali, starts to tell the story. Looking at her, she could be a pilot as she wears the well-known pilot glasses. She is holding her posture strict and commited.

I guess every child has dreamt of flying, once. Some have tried it on a chair, some from the top of a wardrobe. The main character tells us a story of her desire to fly. Her mother never knew how to swim so perhaps this is why she was taught to fly instead. The swimming is a repetitive note in her monologue. Everything else is a praise to flying. Her speech is poetic and child-like, often jumping from one idea to another. She tells short stories from her childhood, about her home, grandparents, about her mother's washing day... They all end up at the same goal - to fly!

Each story is accompanied with a machine that starts it's business. These miniature mechanisms look quite complex and they all look different. Each machine creates different moving patterns. Isn't the story about moving, anyway? Flying is the trickiest way to move. The small machines fly, jump, spin and create lots of visual effects. My most memorable picture is made by a machine with tiny wings that flies in circles. It starts of slow and quiet, then, builds up to a bigger amplitude.

Listening to a small girls dreams, I get an excellent feeling of surrounding atmosphere. There are not many people watching, the venue is small - it all creates an intimate feeling. The pilot's story feels personal, like she is telling it only yo me. Rousseau's acting is masterful and she knows how to maintain direct contact with each of us. Though she looks strict, I feel somekind of playful lightness to her. With this lightness she takes the spectators into her unexpected world.

The playful, fantastic environment is also brought life through Julien Jourbert'saxophone tunes and electronical soundscapes. The musical element is very important in creating the atmosphere. What kind of creatures the machines were? During the introduction we were asked not to feed the birds... But as the wheels of fantasy roll on during the performance, everyone can imagine their own. It seems that dragonflies, flies and birds are in the air, and on the ground a giant spider crawls...

I Watc Air Move is a spectacular example of object theatre with its the machines, mechanisms and props. We are given a world of all kinds of imaginable possibilities - flying being one of them.

Alice Lokk wrote the review for NuQ Treff festival 2017.

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