Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Overall rating: ★★★★ Date attended: 01/03/2019
When Professor and Head of Movement at California State University Ezra LeBank walks on stage to introduce himself and his show Back Left to an intimately sized audience with a carefree and calm demeanor, you don't realize just how intensely thoughtful and mentally invigorating his show will turn out to be.
Initially a collaboration project with Isabel Aguerrebere, LeBank takes us on a journey of finding a newfound appreciation for your senses and perceptions towards the events of life. Going from a duo-based project to a solo-based project two weeks before Back Left kicked off its Fringe tour to Australia after the untimely back-out of Aguerrebere from the project, LeBank is able to, through the art of physical theatre, deliver a performance that has been engineered brilliantly to complement pre-recorded video footage of the duo practising their techniques and styles, to meticulously show the power of 'going with your gut' and sharing a newer, more inquisitive form of enjoying the little joys of life.
Facing the unknown and experimenting out of the ordinary sphere of things are perfectly epitomised through LeBank's dedication to keep the show on the road, as he inspires his audience to think outside the box and appreciate what lies in front of us, rather than delving in past misfortunes.
Ever tried spreading butter on toast with your fingers, instead of a knife? How about enjoying a hot cup of tea in the shower? What about using your less dominant hand to take over the completion of tasks that were formerly done by your more dominant hand? These are just some of the examples of ways in which LeBank encourages his audience to step out of their comfort zone and experience life in its playful, undiscovered ways that may as well be equally (if not more) exciting.
A particularly memorable part of the show is the re-enactment of LeBank's routine with his former partner, by reciprocating the movements solo on stage, as its video footage is played in the background. It's almost humbling to see a man perform a routine that was designed to be done by two individuals, but he makes it awe-inspiring, surprisingly simple, and unconventionally spectacular to watch it unfold.
LeBank has created a show that brings together a bit of narrative, a bit of storytelling, a couple of interactive elements to explore our senses in great depth, an impressive level (albeit small amount) of physical theatre, and a ton of unmapped paths towards enjoying the essence of life. If you're looking for a show that will challenge your mind, body, and soul in a way that will ignite a fresh sense of revival, then go and watch Back Left and leave your reservations at the door, because it will be an experimental experience that will change your perceptions in a truly gratifying manner.
Back Left will be performing at the Tandanya Theatre on March 2 and 3, as part of Adelaide Fringe. Book your tix here.