Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Borges and I, a devised physical theater work by the young and exciting new company, Idle Motion, is an inspired dream of a piece, with imaginative imagery and irresistible appeal. It is expertly composed and well executed from start to finish, an extremely impressive offering from such a young company. Simultaneously charming and truly heartbreaking, Borges and I is a joy to watch, and left this reviewer with goosebumps. It is an experience not to be missed.
Borges and I is a devised theater work based on the short story of the same name (Borges y Yo) by Jorge Luis Borges. It uses text, movement, and imagery to tell the story of diverse book club members whose lives intertwine, and start to mimic the plight of the author of the book that they read, Borges when one member discovers she is going blind. The storytelling weaves in and out of Borges’ story, his actual life as well as his written works, and the developing relationships of the book club members in the real world, who struggle with the same feelings of love, separation, and a yearning connect with each other and with the world around them. Actual text from Borges and delightfully accurate character portrayals are managed with ease by this charming and personable young cast, whose moving, honest performances compel the audience to love them. As the stories continue, the we are whisked along on their heartbreaking journey, in which every new moment presents a charming and beautiful surprise.
Every element of this piece comes together effortlessly, and the whole work seems to have a life of its own, breathing as one organism as it carries the audience along through turns of joy, discovery, and heart wrenching loss. The company, using outstanding ensemble work manages to visually create an entire world out of books, literally transforming pages and binding into magically realized tempests and birds. The simple and beautiful imagery has an almost filmic quality, and reaches straight into your heart with ease. There is more than one moment in which I was taken aback with the pure joy of witnessing a hidden world materialize before my eyes.
Borges and I is a remarkable work which touches on the human capacity to love, and through laughter, tears, and captivating images, makes you breathless, simultaneously heartbroken and yet joyously hopeful- much like the experience of love itself. It is a well choreographed kaleidoscope, which never ceases to charm, to engage, and leaves you mesmerized with the feeling you that you have witnessed something truly magical. An unbelievably impressive first work from this talented and imaginative company. I look forward to seeing what they will bring to life next.