Growing older ain’t easy for any of us. But if your career depends upon a youthful, nubile body that can do exceptional things, the consequences of getting on a bit can be even more significant. Upswing‘s piece about performers confronting the ageing process invites us into the lives of two women, a dancer and an aerialist, to share their past experiences and their present reality. Ann and Lindsey tell us stories about their careers, their lives and their loves as they revisit their dancing and aerial flying in front of us. It’s a simple format, very direct, and has insight, charm and honesty. Their stories are very human and their personalties always engaging. As well as our two heroines, we’re introduced to their rigger, Graeme, who is both aerial counterweight and stand-in for various male characters in the narrative. With waltzing ex-boyfriends, it manages to stay just the right side of sentimentality, and both women show little twinkles of their colourful pasts. The dance and aerial are enjoyable and all the more so because we really feel we know the performers. Director Vicki Amedume and her team don’t try to give us any great new insight into the subject, but encourage us to look at it from a somewhat different angle and offer a gentle, quiet celebration of these two rather lovely women in the winter of their lives.
A bit of a declaration required here, as I’m very pleased to be a member of Upswing’s Board, so, as you might guess, I’m quite pro the company to begin with.