Imaginary Anthropologies in Summerworks

Imaginary Anthropologies
Written, Composed and Performed  by Gabriel Dharmoo
Performed (on video) by Alexandrine Agostini, Daniel Anez, Florence Blain Mbaye, Luc-Martial Dagenais and Catherine Lefrançois.
Factory Theatre Studio
August 5-13 2016
Reviewed by Ted Fox
In Imaginary Anthropomologies, throat singer and interdisciplinary artist Gabriel Dharmoo uses extended vocal techniques and video projection to illustrate the vocal practices and sound ritual of imaginary cultures.
Videos from a faux Memory Museum Archives are shown on a screen behind him. In them actors portray mock anthropologists giving their reactions to the vocal music of imaginary cultures. They are divided into segments with headings like Dance Music, Aquatic Song and Hypnotized Choirs.
These experts are condescending in the way they praise and damn at the same time. They refer for example to the cultural singing as strange noises which are strongly sophisticated  and voices which are "raw with an obvious lack of refinement." One remarks that cultures who do not invest their energy instead into mining, drilling and pumping groundwater face inevitable extinction.
Dharmoo expresses the body language of the cultures highlighted using extraordinary physicality. His hand and arm gestures are constantly electrically alive like tentacles, visually illustrating his vocalizations or thumping his chest to create different vocal pitches. He illustrates aquatic song by singing with his head in a bowl.
Ends with an illustration of current hit songs of a culture that has made a perfect global cultural exchange inspired by our global and collective music. Dharmoo amazingly illustrates this by mixing rock and pop into his vocal technique. In other words this culture's voice and identity have been colonized and assimilated.
A challenging satirical production that is funny while addressing a serious cultural issue in a non-sermonizing way.