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The one thing you should see this week

This week’s pick: Full Bloom

The performing arts can be a cruel arena in which to grow old: your most important weapon—your body—is the one most likely to betray you. And dancers, who must face the rigours of time as both athletes and actors, are locked in the toughest battle.

Robert Glumbek, Luches Huddleston Jr. and Kevin O’Day know this all too well. Former dancers all (having worked with Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov and James Kudelka, among others), the men have transitioned, as many of their aging peers do, into choreography. But after some time away from the spotlight (12 years in O’Day’s case), they realized that they could offer audiences something rare: three middle-aged men, centre stage. Not as character dancers, not partnering women, but as the main attraction. And they were right. Full Bloom drew sold-out crowds during its short run here last January, and for good reason. As if to prove a point about the fallibility of the human body, Glumbek had to ask his friend, Roberto Campanella, to take his place when a pulled hamstring made performing impossible. But he’s back onstage this week, in a show that is at once self-deprecatingly funny and eloquent; the trio’s physical language—with its evocative, elegant virility—is captivating.

A lot has been said about the disparity between the sexes with regards to aging, how men are perceived as “getting better” over time, how women become invisible. But men have so rarely added to the conversation by opening up about their own experience. This is a welcome change.

The details: Dec. 14 to 18. $29. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Bldg. 49, 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.

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