"A third production conceived for kids directed by Nathalie Derome, Slow Magic inscribes itself in the continuity of the two previous works, Scenes from a Tree and Where I Live. Its form testifies to the same artisanal care and possesses a similar will to engage its audience in the mysteries of human existence. The set design is imbued with delicacy, minutia and humour, in addition to standing out by its refusal to be too simplistic."
mon(theatre).qc.ca – May 28, 2016
"Playing with matter, transforming clay right before the children's eyes, Nathalie Derome and her two accomplices, Steeve Dumais and Anne-Françoise Jacques, propose an organic staging in which they allow the earth to speak. Set up on stage, they make themselves modellers of the raw material representing the beginning of the world."
Le Devoir - May 26, 2016
Nathalie Derome from Des mots d’la dynamite, is, for her part, re-performing a return to Earth with both feet and hands deeply buried in clay. Slow Magic, is nothing less than the story of the beginning of the world, in this time "when there was nothing. When everything was suspended. All was still, calm, peaceful, silent. Then, from the first piece of clay until the arrival of forests, animals, humans, everything is set into place. Slowly.
The play is supported by several sounds created live by Anne-Françoise Jacques, who brings a dreamlike and benevolent dimension to the whole. Because, yes, despite the quantity of movements, the numerous objects used, despite the clay everywhere and a feeling of chaos -- necessary for the making of the world -- a surprising calm emanates from the play. One of well being, serenity and of accomplishment, perhaps.
By the way, the children did not all react the same way to this surprising performance. If the adults were attentive to all the details and the actors' movements, reacting and exclaiming spontaneously, the little ones participated too, without knowing it, to the shaping of a world made of a completely mixed cacophony.
Le Devoir - May 2017
This intimate gathering benefits from a simple yet creative approach that is tailor-made for toddlers; it is a production well worth seeing. Were we in a more imaginative world, we would see it adapted as a television series, with each theme developed as an early-learning opportunity for pre-schoolers and fill a gap in the current lack in quality artistic programming for this age group. In the meantime, Where I Live will continue to visit small theatres near you…
Revue de théâtre Jeu - December 22, 2013
Actors Nathalie Derome and Steeve Dumais have the sensitivity, availability and curiosity needed to capture and express the range of emotions that inhabit theirs characters as they plunge into a search of themselves and exciting adventures. The stage design is visually appealing with a backdrop that includes, among other things, a circle symbolising the various elements involved in the plot. Throughout the play, the actors evoke aspects of a magician’s illusions by using elements such as houses that cover their heads, car-shaped shoes on their feet, miniatures houses, tiny puppets, and projections. Subtle lighting enhances the feeling of intimacy, similar to a best friend whispering a secret into our ear. The music in Where I Live has been so meticulously researched and written that, in this reviewer’s opinion, it reaches a depth, breadth and richness rarely achieved in youth theatre.
Mon Théâtre - December 2013
After the success of Scenes from a Tree, her first foray into working with tiny little ones, multidisciplinary artist Nathalie Derome decided to continue down this path. For her, the works for children have a structure, which calls for the mix of disciplines so dear to her. "The plays for very little children are composed of still images. We are not beholden to a dramaturgical and continuous narrative. In fact, the little ones accept poetry well; they can make leaps in time and in ideas. This is close to my work and I'm comfortable with that." Where I Live makes an analogy between the house and the body and speaks of spaces that children inhabit. "It's object theatre. We work a lot with scales and contrasts between the objects and the actors." Projections, shadow and light play, music and songs shape this play, which is presented as a "test run" (banc d'essai) during the festival. "But it's a show that's refined and ready to be shown that you'll see."
La Presse - April 28, 2013
"While children in the audience will respond to the visual and aural stimuli on stage, their adults will also appreciate the depth of the symbolism within the work. The tree of the play’s title represents the natural environment, as well as the criticality of trees to all other living things. The changing leaves signal the cycle of seasons, which evokes the inevitability of time passing. The seasons and their characteristic features are depicted through poetry. The three tree-like fairies with their talent with yarn recall the mythological Fates and Graces, and symbolize the power of the imagination, of creativity and handicrafts. The yarn, a clear association with the 3 Fates, connects the different scenes together, with knitting as a symbol for both the passing of time and its repetitive nature. "
Sesaya, Arpita Ghosal, Toronto, 2017
"The "Des mots d’la dynamite" troupe arrived from Montreal for the festival. They brought "Scenes from a Tree" (Nathalie Derome, Amélie Dumoulin and Karine Sauvé) to the Very Little Ones. The play was presented by Derome, Sauvé and Anne Brulotte-Légaré. I don't speak French but I presume, nonetheless, that the "dynamite" in the name of this troupe is related to Nobel's discovery. The dynamic show by the Canadian troupe quite simply transported the audience. The actresses sang a cappella (brilliantly), danced, brought the crafted accessories to life and emanated a joy that convinced us of their own happiness. The thing was very simple -- a tree grows and this is the beginning of its little story. Time passes, the leaves are green, then become yellow and fall ... The changing of seasons is illustrated in an original and reflective manner (e.g. winter with very white balls). But it is the coming of spring, illustrated with a multitude of little white lambs coming onto a field which provoked a great stir among the little audience members, whose level of enthusiasm achieved a level rarely seen before. The show closed with a basket filled with little red fruit."
"Democracy won ... with reason" in Miesi?cznik spo?eczno-kulturany Slask, no.11, vol. 2016 - November 2013 (p.42-43)
"This remarkable show increases ingenuity and beauty exponentially, offering us a plethora of gifts, each one more precious that the last. Great art for very little ones."
La Marelle Mag - November 7, 2011
To listen the interview click here: Le monde selon Mathieu, Le Spectacle de l'arbre
“The three actresses have proven that it is possible and important to create theatre for children of a very young age. They captured the attention of these during the entire show, with their melodious voices and thanks to their aesthetically strong propositions.”
National Centre for the Arts Journal - May 2011
“One of the great qualities of this performance lies precisely in the softness and tenderness with with things are brought in. There is no story as such, but three characters dressed in the colours of trees, a slow and harmonious body language, sweet but unsentimental songs. (...) Then, through varied tableaux where the visual simply overflows with inventiveness, the seasons follow one another, and the trees, like human beings, adapt to each one. A poetic and sensitive tale in which, several emotions are experienced, innocently: fear of the cold of winter, wonder at the return of spring, a slight anguish at the fall of night.”
Lurelu - Fall 2010
« L’histoire qu’ils racontent trouve son origine dans une légende algonquine attribuant la création du monde à des enfants qui auraient séparé le Ciel et la Terre. On devine que le défi consiste à retenir l’attention des enfants, pour qui ces notions ont quelque chose d’abstrait. Or, l’inventivité des artisans du spectacle, autant que cette faculté qu’ils ont de doser leurs effets, a permis au public d’entrer dans leur univers et d’y trouver du plaisir.
Quand l’attention des petits commence à faiblir, en effet, les comédiens trouvent une façon de relancer l’action. C’est ainsi qu’après avoir revêtu des combinaisons blanches, ils ont versé de la boue sur le plancher, laquelle a trouvé son chemin partout sur la scène. Les enfants riaient de les voir réaliser un de leurs fantasmes : se salir en toute impunité en chantant : « De la boue partout ».»
Le Quotidien - 28 avril 2018