Cow Love a playful, engaging show worthy of the High Performance Rodeo

There is an odd little show running as part of the High Performance Rodeo this week, and if you can catch it this weekend, it’s worth a detour to the Pumphouse Theatres. The show is called Cow Love, and the company, based in France, has the delightful moniker “Société Protectrice de Petites Idées.”

It’s a combination of dance, mime and clowning, and features two charmingly awkward characters who playfully bumble through a number of largely musical episodes to a bizarrely satisfying conclusion. Their story ranges from competition to flirting to whimsical romance, and the eclectic movement style incorporates everything from acrobatic and aerial features to elements of classic Martha Graham stylized movements. 

Creator/performers Federico Robledo and Nanda Suc are deceptively athletic, and make their comic pratfalls and visual gags look effortless. Robledo repeatedly hops around gracelessly peeling off his track suit, only to reveal another track suit beneath, in a Russian doll gag that seems never ending. Suc sings a plaintive love song while being clumsily suspended upside down by her partner. The vignettes incorporate a toy keyboard, a glass of milk in the face, and a silly string attack, while maintaining an engaging through-line of a developing relationship between the two characters.

With a run time of slightly less than an hour, there is absolutely no reason not to pop in and check it out. 

Cow Love runs at the Pumphouse Theatres until Jan. 27.

Lori Montgomery is a former FFWD theatre critic who practices medicine to support her writing habit.