Theaterfestival Basel & Swiss Dance Days

Theaterfestival Basel

Theaterfestival Basel were full of dance, theatre, nouevau cirque, performance and everything in between.

Theaterfestival Basel presents an international, biennial festival program featuring a range of genres and forms: from city projects to renowned dance and theatre productions, performances, nouveau cirque and installations.
After three hugely popular editions under the direction of Carena Schlewitt, the theatre festival (29.08. – 09.09.2018) will continue the successful work done so far with artistic director Tobias Brenk at the helm.

The city of Basel and the local region are transformed into a wonderful venue: discover new forms and tales of theatre during the 12-day event throughout the city centre and the surrounding canton, at the Kaserne site, including Turnhalle Klingental, at Kaserne Basel, at ROXY Birsfelden, at Theater Basel and and at junges theater basel.

Swiss Dance Days

History Swiss Dance Days was founded in 1996.

It was modelled after the Rencontres chorégraphiques de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris, a pioneering festival that’s been dedicated to contemporary choreographic creation since 1969.

Swiss Dance Days made it their mission to create a platform for the promotion of the Swiss choreographic arts in a context that facilitates the encounter between dance professionals, the audience and both national and international programmers.

Co-organised by Reso – Dance Network Switzerland since 2006, the event takes place every two years in a different Swiss city. Unique in Switzerland, it represents an exceptional opportunity to discover remarkable dance pieces from across the country that have been created in the two years prior to each new edition.

Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Lugano, Lucerne, Zurich: Swiss Dance Days has taken place in many of Switzerland’s largest cities as well as in its three principal linguistic regions.

After the great success of the last edition in Geneva in 2017, professionals and dance enthusiasts alike are ready to head to another Romandy city for the highly anticipated 10th edition. A leading city for performing arts with an extremely active and diverse choreographic scene, Lausanne will give its all for dance from the 6th to the 9th of February for Swiss Dance Days 2019.

Co-organized by Reso – Dance Network Switzerland

Reso is a network of organizations from the professional dance creation context. Reso realizes a vision of a coordinated and extensive system of dance support with funding agencies. It strengthens local and regional initiatives in the areas of infrastructure, audience development, production, diffusion, observation and analysis of practices. This networking creates a center of competence that fulfills needs with national relevance. Every two years Reso co-organizes the Swiss Contemporary Dance Days together with the partners of the host city.

Cie 7273

Since the creation of Compagnie 7273 (2003), Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon have developed a dance style that invites the body to continuously and endlessly unravel. Their research is inspired by the specific Arabic music system of Maqâm.

Each maqâm describes a “tonal-spatial factor” or a set of musical notes and the relationship between them. It allows the musician to play in-between the notes and gives him the opportunity to express himself.

Named Multi styles FuittFuitt by the choreographers themselves, the transfer of this technique into the body ables the movements to weave into each other in a wavy, spiraled and hypnotic dance.

Through their career, Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon created about 20 pieces: from silent ones to dansed-concerts, from duets to group pieces, all of which they toured internationally (Africa, Asia, United-states, Europe, Middle-East, North Africa and Russia).
The choreographers regularly give sessions of workshops in Switzerland and abroad. They are also invited to teach the Multi styles Fuittfuitt to young dancers in professionnal training.

In 2014, they published a book, diary for some or guide on the practice of the Multi styles Fuittfuitt for others, the ways to approach it are endless.

Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon won several awards: the Swiss Prize for Dance and Choreography, and the Fondation Liechti for the Arts’.

The choreographers regularly offer workshop sessions in Switzerland and abroad. They are also invited to teach the Multi styles Fuittfuitt to young dancers in professional training schools.

In 2014, they published a book – a diary for some, or guide on the practice of the Multi styles Fuittfuitt for others. Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon have won several awards, notably the Swiss Prize for Dance and Choreography and the Fondation Liechti for the Arts.

Sur l’île de Darsheen

Performance for 1 dancer and 3 musicians | Creation 2020 | Duration 50’

For the past ten years, Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon, choreographers of Company 7273, have been working on a dance that could be composed like music can.

This music is linked to their several travels around the world. Each trip was an opportunity to meet musicians. These encounters participated in the development of their own dance style, the Multi Styles FuittFuitt.

L’île de Darsheen is an intercultural place where we meet to share a knowledge which will become a poetic object. Experimentation will be the basis of this experience that will invite and allow the audience to create their own island of imagination.

Musicians Sir Richard Bishop, Simphiwe Tshabalala and Maurice Louca will join Nicolas Cantillon on stage.


Solo | Creation 2017 | Duration 35’

Dancer Laurence Yadi will present a 40-minute solo dance performance. By exploring musical representation in body movement, and turning the body into a melodic song, Yadi transcribes for audiences a world of emotions kept secret.

This dance is a battle in its own way.

TODAY will be touring Kolkata, Kathmandu and Delhi. Duration: 40 mins.

FUITTFUITT can be danced by everyone, and the workshop will be offered in Kolkata, Kathmandu and Gurugram.


Performance for 10 dancers | Creation 2013 | Duration 55’

A gigantic spinal column blows like grass in the wind, fanning the dancers across the stage. We gaze upon the heart of Tarab, this ductile calligraphy, alive and spreading in the background, now unfolding into two continuous, rhythmic lines of lingering, magnetic agitation.

What follows is an uninterrupted choreographic phrase in continual metamorphosis. It avoids accented beats, favoring the transitions between fluid patterns and forms with a certain mysterious quality. In the wake of the sextet Nil (Swiss Dance and Choreography Award 2011) and its effervescent undulation of flowing bodies, Tarab unveils ten dancers in striking combinations.

It calls to mind the DNA of our shared humanity as much as the cultural jigsaw puzzle unfurling in the hybrid choreographic grammar of Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon.

The Oriental-inspired dance with undulating pelvic movements encountered in this piece engages a delicate balancing act with the classic groove across the dance floor, marvelously slowed down and out of sync.

The choreographers combine hip movements found in the soul dancing of B-Series, funk, R&B and rock, with lines of liquid, graphic arms. Unbound hands move in a continuous cascade of fluttering fingers, an element which the former masters of tap-dancing and acrobatic dance, the Nicholas Brothers, turned to their choreographic advantage.

This is reminiscent of Henri Michaux’s asemic writing, those fleeting figures of evanescent beauty, peculiar and distorted. In the multiple layers of changing positions, of bodies spinning and coiling slowly upon themselves as if following the drift of a languid flamenco, the piece avoids dramatizing movement.

It traces without pause a continuous line of anatomical curves. This hypnotic and limpid line, at once fleshy and ethereal, generates a flow whose source emanates from the young dancers. Transmission is the silt of the work undertaken.

We watch these bodies moving again and again in a state at times volatile and diffuse, forming a shifting semi-circle of community which envelopes the soloist, depicting a landscape, an emotion and other often inexpressible sensations.

In this respect, Tarab is perhaps the most accurate fulfillment of the vow formulated as far back as Climax (2006)—an orderly progression without rhythmic changes moving towards an always deferred orgasmic plateau. In other words, the infinite renewal of the question of what dance should consist of.

The piece gives the audience the liberty to contemplate and to question; we find in these endless spiral movements a nourishment both appeasing and staggering. True to the festive side of soufi-groovy, Tarab bathes in an atmosphere of vibrating strings which resound in echoes, brought to us by the prodigious jazz and world music guitarist Jacques Mantica.

This enveloping sound matrix is sustained by the meandering, muffled tread of layers of bass. We are at the source of “tarab”, a musical emotion evoking an instrumental and expressive chant, like an evocative poem, or a palette of feelings gravitating from a deep interiority to an intense exaltation, a reflection of life in the streets of Cairo.

Hence this distant recollection of the melodic and traditional form of quarter tone called maqam which stresses the tie between two movements. Tarab approaches the realm of trance with the disarming innocence of an adolescent, reaping wholeheartedly the states that it attempts to render simultaneously—rapture and melancholy, concentration and letting go.

The choreography takes a musical turn, tuned to the fluctuating strata of low, deep strings which create an echo chamber for the solitude of a gently undulating strand of algae, carried along by the languid twists and turns of its course. This moment of deepening twilight confirms the appeal of Tarab for the intermediary, for that which lies between, and resonates like a promise held by awakened senses, the enticing savor of an encounter to be continued.

Studios for rehearsals , Residencies of creation Compagnie 7273 received a residence of research at Cairo-Egypt Pro Helvetia and a provision of studios from the ADC – Association for Contemporary Dance and CND – National Centre for Dance, France.

Workshop FuittFuitt

The transfer of this technique to the body is at the origin of Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon’s choreographic research since 2003. It is what they call the Multi styles FuittFuitt.

Each maqam describes “tonal-spatial factor” or set of musical notes and the relationships between them. It allows the musician to play in-between the notes and gives him the opportunity to express himself. To find an original way of playing the Maqam requests both rigor and imagination.

FuittFuitt advances in Egypt

April 18, 2018 till April 18, 2019

This April, Swiss dance company 7273 is starting a long term program, in Egypt, in collaboration with Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC), contributing to the professional development of 30 young dancers and the development of practice in contemporary dance by dancers and choreographers.

The program was developed by company 7273 and CCDC especially for the full-time dance school students to ensure coherence and relevance to the professional training they attend at CCDC. It will last for two years including workshops and public performances.

“Multi Styles FuittFuitt” is a dance that requires of the interpreter a constant, permanent, and deep internal reflection. Forms are brought to the surface that become the foundation of the dance. FuittFuitt is about unfolding an endless movement that is drawn by ornaments and created with a dedication to precision, ultimately leading the dancer to forget the limitations of the body, thus leading them to experience the intoxicating joy that comes with a release from consciousness.

Their in-depth research into music of the region lead Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon to discover for themselves the regional-specific system of “mâqam,” where quarter tones are played using a general music system with special applications. The dancers have since developed a freedom through movement that corresponds with the way in which the mâqam gives the interpreter space to express their personality and find their own originality. The execution of the maqâms requires rigor and fantasy and the transfer of this musical technique to the body is at the core of Yadi’s and Cantillon’s Multi Styles FuittFuitt.


Creation – 2014 Duration 60′

It is 1995, Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillon are in Beirut, Lebanon.

There begins a story that will lead them to a world of creation tainted by the unique atmosphere of what they consider being their first true meeting. The same year, Mohamed Matar (Arabic buzuq master) dies prematurely in Beirut, aged 56. Laurence and Nicolas never met Mohamed Matar but he will play a central role in this creation. Beirut 1995 is an attempt to reenact the moment of birth of their multi-styles FUITTFUITT under the guise of a fairy tale

Circa Contemporary Circus

Circa Contemporary Circus is one of the world’s leading performance companies. 

Since 2004, from their base in Brisbane, Australia, they have toured the world – performing in 40 countries to over a million people. Their works have been greeted with standing ovations, rave reviews and sold-out houses across six continents.

Circa is at the forefront of the new wave of contemporary Australian circus – pioneering how extreme physicality can create powerful and moving performances. They continue to push the boundaries of the art form, blurring the lines between movement, dance, theatre and circus, and leading the way with a diverse range of thrilling creations that ‘redraw the limits to which circus can aspire” (The Age).

Under the direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Circa features an ensemble of exceptional, multi-skilled circus artists.  They are a regular fixture at leading festivals and venues in New York, London, Berlin and Montreal with seasons at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Barbican Centre, Les Nuits de Fourvière, Chamäleon Theatre as well as major Australian Festivals.

Circa dares to create a physical score for the towering masterpiece of the symphonic repertoire – Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

In this first-time collaboration between the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Circa, ten world-class circus artists under the direction of Yaron Lifschitz will present Beethoven’s music in its physical form – with emotionally-charged choreography intricately woven to reflect the score. Extreme skill and dramatic acrobatics play out in this grand celebration of humanity, where the lines between movement, music, dance and theatrics are blurred and boundaries are pushed.

Three artists stretch the boundaries of contemporary circus in this intimate and deeply moving new production by Brisbane-based contemporary circus company Circa
Hauntingly beautiful and truly virtuosic, What Will Have Been is a sublime display of interlocking bodies, awe-inspiring movement and pure physical beauty. Circa’s intrepid artists will challenge your perceptions of what is possible within the human body and draw you deep into a world of physical daring.
Accompanied on stage by a live violinist and fusing together the music of Bach and spine-tingling electronica, this explosive new production is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings and have you on the edge of your seat.

Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amid a storm of powder, tumbling and twirling, as musical mayhem and movement fuse in this family show with a circus twist.

To those who know him, he is Wolfgang, the dart-playing, pun-loving ratbag. To those who are watching and listening, he is the wigged genius Mozart. Come and discover his irrepressible spirit and vibrant compositions through physical comedy and mischievous antics.

Designed to amaze people from the age of three and upwards, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus reinvents the composer’s magical music in a skilful and illuminating show featuring Circa’s dexterous daredevil artists and an accordionist. Watch as the notes are physically lifted off the page as performers bring the renowned compositions to life amidst a storm of powder, tumbles and crashes, all under the eccentric swirl of the conductor’s baton.

Circa’s internationally-renowned ensemble joins with a local cast of circus performers, dancers and young people for a world premiere circus event.

The art of circus is taken in an exciting new direction as 36 performers hang from a grid suspended in the air and propel themselves across the stage, tumbling, balancing and soaring together. The dramatic power and extreme skill of Circa’s trademark acrobatics thrillingly expose the tension between the mass and the individual in this epic theatrical event that is at once deeply moving and physically stunning.

In these complex times, Leviathan offers hope by celebrating what can be achieved when we work together. This action-packed show connects the local with the global and the emerging with the visionary and genuinely pushes boundaries in a powerful new circus production.

Biennale Internationale des Arts du Cirque

The “Biennale Internationale des Arts du Cirque” is the largest contemporary circus festival in the world and is held in the south of France every two years.

The Biennale is organised by the Archaos circus company and the first edition in 2015 attracted 60 circus companies from around the world and had more than 85,000 visitors.

The Biennale itself was born out of the Circus in Capitals project that Archaos managed as part of Marseille-Provence 2013, the European Capital of Culture festivities. 

The success of the circus arts during the Marseille Provence 2013 inspired the Archaos company to create the first Biennale Internationale des Arts du Cirque in 2015.

2015 teaser

2017 teaser

2019 teaser


Part of the project Attraction

Johann Le Guillerm has remarked: “I don’t make new shows, I continue them…” Secret, the vision of a life, reflects this process, fusing continuity, transformation and movement.

Johann Le Guillerm, acrobat, juggler, creator and manipulator of objects, is one of the most unusual figures on the contemporary circus scene. Drawing on the arts and sciences, he doggedly pursues his search for a 360° view of the world. Alone in the ring or in his “laboratory”, he explores and materialises his observations in strange machines, testimony to or expressions of the relationship between man and matter.

Two years after creating the company Cirque ici and when he was only 27 years old, Le Guillerm won the 1996 National Grand Prize for Circus, an award that crowned his career in the arts up till then. In 2001 he undertook a huge multifaceted project, Attraction, which is first and foremost the manifesto of a creator who makes invisible knowledge visible. This “mental circus” signals a utopia, with an all-encompassing eye that scrutinises everything around us, while our modern gaze has for decades been happy to take in only what’s right in front of us. A 360°vision, as imposed by the ring, the circus.

The universe is his playground; the ring the laboratory where he experiments with new laws to create some order in the tumult of the world and to shake up the supposed evidence.

Here, Le Guillerm is at one with matter, he tames atmospheric turbulences, he provokes unstable balances and plays with the elements. He is Don Quixote when he rides strange machines, part-spider, part-snail, and launches an attack on unfathomable challenges.

He is then Sisyphus, obstinately building giant mikados that he destroys without any qualms the moment their stability ensured.

There is also a bit of mystery in this show, a bit of of poetry, a bit of intuition, a bit of experience. Some fury, too. A secret that (re)creates itself year after year to draw a map of a placeless planet with sensitive perspectives and infinite utopias. A new landscape appears, show after show, familiar but imperceptibly reconfigured with each production.

3D | Cie H.M.G.

3D | Cie H.M.G.

An unusual journey into the land of balance and sound.

A human-sized wooden arch stretched by a metal wire: it is a strange rocker invented by the circassian Jonathan Guichard. In a tumble movement, perilous or gentle, the acrobat embarks on a journey as close as possible to the spectators. He explores all the directions and dimensions inspired by this disproportionate instrument, which becomes an extension of himself.

A playful relationship to space, matter and sounds is established, because this circus is also a sound object: we can hear an amazing music created live by this moving body. Its frictions, crackles and percussion on the floor fill the space. The funny and prodigious oscillations open the doors of the imagination.

Racine(s) by L’Attraction

Racine(s) by L’Attraction

Premiered 2019

Racine(s) results from the visual, physical and poetical research of circus artist Inbal Ben Haim, who is also a nomad, traveller and nature lover.

In constant motion, most of the time in the air, she questions the concept of integration.
In a duet with singer and musician David Amar, they propose a visual and musical poem of a raw and organic purity which reflects each human being’s vital issues: the Earth, roots, travel and identity.

Golgota: Bartabas & Andrés Marín


Golgota is a very male production (the Virgin Mary is notably absent), with Bartabas joined on stage by flamenco dancer Andrés Marín, three sombre white-ruffed musicians (straight from El Greco), a dwarf, four horses and a donkey.

There’s no clear enactment of the Easter story, although the work is dense with images: priests, Roman soldiers, crucifixes, candles and incense, and comes with the piercing, live accompaniment of a selection of sacred motets by Tomás Luis de Victoria. As Bartabas has said, he and Marín are like boys “locked in a church”, who play with the materials around them.

Bartabas himself is a shamanistic presence, often robed or veiled, and his command of his animals has a magical intensity as he moves them through graceful circles, an elegant rising trot, or falls with them to the floor, in a slow-motion pietá. The stage is shadowy, and apart from the music the only sustained noise is made by Marín – dancing a brief zapateado solo, drumming with his hands, or performing the final extraordinary crucifixion scene, in which his feet (clad in hooves) violently stamp out Christ’s final agony. The work is hot, strange and compelling, but the finest moments are those where Marín dances with Bartabas and his horses, where he mimics their footwork and communicates with them through a language of nuzzles, glances and breaths. It’s surely in this ancient, wordless connection between man and beast that Golgota finds its true religion.

Who is Bartabas?

Famous for his use of horses as a means of artistic expression, Bartabas is a world-renowned rider, director and stage designer. His company, Zingaro Equestrian Theatre has performed all over the world for over 25 years but these special performances mark Bartabas’ first appearance in London.


In 2003, le Théâtre équestre Zingaro presented Loungta – Les Chevaux de Vent at the Festival d’Avignon.

For twenty years, Bartabas, who leads the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro (Equestrian Theatre), has roamed around the world seeking inspiration in music, pursuing his essential quest for the pure gesture wherein human beings and animals reconcile spirit and body as the profane and the sacred in utmost simplicity.

Bartabas prefers ritual to spectacle. Each new musical encounter is a source of movement for this master. Algerian Berber music for the Opéra Equestre, the sonority of Rajasthan for Chimère, South Korean chants for Éclipse, contemporary partitions for Triptyk…

In August 2002, Bartabas returned to the East and spent a few days in a Tantric monastery in Gyuto, located in a former Tibetan province in the far north-east of India. There he watched as disciples sought their individual accomplishment on Buddha’s path, and was inspired by their rhythm, discipline and rigour which then helped him produce the images and the choreography for his new performance, Loungta, The Horses of the Wind.

The riders, dancers and musicians are reunited in the ring. Ten Tibetan monks aged between twenty to seventy, diffuse the deep tone of their “buffalo voices”. On their traditional instruments, they play partitions which are indissociable from their daily religious practices.

They agreed to leave their monastery to share three years of the daily life of the company. About thirty horses, twenty riders and dancers are clad in costumes inspired by certain ancestral rituals and their faces are the angry masks of the gods and goddesses of death. Bartabas returned from the jungle and the areas around the Himalayas with the desire to bring about a certain state of being among his horses and his riders, to attain the precision/aptness of an increasingly elementary beauty.

Bartabas, while moving even further from the frivolity and frenzy of the contemporary West, re-asserts his philosophy, exalting ancient oriental values. He goes in search of the essence of beings, human or equine in a bid to bring them closer together and to celebrate them.

CIRCa Fesival

Initiated by members of the Jeune Chambre Economique (Economic Chamber of young business people), the CIRCA Festival was created in 1988.

In 2015, CIRCa created buzz by hosting the last Zingaro show as well as the well known Cirque Plume which then celebrated then its 30th anniversary. Since 2015, every year, the CIRC receives an average of 100 artistic teams, either artists in residence or shows programmed during the Season or during the Festival of Contemporary Circus.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

Cloud Gate Dance Theater is a modern dance group based in Taiwan, the first of its kind in Taiwan and Asia. It was founded by choreographer Lin Hwai-min in 1973,[3] and later he shared its management with his late protégé, Lo Man-fei, a renowned choreographer in her own right.

Cloud Gate created numerous dances that evoked the unique experience of Taiwan people within the larger Chinese and Asian context. Known for its extensive international tours, Cloud Gate has performed in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. The company also spends much of its time performing throughout Taiwan, and is generally acknowledged as the country’s premier dance organization.

The organization has two branches other than its main dance company. One, called “Cloud Gate 2”, tours communities and works with and helps develop young dancers and choreographers. It was founded in 1999. The other, Cloud Gate Dance School was founded in 1998 with a view to making dance education more broadly available.

13 Tongues


As Lin Hwai-Min, founder of the world-renowned Taiwanese company, steps down in 2020, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre brings works from the current and new artistic directors. Lin’s Dust uses Dmitri Shostakovich’s response to the destruction of Dresden to form his own requiem for this century. Dancers struggle through smoke and dirt until they are swallowed up in the darkness. Cheng Tsung-Lung grew up selling slippers on the side of the road. For 13 Tongues, Cloud Gate’s new artistic director merges his memories of the sights, sounds and vitality of Bangka, Taipei’s oldest district, with the fantastical tales of the storyteller Thirteen Tongues.

Wind Shadow


Part of Dance Umbrella 2009. Choreographic master Lin Hwai-Min has created a contemporary dance work that makes shadows come alive. Joining forces with leading Chinese visual artist Cai Guo-Qiang, WIND SHADOW is a study of motion created through monochromatic palettes and the use of light and shadow. Set to a haunting soundscape, the dancers capture the intangible quality of the wind and the variable structure of shadows. Projections of Cais gunpowder drawings merge into silhouettes and form a moving art installation within which the dancers engage with their independent shadows.

Aurélien Bory

Aurélien Bory, artist, director and scenographer. He lives in Toulouse and works internationally. He is the artistic director of Compagnie 111.

  • 2000 : IJK
  • 2003 : Plan B Aurélien Bory / Phil Soltanoff
  • 2004  : Taoub, with Le Groupe acrobatique de Tanger- Maroc
  • 2005  : More or less infinity , Aurélien Bory / Phil Soltanoff
  • 2007  : The Seven Boards of Cunning, with artists from the Dalian Opera – China
  • 2008  : Questcequetudeviens? for Stéphanie Fuster.
  • 2009  : Not applicable
  • 2011  : Rubber geometry
  • 2012  : Plexus for Kaori Ito.
  • 2013  : Azimut, with the Tangier-Morocco acrobatic group
  • 2016  : Species
  • 2018: aSH for Shantala Shivalingappa
2018: aSH for Shantala Shivalingappa

Aurélien Bory collaborates with the charismatic Indian dancer, Shantala Shivalingappa in this exquisite solo infused with poetry and spirituality. Embodying the majestic figure of Shiva, Shivalingappa dances on a blanket of ash, a symbol of the cycle of life, her pure and sensual movements forming mandalas beneath her feet. Tracing her journey from her ancestral Indian dance, Kuchipudi, to the contemporary dance that has earned her international recognition, aSH is a remarkable fusion of Western and Asian cultures, a miracle of poetry in motion.

2016 : Species

Along with his Compagnie 111, Aurélien Bory has gained a reputation as a poet of space and a wizard of staging; an artist capable of blending elements of dance, music, magic and circus in his visual theatre.

Created from the comparison with Species of Space – Espèces d’espace by Georges Perec, Espæce (note the overlapping of the two terms that make up the title of the book) is therefore the natural continuation of this artistic path.

With acrobat Guilhem Benoit, dancer Mathieu Desseigne Ravel, contortionist Katell Le Brenn, opera singer Claire Lafilliatre and actor Olivier Martin Salvan, Bory has composed a real tribute to the French writer – who was orphaned at a tender age following the death of his father in war and his mother’s deportation to Auschwitz – in a jigsaw puzzle of faded memories, allusions, voids and absences.

If the theatrical scene is used here to replace the paper pages that make up the famous text, then the hyperbolic language games of Perec are returned through the manipulation of all of its mathematical tools. A new vision machine capable of creating irony, emotion and wonder, or a poetic journey through the many landscapes of our existence.

2013 : Azimut, with the Tangier-Morocco acrobatic group

Freely based on the figure of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa

Moroccan acrobats are called “the children of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa”. He was an eminent 16th century Sufi thinker, whose grave has become a pilgrimage shrine.  He is regarded as the Patron Saint of Moroccan acrobatics. Initially, these acrobatics performances are not considered as being a part of the performing arts; they are closely related to Soufism, they emerged from ancient Berber ritual practices and they consist of circular and pyramidal stunts, in which I perceive both celestial and maternal representations.

In Sufism, an ontological quest, the concept of the path is essential. Azimut (Azimuth in English) derives from the Arabic As-samt (Sumūt in the plural), meaning “the paths”. Azimut is the term used in astronomy to describe the angle between the observer and the celestial bodies. With this meaning, the sky is summoned.
In the legend of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa, when the wise man reached the heavens, he looked back at Earth and men, and settled upon going back. Among others, his path led me to embrace the return motif as the core of the writing.

2007 : The Seven Boards of Cunning

This show was born out of Aurélien Bory’s desire to go to China to meet artists in the town of Dalian, who are the most technically accomplished in the world. He wanted to work with them to compose a contemporary visual tale inspired by a game which dates back to Chinese antiquity: the tangram, or in Chinese “qi qiao ban”, which means “the seven boards of cunning”. This is a solitaire game, based seven geometrical elements: five triangles of three different sizes, a square and a parallelogram, which must be assembled to form one large square. The game’s components are manœuvred by sixteen people who stand them up, climb on them, get into them, following their changing forms, slip into a hollow cube, construct improbable and ephemeral edifices.

Watch video:

Performed by a group of twelve acrobats from Tangiers, Taoub (fabric in Arabic) aims at remaining close to the art of weaving. The show crosses the threads between circus, theatre and video with fabric as its sole decor, mobile and transformable. This fabric is in turn: floor, cloth, blanket, tent or clothing, the main accessory and the sole partner of the actors, a recipient of light, a projector and a screen but also a propulsion tool for the acrobats. All the possibilities between the fabric and the acrobat are presented to build a luminous and spectacular fresco. A genuine human fabric, Taoub explores the relationships of solidarity and competition and questions the resources of social or family fabric. Aurélien Bory, the director of the magnificent Plan B, builds a world from scratch or nearly and adds an artistic and poetic dimension to the spectacular nature of acrobatics.

Aurélien Bory / Compagnie 111: Sans Objet

“I asked myself: What was the first robot? And I found that the first was the industrial robot, built during the 1960s and then hugely developed during the late 60s and early 70s. This robot, an industrial robot arm with six rotational axes, didn’t really change after that early period of intensive development — in terms of electronics and computing it of course became more complex, but it was the same object: the six-axis arm. And I said, OK this is the first robot, about my age. When I was born, he was there.”