Scripting movement. Setting stories in motion. Making bodies and objects dance with the same force. Aurélien Bory’s theatre is physical in an almost-scientific sense, playing on gravity and retinal perception while taking a hybrid approach, borrowing from all areas of the performance arts, from circus to dance, from technology to the visual arts. As a scenographer, director, choreographer and visual artist, often all rolled in one, he and his company 111, founded in Toulouse in 2000, invent some hypnotizing displays. Take, for example, his first major opuses, Plan B (2003) and Plus ou moins l'infini (2005), in collaboration with American director Phil Soltanoff, injecting poetry into geometry and its theorems.
He takes a sharing, collaborative approach to the stage and its arts, working with an array of other creators from various horizons. In 2004, he called on acrobats from Tangiers in Taoub. In 2007, he created the Les Sept Planches de la ruse with the virtuosos of China’s Dalian opera. In 2008, he featured the flamenco dancer Stéphanie Fuster in Questcequetudeviens? In 2012, it was the turn of Japanese dancer Kaori Ito, sublimated in Plexus (2012).
He also flirts with literature, paying homage to Georges Perec with the show Espæce (2016) created for the 70th Avignon festival. The lyrical arts, combining dramatic intensity, high-end musical production and evocative power, certainly provide him with fertile ground: at the Capitole theatre in Toulouse, he has overseen the stage production and scenography of Le Château de Barbe-Bleue by Béla Bartók and Il Prigioniero by Luigi Dallapicola, treating them like grand pageants. Yet, for Aurélien Bory, emotion is sometimes only elicited by the smaller details: in Nantes, for example, he reconfigured Boulevard Léon Bureau creating waves along its length and marking pedestrian crossings with a pattern of interwoven lines, an opportunity to play a modest magician and enchant with even the most ordinary of everyday actions.
Aurélien Bory has been co-curator and a scenographer for the exhibition Floating Cities. He has created a plastic installation that displays models of legendary ships from the past.
Aurélien Bory © Aglaé Bory