Les Sept Planches De La Ruse | Seven Boards Of SkillPhotos - Aglae Bory

A visual treat that sets the senses alight, Les Sept Planches De La Ruse is an innovative and entertaining show that uses the ancient Chinese game of Tangram as its inspiration.

Frenchman, Aurelien Bory is the mastermind behind the production that uses seven giant geometric shapes, five triangles, a square and a parallelogram to create various and evolving shapes before your eyes.

Creating a show that combined human movement with props, Bory was attracted to performers with skills in circus arts. He travelled to Dalian in China to meet with performers whose acrobatic abilities are amongst the best in the world. 

Fourteen Chinese performers leap gracefully around the stage, making climbing up the side of three metre tall shapes look easy. Theatrical in their approach, they are sometimes serious, other times humorous in their interaction with the audience.

Chinese inspired music fills the stage with some members of the cast singing and playing traditional Chinese instruments. This music is almost haunting in its nature and tends to lull the audience into a semi-trance, allowing the changing visual landscape to wash over your consciousness.

The lighting is spectacular and certainly helps to keep the audience enthralled. Sometimes bouncing light off the Tangram pieces creating a golden glow, other times pitching the shapes and performers into dark shadows and lighting up the background with bright colours reminiscent of blue skies or summer sunsets.

Although the basic premise is simple, fourteen performers using Tangram pieces to create various geometric shapes before your eyes, the Director has his own deeper interpretation of the shows meaning. But the beauty of this show is that the enjoyment lies in your own interpretation, letting your own vivid imagination take over and enjoying the ride.

Initially I was marvelling at the great skill of the Chinese acrobats, taking in sharp intakes of breath along with other audience members as I felt sure the performer was about to either fall from a great height, or have a gigantic geometric piece fall on them and crush them. 

Later as the show evolved and I let my senses take over, I began to imagine my own little storyline. I was sure I could see hard-working career types lost in the rat race, making their way in and out of the city as part of the daily grind. I could see them making their way into towering skyscrapers and leaving at the end of the day exhausted from their efforts.

I saw the struggle of humanity, I saw people give up, I saw people persisting, I saw people going it alone and others banding together in a common goal. At the end of the day, what you see is up to you.

At just over an hour in length, with no interval, the show is just the right duration and suitable for family members of all ages. Starting at 7pm the show is suitable for children and doesn’t subject them to a late night. As a word of warning there was a lot of rustling of lolly and chip packets from kids which was extremely distracting and detracted from the experience, so be prepared to try and zone that out.


Perth International Arts Festival 2010
Les Sept Planches De La Ruse
Seven Boards Of Skill

Conceived and Directed by Aurelien Bory

Venue: The Regal Theatre | 474 Hay Street, Subiaco WA 6008
Dates: 6 - 12 Feb, 2010
Tickets: $30 - $55
Bookings: www.ticketek.com.au | Ticketek 132 849

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