11 February 2010

Les Sept Planches de la Ruse- OFFICIAL Jury Comments

Christal: “Lots of people and noise. Lots of lights that match the sound of the tone. A lot of calm, it was really good. They were mischievous at the same time. They were really good at timing things and I think it was about Chinese culture.

Kathleen: “Very flexible, very funny, very nice singing, Chinese singing. Different shapes, different music, very loud, big crowd, very interesting.”

Lianah: “Colourful, freaky, funny, playing music, funny dance, getting boring…”

Ben: “Very cool spaces, cool noise, nice music, big stage… a bit funny, there was no talking. Movement, shapes, loud music, colour, dark… musical instrument, lots of people, lots of fans around.”

Les Sept Planches de la Ruse

Les Sept planches de la ruse

Les Sept planches de la ruse (Seven Boards of Skill)

Compagnie 111 and Scènes de la Terre (France/China)

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Using the basis of the Chinese game Seven Boards of Skill, or Tangram, the performance intricately weaved 14 Chinese performers trained in acrobats and opera, with a large Tangram (made up of 5 triangles, 1 square and 1 parallelogram) that filled the stage. With grace, agility, and a lot of humour, these performers created landscapes, mountains, an ocean, a cityscape, all the while climbing, falling, conquering, and at times being squished (a particular Jury favourite).

The opera singers created sounds and melodies that the Jury had never heard, and perplexed (and at times bored) them, the result of their inability to understand the Chinese verse.

With these shapes, unlikely dancers, they created new positive and negative spaces, relationships, movements, and breath-taking moments of mathematical genius. Pythagorus would have knelt down in awe. The first half proved more adventurous and exciting than the more languid second half, according to the Jury, which made them feel like they were in math class. Zzzzz.