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Monday, November 7, 2016

In Context: Plexus

French physical theater maverick Aurélien Bory takes Japanese dancer Kaori Ito, entangled in a dense field of 5,000 black nylon wires, as both muse and instrument. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #AurelienBory.

Program Notes

Plexus (PDF)


A Forest of Threads—Plexus, Director's Note (BAM blog)
"Plexus emanates from the innermost—the anatomical network of nerves, which can be our Achilles heel—to the outside, to space, here the network of strings, reminiscent of the Latin etymology of the word plexus: interweaving."

Compagnie 111
Keeping up with Aurélien Bory’s Compagnie 111.

Kaori Ito
All things Kaori Ito.

Watch & Listen

Kaori ito - Solos (YouTube)
Performing as four different women, Kaori Ito asks “Who am I, if my body does not belong to me?”

Les Sept Planches de la Ruse (YouTube)
This sublimely simple work—at BAM in 2008—exemplifies Bory’s characteristic use of shape, light, and shadow.

James Thiérrée: Au revoir Parapluie (YouTube)
Ito performs a spectacular rope solo in the work of 2015 Richard B. Fisher Next Wave Award recipient James Thiérrée.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using  #AurelienBory.


  1. A fascinating, unique performance! The use of light, sound and movement along with the nylon strings (I kept thinking extremely long rubberbands) was mesmerizing! We have never seen anything like this before and are very glad we had this opportunity.

  2. Every woman should see this after this election, as should every man that wants an inkling of how some women must feel. Obviously the piece was created years ago and is not directly related but, damn.

  3. Unexpectedly bad. The Visual line is raw. AThe dancer-actress is working with and within object, no story!!! Thats physical theater but far away from Gratowski one. I wouldn't recommend

    1. What does "the visual line is raw" supposed to mean? And why must this piece of physical theatre/dance have a narrative? If you MUST have a "story" there are millions of them easily available to you in any number of mediums. And Grotowski has been dead for almost 18 years. Why should Bory be trying to imitate him or anyone else? Why are you still looking for Grotowski or something not so "far away" from him when you go to the theatre?

  4. LOVED this show. It was very cathartic to watch such an amazing performance. The lighting, sound, music and movements worked really well together in a very thrilling way. The set was incredible, and Kaori Ito truly demonstrated her skill in using it to great effect.

  5. amazing. like art and dance at the same time. mesmerizing.

  6. Abstract storytelling self realization and empowerment. Absolutely amazing visual manipulation, sound and light. Brilliant!!!

  7. My wife and I really enjoyed the performance. The music was striking and perfectly in tune with the performer. Captivating night out.

  8. Super boring. Almost remarkably boring, given the incredible set and possibilities. Unfortunately, as what sometimes happens when there's an incredible set or gimmick - the artist relied entirely on the set for visual stimulation instead of creating choreography that spoke besides it. Pretentious and yawn-fest. Would have left if I wasn't seated completely in the middle.

  9. Found the show amazing and wonderful. Kept our interest throughout the performance. Would definitely see it a second time. The movement was flowing and exciting.

  10. I've always felt that theatre should shy away from the sleight-of-hand film offers. Plexus, with the discipline of a Maya Deren film, tries and succeeds. A form human enters an Escher enclosure of frequencies. We settle into essence. Heartbeat. Navigation of space. Fluidity. Resistance. We confront the limitations and excess of the external. I witnessed the most abstract puppetry I've ever seen. There are no familiar signposts. No references, no linearity. The exploration is ascending or base. They say gold and shit are related. The beginning suggests birth; the end some kind of transformation into gold or mineral. The use of contact mics was straight out of acousmatic music. My only grievance is that they didn't limit the sound to contact mics and hold back on the more polished scoring. This is essential theatre.

  11. A true work of genius! There is no comparative reference for this extraordinary performance.
    It deserves to be seen.

  12. Visual effects were gorgeous. But that's all I can say that's positive. This had potential to be amazing but I felt no emotion unless you count annoyance and frustration at the long drawn out sequences. Seemed to be more about the artist's ego. Quite self-indulgent. Couldn't wait to get out of the theatre

  13. we enjoyed it - went with a dancer friend and our 11-yr olds who also enjoyed it. It was an experience. can't say I thought every moment conveyed a lot or that the movement aspect of it was especially beautiful or expressivein itself, but as an overall sensory experience I thought it was deep and worthwhile.

  14. No Narrative, only visual and not that developed even in that aspect.


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