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Thursday, June 13, 2019

In Context: Espæce

Photo: Christophe Raynaud de Lage

An enormous moveable wall splits and folds like a book. Five performers—three dancers, a soprano, and an actor—navigate this stunning monolith to create a shape-shifting tableau. Aurélien Bory’s playful, poetic work of physical theater is inspired by the life and work of writer-trickster Georges Perec, best known for his wordplay and droll wit. Using Perec’s Species of Spaces as a jumping-off point and diving into a physical riddle of arrivals and departures, presence and absence, Espæce destabilizes our expectations to moody and mischievous effect.

After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #espaece.

Program Notes

Espæce (PDF)


Scroll through for more visuals of Espæce and an interview with Bory on how Perec’s writing inspired his shape-shifting work.

‘He Could See the 21st Century Coming:’ Why Georges Perec Is the Art World’s New Favorite Author (Again) (Artnet News)
The prophetic French writer’s work spans a multitude of timeless themes and, as such, is increasingly being explored within the art and performance worlds.


LES SEPT PLANCHES DE LA RUSE - Aurélien Bory avec 14 artistes de l’Opéra de Dalian (Chine) (YouTube)
Bory made his BAM debut in 2008 with his nouveau cirque work Les sept planches de la ruse.

SANS OBJET - Pièce d'Aurélien Bory (YouTube)
Bory returned to our 2012 Next Wave festival with his captivating ballet and acrobatic dialogue between man and machine, Sans Objet.

Now your turn...

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

© 2019 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.


  1. It will not replace Aeschylus. The prop/set became the drama? I don't think so. It was fun but didn't live up to the ruminations in the program. Thank, Bacchus!

  2. Not like anything else I've seen: astounding dexterity by performers and intriguing, altho hardly narrative, interplay with a remarkable set. Fully delivered on promised "moody and mischievous effect." Glad I went. I assume scheduling conflicts prevented show from appearing in Next Wave?

  3. I was captivated from start to finish - an enthralling piece of physical theatre. Loved the opening with the use of books. Truly a must-see.

  4. images that compare to the best of Robert Wilson at a much faster pace. was totally involved. sorry to have missed Bory's previous work at BAM.


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