Review: Arcane - Les Philebulistes

20:48, Feb 27 2012
ARCANE: Maxime Bourdon and Sebastien Bruas performers wowed the crowd with a free display of perfect flips, spins and somersaults while perched on a giant wheel.

From France comes a daring duo of aerialists to help launch the 14th New Zealand International Arts Festival. Maxime Bourdon and Sebastien Bruas are going to play games on a set of giant wheels in Waitangi Park (and it's free.)

A large audience has settled on the ground, in a happiness of rugs, cushions and children. The northerly wind is not gentle, seagulls are swooping about to the amplified overture. What on earth, or above it, are we in for?

It's fascinating physics to see how the height and weight of two differently proportioned bodies are used to set the wheels in motion.

You certainly wouldn't try this at home, as the duo has clearly worked intensively to achieve the rapport and timing that lets them taunt gravity in so many ways.

There are hints of what seems like French insouciance and whimsy as they carry out their virtuosic sequences for 25 minutes. They land safely, and all is well.

The piano music accompaniment is so well integrated it's hard to believe it is not being played live.


Later you discover it is, or almost in fact, better than that, the music was composed and recorded by Maxine Bourdon.


Arcane - Les Philebulistes is on Waitangi Park at 2.00pm and 6.00pm until February 26

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