Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Les 7 Doigts de la Main Brings Emotional Acrobatics to Southern California

Les 7 doigts de la main returns to Southern California for a one-night-only performance of Séquence 8, a uniquely theatrical production full of the company’s signature acrobatics, at Valley Performing Arts Center on February 19.

You’ve seen them perform at three Olympic Games, in Sochi (2014), Vancouver (2010), and Turin (2006) and watched as they transformed the Broadway revival of Pippin into a Tony Award-winning production with their amazing circus effects. When the national tour played the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood last year, audiences were quite literally blown away by their creation.

I first crossed paths with the company in 2011 when it brought Traces to the Ricardo Montalban Theater. The lyricism of their high-powered acrobatics, inventive dance choreography, and beautiful music created a deeply emotional production set in an apocalyptic scenario that spilled over from stage to audience. In my review of the show I said “Their street take on the traditional circus experience stretches the boundaries of the genre and creates a breathtakingly brash, decidedly urban show.” I was hooked from the very first image.

In this current show, the company explores the role of the “other” and how we define ourselves through and against it. Every aspect is heightened, with the visual landscape working vertically as the artists carry their emotional and physical dynamics to a point of explosion and propulsion. Séquence 8 was created in 2012, coproduced by Les Nuits de Fourvière (Lyon, France) and the TOHU (Montréal). Direction and Choreography is by Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila with Eric Bates, Ugo Dario, Colin Davis, Devin Henderson, Alexandra Royer , Maxim Laurin, Camille Legris, and Tristan Nielsen on stage.

Les 7 doigts de la main translates as “the 7 fingers of the hand” (from the French idiom “the five fingers of the hand”), which represents its 7 members moving as one toward a artistic common goal. The company was founded in Montreal in 2002 by seven veterans of Cirque de Soleil with the goal to bring circus to a human scale. These 7 founding directors (Isabelle Chassé, Shana Carroll, Patrick Léonard, Faon Shane, Gypsy Snider, Sébastien Soldevila and Samuel Tétreault) combined their distinct talents and experiences, to work toward their common artistic goals with the beautifully awkward dexterity of a 7-fingered hand. Since then they have expanded their artistic reach and passed on their collaborative and unique 7 Fingers process to a new generation of circus artists.

Séquence 8 - Les 7 Doigts de la Main
February 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Great Hall at Valley Performing Arts Center
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330-8448
Directions and Parking 
Click Here for tickets ($35 - $65)

Top 2 photos: 
©Studio Pastis
Bottom 5 photos: ©Sylvie Ann Paré

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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