Circus company Les 7 doigts de la main was formed in 2002 by seven graduates of Montreal’s National Circus School. In a city where internationally renowned companies like Cirque Éloize and Cirque du Soleil are based, this young company was determined to “create a circus of an entirely different flavour” and bring circus to a human scale.
Creators of contemporary circus look to express tricks uniquely through character and story or take them to a new level of skill. Traces has original routines that use contemporary dance, skateboards and basket balls, but stands apart by intimately presenting their performers, rather than characters.
This company is the second cast, but the show is designed to adapt, and through use of music, stories and direct audience interaction, it doesn’t take long to know Antoine, Antoine, Genevieve, Philip and Raphael like friends. Without the distraction of character, costume and effect to hide the performer’s human flaws – or giving them time off stage to recover – their circus skills are also more exposed.
And, for all it’s enticing narrative and unique street feel, Traces soars with its skill. From the addictive opening choreography to the final jaw-dropping Chinese hoop routine, there’s no hiding the astonishing, heart-stopping acrobatic strength and skill of these performers. Each are genuinely engaging personalities, but you can’t take your eyes off them when they show us their super-human side.
Like professional sport, physical risk is part of circus with margins of error measured in millimetres. Even with years of training and months of rehearsal, risk is an integral part of Traces and one of the reasons we enjoy watching it so much. If this cast of 20-somethings don’t inspire you to join the circus, they will at least inspire you to take some risks to perfect the skills and abilities that will leave your traces in your world.
Season Continues until August 29th, 2009