Union Square Theatre
By Deborah Searle
Traces, by Montreal-based troupe 7 Fingers, is astonishing! If there’s one show that will make you gasp this season, it’s Traces. Nail-biting, awe-inspiring, freaky and fun, the artists of 7 Fingers are an eclectic mix of talent and tenacity. From varied countries, backgrounds and artistic pursuits, all seven acrobats can seemingly defy gravity.
Traces is a delightfully entertaining show, where we get a glimpse into the lives of the seven artists and even see a few baby photographs, adding to the personal feel of the program. The artists perform daring moves upon rollerblades, skateboards, chairs, poles and even a teeter-totter. Many times they come flying at the audience, stopping just short of landing in our laps. These acrobats seem to have no limits! At times I wanted to close my eyes, worried that with just one slip the performers would sustain severe injuries or land on top of me. How these artists perform without safety strings or nets amazes me.
A contemporary dance pas de deux by Mason Ames and Valérie Benoît-Charbonneau is beautiful and daring, as they not only dance together and perform lifts, but include acrobatic tumbles and tricks upon each other’s bodies. They are so precise and seemingly fearless as they perform the most elaborate of tricks.
A dance number beginning in a row of chairs across the stage was a highlight, and showed that the artists aren’t only acrobats, but consummate contemporary dancers also. A thrilling number by Bradley Henderson with a large ring is astounding, a chair piece by Florian Zumkehr shows his remarkable strength and balance and a Chinese yoyo dance by Xia Zhengqi is lighthearted, displaying mind-boggling accuracy and concentration.
Every scene brings a little humor, dare and delight. Traces is an explosive display of physicality, with the magic of circus and the grit of the street.
Traces will also be touring to Philadelphia and Hartford, CT. Make sure you get your tickets!
Photo: Michael Meseke