Another circus-inspired delight from Montreal

The 7 Fingers troupe will perform the "Sequence 8" show at the Merriam Theater through Sunday, with acrobatics aplenty.
The 7 Fingers troupe will perform the "Sequence 8" show at the Merriam Theater through Sunday, with acrobatics aplenty.
Posted: September 21, 2012

Sequence 8

Through Sunday at the Merriam Theater. Tickets: $20-$55. Information: 215-413-1318 or www.livearts-fringe.org

Folks in Montreal know a thing or two about the circus. The hometown of Cirque du Soleil has also produced the troupe called 7 Fingers, which this week is performing Sequence 8, one of the most fantastic, memorable Live Arts/Fringe shows I've ever seen. It had its U.S. premiere Tuesday night before a packed house at the Merriam Theater.

Sequence 8 seamlessly blends circus arts with modern dance and hip-hop in a family-friendly array of acrobatic feats reminiscent of Olympic gymnastics. All eight performers clown around, but no one is creepy or annoying.

Set to music ranging from Tosca to the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Sequence 8 includes group dance sections with a heavy dose of aerial acrobatics, a Russian bar routine that's a cross between trampoline and balance beam, and many gravity-defying acts.

What makes 7 Fingers - which brought its Traces to last year's Live Arts Festival - extra-special is the intimacy and humanity of its show. The Merriam is hardly a small space, but compared with a circus ring, it brings the audience closer and magnifies the details.

The simple costumes (mostly dance and workout wear) and occasional small missteps only made the performance more believable, and thus more amazing. If a performer drops the boxes he's juggling or needs a second turn doing a somersault through a hoop because he knocked it down the first time (both happened Tuesday night), he seems more like an otherwise ordinary person with extraordinary talent than a freak of nature.

The show runs through Sunday. See it if you can.

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