Urban circus comes into town with "Traces"

Open your mind and step inside the chalk line to experience a different take on performance art. Call it street performance, acrobatics, or if you dare a circus but do not call it passé. 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main) has given creative direction with Shana Carroll & Gypsy Snider providing direction and choreography to transport you into the depths of emotions and chaos within an urban setting.

Valérie, Mason, Mathieu, Bradley, Philippe, Xia a.k.a. Daqi, and Jonathan are the enigmatic group of performers who will take you on a journey of discovery through their physical and mental prowess. Taking the combination of circus acts, dance, skateboarding and anything else the group can use, do or sing, you will want more at the end of this 90 minute performance.

With changes happening to our society every day these 7 individuals combine their talents to show life from the perspective of close friends. However, it is their technical skills of circus arts, acrobatics, or dance that tell the story of their lives. This is not a fictional story but friends talking or ‘showing’ you their story of who each is as an individual.

The talent that is on the stage is phenomenal from technique to form. You will be mesmerized watching Bradley use his physique to climb jump and spin in gyration on the Cyr Wheel. Witness Daqi and his amazing control of his body stage some eye popping maneuvers. Laugh with Philippe as his infectious smile and constant movement keep you wondering what he is going to do next. Jonathan had the women on the edge of their seats with his rugged look and the men jealous at his physical power. The Renaissance man is Mathieu with his quickness on the blades to his acrobatics and everything else in-between. But if you have to boil the show down to artistry, physical emotion and performance it would be the combination of Valérie and Mason, their dance of love, heartache, devotion and strength is pure magic between these two.

This is a performance you do not want to miss. With a stirring music track and stage set as a back lot alley you will be right in the middle of the action and feeling every movement. You will connect and become more involved with all the artists as each shines brighter than the spotlight on them. They are a family, they are individuals, they are unadulterated beautiful artists and they will inspire you to look beyond the visual meaning. Get off your butt and out of your house for a night of sheer pleasure.

It is this visual bliss that reminds me why I enjoy performing. As an actor, singer, musician and practitioner of stunts, I sometimes forget that I am not just performing to an audience but for myself. These amazingly gifted individuals show their excitement for the art in each move, each step, flip, hop or fall they do. Their facial expressions and body posture exuberates how much fun is being expressed. Yet the one thing that stands out through the performance is the trust and feeling of a family this group exudes. It is very reminiscent of my Famiglia Martinelli, an Italian Comedia Troup. We are all individuals with different talents but when you put us all together we will make you laugh, cry, love, and split your pants laughing more and that’s just meeting us on the street, not even on the stage. As one quote goes, “there is the family you are born with and the family you choose.” Watching ‘Traces’ reminds me how lucky I am to be surrounded by such talented and artistic people to share my life with, very much like the 7 Fingers troupe. To Roxanne, Mo, Justen, Beth, Nat, Danny, Jessica, Dom, Mika, Carlos and Dan, you are my family and I thank you. To Alex my love, thank you for always pushing me to express my talents and reminding me it is never too late. To anyone who has had a passion and too afraid to try, stop procrastinating and do it. It is this that underscores the entire performance; never say I can’t. To the ‘Traces’ cast, Valérie, Mason, Mathieu, Bradley, Philippe, Daqi, and Jonathan, thank you for keeping the torch that all performers should be led by. Your energy and devotion has rekindled a flame that was dimming. To you all much love in the future; for without art, such as we do, the world would be less joyful. Live life to its fullest.

See ‘Traces’ at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts February 28, 2012 – March 4, 2012.

Follow my adventures in entertainment in Southern California on Twitter @SCThrillsMarc.

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