By Adam Hetrick
and Kenneth Jones
20 Jul 2012
|Photo by Michael Meseke|
The work by 7 Fingers, a Montreal-based company, has a gray, funky, industrial-warehouse setting, with lean troupers bending their bodies and flying through the air, through hoops and into each others' arms. Critics embraced the production that incorporates biographical monologues from the performers.
Traces received its New York City commercial debut Aug. 8, 2011, following previews from July 29, 2011, at the Union Square Theatre. It extended its ten-week limited run last fall into an open-ended Off-Broadway engagement.
After concluding in New York, Traces will launch a 12-city European tour on Sept. 14 in Oostend, Belgium. Additional tour stops include Chateauvallon, France; Marseille, France; Copenhagen, Denmark; Brussels, Belgium; Arlon, Lens, France; Lyon, France; Chambery, France; Rueil, France; Albi, France; and Ibos, France.
Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey & Mike Isaacson), Tom Gabbard, Amanda Dubois, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Nassib El-Husseini, and Thomas Lightburn produce Traces. The show was previously seen in Manahttan in the not-for-profit season at the New Victory Theater on West 42nd Street. Here's how producers characterize Traces: "If the world ended tomorrow, what would you leave behind? In Traces, the human body is pushed to its limits as a group of friends leave their mark in a run-down warehouse through acrobatics, music and dance. Fusing the traditions of circus with the energy of street performance, Traces is an explosive display of raw emotion and physicality in an intimate urban setting. When it counts, will you leave it all on the stage?"
Traces has creative direction by 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main) and direction and choreography by Shana Carroll & Gypsy Snider. It's performed by Mason Ames, Valérie Benôit-Charbonneau, Mathieu Cloutier, Bradley Henderson, Phillipe Normand-Jenny, Xia Zhengqi and Florian Zumkehr with alternate cast members Héloïse Bourgeois, Sen Lin and William Underwood.
Les 7 Doigts de la Main translates literally as "the 7 fingers of the hand." It's "a twist on a French idiom 'the five fingers of the hand,' used to describe distinct parts united tightly, moving in coordination towards one common goal," according to the company. "Here it refers to the seven founding directors of the company (Shana Carroll, Isabelle Chasse, Patrick Léonard, Faon Shane, Gypsy Snider, Sébastien Soldevila and Samuel Tétreault) who, by combining their distinct talents and experiences, work towards their common artistic goals with the beautifully awkward dexterity of a seven-fingered hand."
Check out Playbill's video feature with the cast.