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Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers)

An international touring production of often spectacular contemporary circus sequences performed by an engaging and youthful cast premieres in NYC.

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Hoops Display from “Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers)” (Photo credit: Studio Pastis)

Hoop Display from “Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers)” (Photo credit: Studio Pastis)

Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

 “A dance of our actions to your reactions.  No one knows the steps yet,” explains the charming and funny performer Colin Davis, during his introductory remarks to Séquence 8, a thrilling program of contemporary circus sequences.

For 95 minutes, there is one often dazzling number after another, performed by this Canadian troupe of eight, athletic, international, youthful performers.  Their physical prowess is combined with modern dance choreography, acrobatics, verbal and visual comedy, a lively score of original music and pop songs, and striking lighting.

The backdrop is a hanging assortment of large, unfilled picture frames of various shapes, which besides having an aesthetic, and perhaps symbolic dimension, are pleasing to look at. Mr. Davis is the show’s host and with often dry humor banters with the audience and the other performers, and appears in a number of the continually spectacular series of acts.

A woman jumps up and down on a Russian barre with breathtaking movements in between, and another woman does an exciting gyroscopic routine from a hoop. A man’s fantastic trapeze routine, a man precisely juggling wooden boxes. The cast dancing through long strips of black tape representing the complexity of relationships.  Men on a seesaw, pole climbing, the cast soaring through hoops, one jumping through a high, wooden hoop several times until the action is perfect and the hoop breaks.  These are all among the most exhilarating sights.

In addition to Davis, the other performers are Eric Bates, Ugo Dario, Devin Henderson, Maxim Laurin, Camille Legris, Tristan Nielsen, and Alexandra Royer.

Alexandra Royer in a scene from “Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers)” (Photo credit: Lionel Montagnier)

Alexandra Royer in a scene from “Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers)” (Photo credit: Lionel Montagnier)

The exciting direction and choreography by Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila gives a unity and momentum to the show. Ms. Carroll and Mr. Soldevila are two of the seven artistic directors of Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers), the Montreal based company founded in 2002 that created and presents Séquence 8The 2013 hit Broadway revival of Pippin, was choreographed by them.  

Their previous full-length show to play in New York City, Traces, ran for over a year Off-Broadway.  This one opened in France in 2012, and has since toured 15 countries, before this 12-performance engagement at New York City Center.

Anne-Séguin Poirier’s set and props all have a timeless, visually arresting simplicity.  Costume designer Manon Desmarais’ inspired creations are an eclectic collection of standard athletic wear and street clothes with creative flourishes.  In one scene where performers partially disrobe, a man’s shirt becomes a dress.

The lighting design of Nol Van Genuchten vibrantly enhances the proceedings.  Boldly highlighting particular moments of the performances, at times subtly shifting to dimness, and with stark blackouts, it’s a key element of the show’s success.

“Party in The USA,” sung by Miley Cyrus is one of the various pieces of popular music wittily incorporated in with Seth Stachowski and Nans Bortuzzo’s often cool, jazzy original music.  The blend of it all is perfect and appropriate accompaniment to the continual spectacles on display.

Audiences of all ages and types will find much to be enthralled by during the cumulatively amazing Séquence 8.

Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers) (through April 26, 2015)

New York City Center, 130 West 56th Street, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 212-581-1212 or visit http://www.nycitycenter.org

Running time: one hour and 40 minutes with no intermission

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Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (633 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

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