Traces of Delight
THE MEMBERS of the 7 Fingers troupe from Montreal are surely the most likeable group at Spoleto this year performing in their show Traces, which is a delightful blend of acrobatics, dance, and circus arts with an urban flare. The urban flare accounts for the skateboarding and street dance that gets mixed into this melange of acts demonstrated with a fluid narrative by a very talented group.
Six men and one woman inhabit a stage full of various props where they perform death defying stunts as well as play the piano, sing, draw, and tell humorous anecdotes in a dangling microphone that gets tossed around.
The natural ease with which these performers present their unique form is motivated by a sense of playfulness and spontaneity where there is room for error and rough edges and makes the audience happily engage with applause, gasps, and yells.
The opening duet between Valerie Benoit-Charbonneau and Mason Amos blends modern dance material and gymnastics. The two differ greatly in height as they partner each other through a romantic vignette. Amos hold her over head as she stands on his hands or in a handstand—a literal image of being head over heels in love.
Another high point is when Bradley Henderson spins in a giant ring around the stage in unimaginable ways, and when Terek Rommo intensely works on ropes in an aerial act high above the ground. The group does a skateboard ballet and pole dancing that rivals any exotic dancer.
As the performers leap, flip, spin, and throw each other around there is a great deal of trust and talent that is needed, but what is most welcome is the generosity they communicate through their personal stories and styles in this wonderful performance.