We’ve been showing work at the CINARS Biennale in Montreal since 2002. This year, Réversible follows in the footsteps of La Vie (2008), Psy (2010), Séquence 8 (2012), and Cuisine & Confessions (2014), as the new production takes its turn playing in this prestigious event.
The performances will take place at the TOHU (2345 Jarry Street East) at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, Thursday, November 17, and Friday, November 18 (with shuttle bus service from downtown), as well as at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 20.
Those interesting in attending these performances must reserve directly through CINARS. For information about the show and for all booking and touring questions, please contact Tina Diab of the 7 Fingers (firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for our first fund-raising evening, december 7th at Tohu.
In the 15 years since the 7 Fingers has been alive, since its founding in 2002, the collective has self-funded over 90% of its activities, with government grants representing less than 10% of its revenues.
The company has never sought the support of the private sector and has always ensured its development completely independently. Up to now, the 7 Fingers have been able to reconcile the ambition to achieve their dreams with their modest means, but this way of operating has its limits.
To ensure a sustainable development and allow for new projects, the 7 Fingers therefore must turn to new sources of funding. This campaign will take place over five years (2017-2021) with a set goal of $5 million.
Join us for our first fund-raising evening. Attend a performance of REVERSIBLE followed by a conversation with the artists and a reception. Click here to get your tickets !
The 7 Fingers are thrilled to announce a sponsorship partnership with Air France. The major airline will help support the collective’s activities in the 2016-2017 year.
Air France is the main French airline specializing in air transportation of both passengers and cargo. The company is a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance, making it one of the largest carriers worldwide.
The partnership with the 7 Fingers will enable Air France to increase its visibility and reputation in the Canadian market, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver. Indeed, Air France is closely associated with Cuisine & Confessions, which will be playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto from November 1 to December 3, 2016, and soon after at the Vancouver Playhouse from January 24 to 29, 2017.
. Cuisine & Confessions will also make its rounds to other towns in British Columbia, playing at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre January 21 and at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo January 31 to February 1, 2017.
Thank you Air France for placing your trust in the 7 Fingers!
“7 Fingers founded in 2002 with the mission of bringing circus to a human scale, combining circus acts with emotion and intimacy to win over the audience is a tenet of the new circus movement that started in the counter-counteral departure from the stunt for stunt’s sake philosophy of traditional three ring circuses.”
– The New York Times (USA)
“THE JOY OF COOKING. A remarkably familial, interactive ensemble piece. The audience leaves the theatre nibbling the banana bread, happily sniffing the smells of baking as they go, wanting to share Cuisine & Confessions with friends.”
– Montreal Gazette (Canada)
“A MARVELOUS FEAST. These IMPOSSIBLY LITHE AND ELASTIC PERFORMERS turn themselves into human projectiles, hurtling about and above the Cutler Majestic stage as if oblivious to any limits for the human body. There are times when your eye doesn’t know where to look, there’s so much happening onstage, such A CAPTIVATING BLUR OF ENTWINED OR SOMERSAULTING OR JACKNIFING BODIES. In one moment you’re looking at a vertical tableau in which one performer balances, single-handed, on the single hand of another. In the next, you’re seeing two performers hurl themselves through stacked rectangles. Then an aerialist employs silks and proceeds to create airborne visual poetry. Factoring heavily into the show’s appeal are THE EBULLIENT PERSONALITIES OF THE PERFORMERS.”
– The Boston Globe (USA)
” A banquet for the senses for these impossibly lithe and elastic performers who turn themselves into human projectiles, hurtling above the stage, all while sustaining a burst of creative energy that recalls.
A JOYOUS DANCE PARTY VIBE.”
– The Boston Globe (USA)
” Nothing that happens at Fenway Park, TD Garden, or Gillette Stadium comes anywhere close to the level of athleticism, teamwork, and split-second timing on display in this show. Impossibly lithe and elastic performers turn themselves into human projectiles … as if oblivious to any limits on what is physically possible for the human body. Among the troupe’s most spellbinding productions yet.”
– The Boston Globe (USA)
“SHEER MAGICAL PHYSICALITY. Superhuman. Celebratory and playful. Not just a circus act, but a consummate work of theater, too. A show sure to delight cooking enthusiasts, acrobatics fans or anyone with an inner child willing to be dazzled.”
– WBUR/The Artery (USA)
“IF YOU DON’T SEE‘CUISINE & CONFESSIONS,’YOU ARE A DAMN FOOL.
My only regret is that I do not have six stars to give.”
– Boston EVENTS Insider (USA)
“GREAT FOR KIDS !”
– Boston EVENTS insider (USA)
“85 MINUTES OF ASTONISHING ACROBATICS AND HYSTERICAL HUMOR.”
– South Shore Critic (USA)
“A thrilling, modern brand of circus.”
– Time Out New York (USA)
” How many acrobats does it take to bake a cake? 7 Doigts is eager to find out in Cuisine and Confessions, a show that invites us into the kitchen for an evening of cooking, storytelling, and breathtaking acrobatics. So sit back, and feed your eyes and mouth – and make sure you don’t try any of this at home.”
– Time Out Paris (France)
“The troupe features everything from a trapeze artist, to a Chinese pole acrobat, a juggler, and gymnasts rollicking around in flour.”
– Time Out Paris (France)
“An infallible circus-dance-theatre-rock recipe that brings us right back to our hearts while warming our stomachs !”
– Le Monde (France)
“There is something evanescent, temporary, and fragile about food. You make it, it goes, and what remains are memories.”
– Jacques Pepin, world-renowned chef
“A winning recipe”
La Presse (Canada)
“A pure feast!
This playful and participatory show is a piece of pure creativity.”
– Le Journal de Montreal (Canada)
“A gem of a show.”
– Mon(theatre) (Canada)
– Mon(theatre) (Canada)
We’ve totally fallen for Cuisine & Confessions
– Metro (France)
“Mind-blowing routines, an incredible show.”
– NRJ (Canada)
“A delicious evening in every sense of the word.”
– Huffington Post (Canada)
“A perfect blend with just the right dose of ingredients, like in the very best recipes.”
– Huffington Post (Canada)
By Anne Middelboe Christensen
Republique’s new show is heavenly contemporary circus, full of beauty and horror
Set Designer and Director Martin Tulinius is a visual artist with an eye for the grotesque. Which makes his and Republique’s decision to delve into the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch in collaboration with the anarchistic contemporary circus company, Les 7 Doigts, an almost obvious one. Republique’s new show, Bosch Dreams, is most certainly a wondrous journey into a strange medieval world with naked bodies paying both Paradise and Hell a visit and with equal amounts of curiosity.
Hieronymus Bosch died 500 years ago. The Canadian director Samuel Tétrealt and the Canadian video artist Ange Potier have, in collaboration with Martin Tulinius and the dramatist Simon Boberg, created this impressive, wildly visual show of highest international standards in celebration of the artist.
The story concerns an art historian who literally leads us into his boundless fascination of Bosch, or rather his obsession with Bosch, because this university lecturer is no longer able to distinguish between the real world and Bosch’s world. He slides into the powerful images containing naked bodies that readily allow themselves to be gulped up by gigantic eggs and erotic, imaginary creatures.
Dalí as voyeur
On his journey through the images, the professor-like character comes across a half-naked acrobatic girl, who can do handstands and slits into all sorts of risqué positions – in the middle of a flower. Because the earthly paradise comes alive right in front of the audience, in the shape of Ange Potier’s crazy dream-like video design, where everything changes, as you watch.
Suddenly, the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí appears amidst Bosch’s landscapes, staring fascinatedly at the beautiful acrobatic girl. Soon he is joined by Jim Morrison, who together with his band The Doors produced the song “Ship of Fools”, which is inspired by a Bosch painting.
Death on Judgment Day
“What is good – and what is evil?” Those are the questions posed quite open-mindedly in the show’s wise and offbeat discussion on medieval ideas about Paradise. Not least reflected by the dying Bosch, lying in his bed and obviously dreaming himself into the Garden of Eden.
Yet it is the images of Hell that are the most powerful. When the entire stage becomes an inferno and the fearless artists crawl up burning houses to save each other, Judgment Day looms everywhere, framed by a soaring choreography that constantly strives to leave gravity behind.
Visually speaking, Bosch Dreams is heavenly. There is beauty and never-ending idyll – combined with elegant muscles, effortlessly performing the most brilliant acrobatics. There are heaven-bound angels, but also self-revolving, horror-filled monsters.
“Light my fire”, sings Jim Morrison. Yes please. Bosch Dreams lights up our imagination.
• The inspiration for the final scene of the show came during a trip of Gypsy’s to her family’s farm in Massachusetts. She was hanging laundry on a clothesline. There wasn’t anyone for miles around her.
- Natasha started performing professionally when she was nine.
- The artists researched their family history for almost a year. Prior to this research, many among them weren’t aware of the dark pasts of some of their ancestors.
- Hugo hadn’t ever hung a piece of laundry on a clothesline before this creation.
- Julien and Emilie are married.
- The aerial scene symbolises determination, resilience, and sisterhood. It tells the story of two women who, at a specific moment during their lives, decided to take a leap to live the way they wanted to live. The choice first caused them incredible loneliness, but proved emancipating and liberating as they opened up to the world and took part in a global movement.
- Jérémi is the most agile of all on stage and the clumsiest of all offstage.
- Three doors were destroyed during the show creation.
- Vincent studied to be a baker.
- Julien has performed in several other 7 Fingers shows: Traces, PSY, Amuse, and Queen of the Night.
- The carrousel in the final scene is a time machine for Natasha. Every room that she visits represents a specific era inspired by the lives of her ancestors. Through the juggling balls, she is able to delve into different memories.
Philip CHBEEB & and Hokuto KONISHI, from AXYZM are Movement Design Collaborators on the show
How does your own work relate to the work of the 7 Fingers?
Phillip: What the 7 Fingers does really well is not only capture the human side of a circus performer but, with a kind of minimalist approach, they strip away all the things that are in excess and actually leave the barebones, personal side of a human’s life. The personal side of very simple set pieces can transform into this huge meaning. In a similar way, we like to take everyday objects and things that are relatable to people and transform those things into things that are greater, or more interesting, than they would be. In that way we found a commonality in just transforming minimal things with only eight cast members and three walls, like, “How can you take this and transform it into something beautiful?”
What has struck you during this experience?
Hokuto: Now, especially with the media and the social media and the pace going faster, I feel like the point where [some] give up is a lot quicker. With circus artists of this level, they all have this incredible level of craft and they just have this understanding of, “All right, you have to do it a million times first before you say anything.” If everyone had this mindset, the dance craft would definitely grow. I really would want dancers and people who haven’t really seen circus to see the 7 Fingers show [to see] the marriage of dance and circus, where it’s not just the tricks and acts, but it’s all the in-betweens.
Phillip: The way the circus artists of Reversible are willing to delve into our craft just as much as with their own is a really rare thing that we don’t always see in the industry. It was really refreshing to see open artists tackling everything we threw at them.
What are your thoughts on the role of the artists during this creation?
Phillip: One of my favourite things about the 7 Fingers’ approach—and it seems like such a unique way of approaching theater and circus—was the amount of attention that they bring to the artists themselves. I think very often the artist kind of gets hidden behind this enormous production which I think is great sometimes but what you lose is that fact that audience members are people and that they’re watching other people and having a connection. This is something that I think 7 Fingers does extremely well, so when you’re watching one of these performances you’re not just seeing some creature that does something amazing and jumping through, but you’re also seeing yourself in those people. I think it has that extra inspiration for the audience member to be like, “You know what? There’s more I can do with my life and what goes on in my life than I thought.”
Hokuto: The fact that you understand the performers are humans, and just simple things like, “Oh, they’re walking— I can walk! They’re leaning on the wall—I can lean on the wall!” and then when they do the things that are amazing it just enhances it even more because it’s brought the audience down to a human level rather than just going in to see some tricks. Tricks wise all the cast members have something amazing to offer. I love that with the 7 Fingers they’re able to coat that in a very human way.
What are some of the stories and themes going into Reversible?
A year ago we started a research project for Reversible. The idea was that we were going to base the characters in our story on characters that were very deeply inherent in ourselves. So I sent the cast out last November (2015) to start looking into their genealogy. They had to go at least to their grandparents, but some of them went as far as their great-grandparents and their great-great-grandparents. I wanted them to create characters based on where they came from, a past that they were not even aware of. The idea was that in studying that past, they might see a deeper, stronger path to how they became the people that they are. And the idea was that we would then construct characters to tell the story of Reversible based on events that occurred in these artists’ DNA pool over the last 150 years. This has proven to be the deepest and most exciting part of creating Reversible. Every day they’d come back with new stories about their grandparents or their great-grandparents, things they had no idea about. One girl found out she was Jewish, she had no idea. One girl who is Swiss found out that her Japanese grandmother had abandoned an arranged marriage in Japan and ran away with a Swiss man. She became the first woman to immigrate to this tiny Swiss village. The stories are just incredible. What we’re feeling in this current generation is that we are uprooted. We are not as connected to family and past as we were even 50 years ago.
Who are the artists on stage?
Once [the concept behind Reversible] was established, it came to casting. In casting the show, it was really important that we had the usual 7 Fingers versatile cast. A cast that is not only made of incredible acrobats and jugglers, but also a cast of characters that were really going to mould themselves to the experience that I was trying to create—that I am trying to create. I knew I wanted four men and four women to balance out either side of the walls. I knew I wanted people who were going to help me write the story from their personal experience.
In creating a show, I’m always looking for a spark. The initial spark of Reversible was the idea of working with walls. Walls that would create confined theatrical spaces and situations, walls that could move and transform and give us interesting geometric forms. Walls are also hugely theatrical. Walls are something that we’re all familiar with: walls that confine us, walls that separate us, walls that enclose us, walls that keep us from doing the things that we want to do in our lives. So we created Reversible with walls that represent the exterior and walls that represent the interior. From this, the story was written.
Once I had established this world within which I wanted to create the show, the idea of having these two-sided walls helped me to define the story telling, which very clearly became about who we are on the inside and who we are on the outside. Our reversible selves. Reversible!
What has the creative process of Reversible been like?
The process for Reversible is based on the creative process the 7 Fingers have been developing over the last 15 years. We begin with a spark, an idea, a desire to express and explore a concept that fascinates us, something that we feel will fulfill our search for a better humanity, for a better understanding of who we are. We write the concept—the story writing happens in our minds, at the writing table between the 7 Fingers— and we develop the idea together, we take a storyline, a vehicle to explore the capacity of storytelling through circus, and then we cast a show of characters based on that desire and through improvisation. We create a playground in which we ask the artists to improvise on themes, structures, situations, so that they are able to bring in their own quality—their own flavour —and together we create the show.
The artists enter the process almost a year before the premiere. Their contribution is fundamental; creating this way is heavily based on improvisation, on a very personal way of working.
I propose concepts, music, stage designs, situations, a theatrical framework onto which the artists must improvise to fill this canvas.
Of course, there are choreographed segments and images that are already very clear to me before, but I always expect the artists to go further. It’s a very organic, very creative, and always surprising process, one that allows us to create one entity that is separate from us, an entity that takes us further than something that any of us might have imagined alone.