The 7 Fingers
The acceptable face of contemporary circus. Started by seven friends/fingers who previously performed with Cirque du Soleil, Les 7 Doigts de la Main share many characteristics of the Canadian monolith – they make shows with technically adept performers that are united by a 'theme' or slight, framing narrative. As is often the case, the media heralds them as innovative/experimental/edgy when they are in fact quite traditional and conservative.
"'This is the hat room.' The group shuffles round and strafes in that way to get a view through the window's narrow aperture: rows of long workbenches and sewing machines, fabric, mannequins. In a glass case by the door there's a small display of hats, or more broadly headgear, one item supporting long wavy bat ears and another stretched out in green-yellow, textured lizard skin. The guide is telling us that they employ fifty artisan hat-makers here, full-time."
Sideshow visits the nuclear family at Montreal's Saint-Michel district: La TOHU, Cirque du Soleil, and the École nationale de cirque.
It's always worth seeing a full solo show from a longtime ensemble performer – you can get major shifts in aesthetic, scale, tone, thematic preoccupation; things just spill out.
Mental illness is vivid and also soulful. The soundtrack of mental illness is turntable scratching or bass-heavy dance music. Obsessive compulsive disorder manifests principally in outbreaks of pop n lock. Jumping off a building (onto a crashmat, with back layouts) may be the best cure for schizophrenia.