The show is called “Traces,” and you’ve simply got to see it. It’s like Cirque de Soleil, but without the razz-matazz. Like a troop of Chinese acrobats, but with personality. Like a ballet with somersaults.
Seven young people, all in their 20s, (six men and one small 112-pound woman) plunge onstage and introduce themselves. They are the Seven Fingers of the Hand, a Montreal-based group whose name reflects seven artists united tightly, moving in coordination, and “with the beautifully awkward dexterity of a seven-fingered hand.”
They are truly creative, and what they do with their bodies shouldn’t be possible. To innovative music and sound, they toss each other around, they climb to dizzying heights, they fly through small hoops, they balance upside down on a stack of unevenly balanced chairs, they roll around the stage inside a large hoop, they climb up and down poles and balance at right angles, then fling themselves from one distant pole to another — sometimes two at a time. Two of them perform a beautiful balletic pas de deux. They toss a basketball while turning somersaults and fly off high platforms while spinning their bodies and turning triple somersaults in midair. They perform in unison, like the Rockettes. And they perform a seven-person ballet on skateboards and rollerblades, whizzing by each other at lightning speeds.
Their movements are multiplied periodically with the use of overhead cameras and a projection screen, and their artwork is also projected as they’re producing it at a light table downstage. Sometimes they sing. They play the piano and guitar. They tease each other and stage mock fights. And through all this they clearly let you know that they are having one helluva good time.
And so will you — when you stop holding your breath.
“Traces” will continue at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St., half a block south of Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. through Feb. 20. The whole run is only six weeks, so don’t put it off. Call (800) 982-2787 for tickets right now.
Cynthia Citron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.