REVIEW: TRACES Acrobatics Show
The name comes from the French expression “the five fingers of the hand,” used to describe multiple individual parts all acting towards one goal together. Their goal was to free circus performers from the monotonous and anonymous routine of a large-scale circus venue and instead give them the chance to create a show that best displayed their many talents. The seven performers dance around the stage, mixing visual art and music in along with acrobatic routines, creating a performance that leaves onlookers amazed and maybe a little bit envious. Each performer introduces themselves to the audience at the beginning, and then shows their unique style through their actions on stage. The small group connects with the audience, their unpainted faces able to smile, grimace or laugh at the crowd. Along with the vicarious joy one gets from seeing people do fantastic things with their bodies you never thought possible, the constant humor throughout the show serves to convince those watching that the people up front are, in fact, real.
The seven glide around the stage as they perform; even during the most strenuous routines their bodies seem not to collide but rather to roll off of each other. The first act, a magnificent two-person piece with Mason Ames and Valérie Benoît-Charbonneau, exemplifies this apparently effortless grace. The two throw themselves around one another yet barely seem to touch, apparently unaware of the difficulty of their maneuvers. Mixed in with the physical achievements are piano and guitar performances, dancing and general tomfoolery. The show aptly displays the wide range of exceptional abilities of the performers, including the Cyr Wheel, a large metal hoop that an acrobat stands inside of and rolls around the stage in, skateboarding, and parcours. They literally jump through hoops to impress the audience. Each performer’s personality shows throughout the production, in part because each is such an integral part to the whole.
There is an ebb and flow to the show, a pulse reinforced by the music choice. Heavy on the base and often without much else, some parts have only a heartbeat steadily pumping in the background. During moments of intensity the music rises, bringing watchers to the edge of their seats. However the high energy does not exhaust those watching by the end; rather after the stage goes dark hope buzzes through the audience quietly that one more scene will unfold. TRACES manages to captivate all who watch. A supreme success and tribute to the human potential.
TRACES runs until March 4, you can purchase tickets starting at fifteen dollars here
Reach Faiz J. Abu-Jaber here