Triptyque at Sadler’s WellsCultureTheatre
After a successful show last summer, the Montreal-based 7 Fingers return to Sadler’s Wells with their elegant blend of circus and dance. The Samuel Tétreault-directed Triptyque is divided into three sections, each a breathtaking celebration of body virtuosity.
The 7 Fingers are responsible for sprinkling a human touch over the circus and acrobatics industries, ditching opulent showmanship for meaningful kinetic expression. In the company’s latest offering, Tétreault and his eight performers explore our relationship with gravity and how it effects our daily lives, from rising out of bed in the morning to falling back into it at night.
The first section, Anne & Samuel, choreographed by Marie Chouinard, sees Tétreault take to the floor himself, forming an impassioned duo with the exhilarating Anne Plamondon. Bodies mingle and merge in a symbiotic struggle against grounding forces, using crutches as extensions of their limbs.
Narrative ebbs away for the Victor Quijada-choreographed Variations 9.81, making way for a primitive display of physical ability more in keeping with their acrobatic roots. As a quintet of performers navigate a series of feeble rods using mainly their hands, legs wave in the air like foliage in the wind, creating an alluring spectacle.
It is the final act that steals the show however. Marcos Morau’s Nocturnes is compelling, thought-provoking, visually stunning and humourous from start to finish. It is a tale of memory, paranoia and relationships against a serene and niveous backdrop. An ever-present bed serves as the main prop and provides a constantly-shifting centre of gravity as it flies around the stage. Everything is perfectly paced, introducing calculated lulls which act as springboards for more spectacular stunts. Following a series of surreal, piscine hallucinations, philosophical musings are served up around the concept of reality, questioning its validity in that memory is such a selective process.
It is difficult to pin down a specific overriding sentiment when the final curtain draws, given that the piece offers so much. The combination of acrobatics and dance stirs the mind in a way not seen in other art forms. The 7 Fingers laugh in the face of perceived human limitations and use this form to tell a poignant story. It will also leave the viewer excessively aware of being sucked into their seat by an ever-present force that they can only strive to escape.
Triptyque is on at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on 1st and 2nd April 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch a clip from Triptyque here: