Circus ensemble Les 7 Doigts de la Main will perform in Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall Friday, May 3, at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m.; and Sunday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m. The ensemble embraces the style of cirque nouveau (contemporary circus), combining theater, dance, live music, and circus arts in order to present a coherent story in addition to traditional circus acts. Les 7 Doigts’ program PSY, directed by Bay Area native Shana Carroll, explores the unconventional theme of human weaknesses—the mental and emotional kind. Each performer represents a different issue, and they use their art and talent to overcome the obstacles. For instance, the trapeze artist plays a character that has a fear of heights, and the knife thrower has an issue with anger management. “The circus skills are brilliant, twisted into clever, often funny dramas” (The Independent).
Les 7 Doigts de la Main will give a SchoolTime performance for Bay Area students Friday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Tickets available in advance only.
Les 7 Doigts de la Main translates literally to “the seven fingers of the hand,” a twist on words of the French idiom “the five fingers of the hand” that describes distinct parts working together towards one common goal. The number seven stands for the seven founding directors of the company, including PSY’s director Shana Carroll, Isabelle Chassé, Patrick Léonard, Faon Shane, Gypsy Snider, Sébastien Soldevila, and Samuel Tétreault, many of whom originally met as cast members of Cirque du Soleil. Founded in 2002, Les 7 Doigts de la Main has performed for the Queen of England and at the Opening Ceremonies for both the Turin and Vancouver Olympics. “PSY is filled with beautiful moments that combine ingenious set design and unusual displays of circus skills” (Orange County Register).
PSY is the fourth work the company has created, which they describe as “merging acrobatics of the body with acrobatics of the mind and soul.” The initial scene is set up in a psychiatrist’s office but the setting quickly transforms into innovative bizarre locations that are meant to represent the deep recesses of the mind. The program will include a variety of circus acts including the trapeze, juggling, teeterboard, German wheel, and aerial rope. For more, visit 7doigts.com/en/shows/3-psy.
Tickets for Les 7 Doigts de la Main Circus on May 3 at 8:00 p.m., May 4 at 2:00 p.m. and May 5 at 3:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 to $52.00, and are subject to change. The performance on Saturday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m. is a Family Fare event; children 16 and under receives 50% off single ticket prices. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.