Famed Circus Company 7 Fingers Makes Portland Debut with Thrilling “Sequence 8”



When: March 5-7 2015, Thursday – Saturday 7:30pm, plus 2pm Saturday matinee
Where: Newmark Theater, SW Broadway & Main, Portland
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.
Sponsors: Darci & Charlie Swindells
Media Sponsor: The Oregonian
Info: www.whitebird.org

“It’s laid back. It’s seductive – exuberantly youthful and breathtakingly beautiful.
More than anything, it’s just plain joyful.”- SF Gate


White Bird is excited to present the Portland debut of Sequence 8, the newest creation from Montreal’s famed circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main, March 5-7 at the Newmark Theatre. Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The Seven Fingers of the Hand), founded in 2002, is known for creating “circus on a human scale.” Created in 2012 by Shana Carroll and her husband Sebastien Soldevila, Sequence 8 places the extraordinary nature of circus performing in a day-to-day context, connecting audiences of all ages to real people and leading them on a relatable physical and emotional journey. Sequence 8 has been presented over 400 times in 15 countries and has received rave reviews around the world.

As the 8th creation by Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Sequence 8 brings a refreshing, new generation of circus to the stage. Directors/Choreographers Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila fuse circus arts, contemporary dance, and elements of low-key comedy to deliver a brilliantly entertaining 90-minute show. Eight young men and women explore emotions so heightened that they spring into action and discover relationships that grow and evolve generating explosive velocity in acrobatic and aerial movement. The chemistry of the performers develops before the audience with acts of trust, care and understanding as they fly, spin and leap through the air.
The troupe’s bright, young acrobats are athletic and versatile, working in groups, pairs and solos to perform gravity-defying trapeze acts and propulsive routines with casual ease. On stage they break down the ‘fourth wall’ by engaging the audience in casual conversation, allowing their individual personalities to emerge and connect on a deeper level. Among the performers, Alexandra Royer is dazzling on the Russian Bar – a narrow fiberglass plank carried by two of the men – and in a solo performance on a spinning aerial hoop. Athletic trapeze artist Maxim Laurin is just as impressive in a high-flying teeterboard routine. Eric Bates is astounding juggling cigar boxes. In one unbelievable sequence, each time the lights come up in a series of brief blackouts, everything onstage has been rearranged, from the props to the performers who, for example, sit magically high atop a Chinese pole, then magically appear somewhere else on stage.

Founded in 2002, Les 7 Doigts de la Main translates literally as “the 7 fingers of the hand”. It is a twist on a French idiom (“the five fingers of the hand”) used to describe individual parts, closely united and working towards a common goal. The number 7 refers to the seven founders of the company – Isabelle Chassé, Shana Carrol, Patrick Léonard, Faon Shane, Gypsy Snider, Sébastian Soldevila and Samuel Tétreault. By combining their individual distinct talents, the 7 Fingers work toward common artistic goals in creating new unique works with today’s most talented circus performers. According to the founders, “We wish to think outside the box, to innovate, surprise, and touch. The extraordinary is hidden inside the wake of the ordinary. In addition to delighting audiences, we invite spectators to question their own perceptions of life and of reality, encouraging them to reflect on their own values and hopes.”

Along with co-choreographing Sequence 8, former trapeze artist Shana Carrol performed seven years as the original solo trapeze artist for Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco (1994-2001). She also performed for 20 years in the air with 7 Fingers shows Loft and La Vie and a wide variety of circus companies around the world. Her choreography credits include the Cirque du Soleil performance at the 84th Annual Academy Awards (2012), the acrobatic design and choreography of Cirque du Soleil’s show Iris, and the creation of 4 gold-medal winning acts at the Festival de Cirque de Demain. Her husband and co-choreographer for Sequence 8, Sébastian Soldevila grew up passionate about acrobatics and trained in trampoline, diving, acrobatic skiing and tumbling with the French Junior National Team. With the 7 fingers he co-created Loft, La Vie, Sequence 8, Le Murmure du Coquelicot and Cuisine & Confessions. He coaches acrobatics at the National Circus School of Montreal. In 2014, he staged one of three scenes of the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Sotchi, Russia, directing over 600 dancers, gymnasts, acrobats, and children.
White Bird’s 2014-15 season is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, Ronni Lacroute/ WillaKenzie Estate, Work for Art, Oregon Arts Commission, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), The Autzen Foundation, Trust Management Services, The Jaffe Foundation, The Boeing Company and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition.

Famed Circus Company 7 Fingers Makes Portland Debut with Thrilling “Sequence 8”