Kitchen sink confidential The Seven Fingers’ Cuisine & Confessions
THE 7 FINGERS’ CUISINE & CONFESSIONS
Ofthe five senses, smell is most strongly connected to memory. Sniffing a bouquet of wildflowers can summon the image of a longago day with friends. The pungent odor of hospital antiseptic can usher in a wave of grief even decades after the death of a loved one. Smell also accounts for the majority of what we taste, leading us to associate, for instance, the scent of roasting turkey with the family members with whom we share Thanksgiving. In Cuisine & Confessions, the science of our senses collides with art as circus performers cook a trio of meals on a stage set with a working kitchen. They share their personal memories of food and perform acrobatics for a live audience that will, at the end of the show, get to sample a bit of pasta and some banana bread. The 7 Fingers Creation Collective — or Les 7 Doights Collectif de Création — a Montreal-based circus ensemble, brings its U.S. tour of Cuisine & Confessions to Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Several members of The 7 Fingers originally performed with Cirque du Soleil. In 2002, a new troupe was co-founded in part by Sébastien Soldevila, an acrobatics coach and choreographer, and his wife, Shana Carroll, a Berkeley, California, native who started her career as a member of the Pickle Family Circus in San Francisco. The group boasts seven artistic directors with seven distinct but complementary visions of what circus can be. They emphasize storytelling and consider their acrobatic feats to be akin to dance — and just one piece of a larger whole in which themes are expressed through acting, singing, and other theatrical elements, as well as visual art or whatever medium is pertinent to the ideas they are trying to convey. Past productions include Bosch Dreams, an homage to the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, in which painting, animation, and set design are fused so seamlessly that the performers become moving parts within the artwork. In PSY, the troupe explores addiction, insomnia, paranoia, and hypochondria; Le Murmure du Coquelicot is about the life and times of a struggling, aging actor; and Projet Fibonacci is premised on the famous mathematical sequence discovered by Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in the early 13th century.
Carroll’s grandmother wrote a book of recipes that included biographical anecdotes, which inspired Carroll and Soldevila to create a circus around the idea of family stories and food. “The real connection between circus and cooking is that both are something we like to share,” Soldevila told Pasatiempo. “The show is not only about the cooking — it’s about the kitchen as a space to share knowledge, to share food, to share moments.” As audience members filter into the theater, they can expect to see performers on stage preparing to cook and bantering with the people closest to them. (There are interactive components later, so they are also subtly looking for who might