Kitchen sink con­fi­den­tial The Seven Fin­gers’ Cui­sine & Con­fes­sions


Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - Jen­nifer Levin The New Mex­i­can

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

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