When it comes to the circus, I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. I love to "ooh" and "ahh" over fine acrobatics and shimmery costumes as much as the next person, but I've seen more than my share of Cirque du Soleil shows, replete with lissome aerial dancers, acrobats with all the expected choreographic flourishes, and New Agey trance music in unidentifiable languages. Fancy wardrobes aside (I do love me some plumage), I usually find myself longing for the sort of quixotic, unpredictable larking about that made me love circuses in the first place. Maybe I've outgrown the primeval playground of the mind, but these days I prefer troupes like the Montreal-based 7 Fingers, who fuse classical and modern dance with vertiginous aerial tricks and a distinctly urban flavor. In the group"s new show, "Traces" directed by founding members and former Pickle Circus luminaries Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll five young thespians with all the right moves deliver a multimedia banquet for the senses. Whether they're breakdancing to Indian kathak rhythms, kick-flipping skateboards, or shooting hoops (and jumping through them), these performers give good show. Abstract video installations replace storybook backdrops, and high-grade athleticism complements hippodrome silliness. Amid all the commotion, 7 Fingers also focuses on the gritty realities of urban survival yet the show still delivers enough absurdity and magic to maintain wonder as part of the formula.
Dec. 13-Jan. 1, 8 p.m.