The 7 Fingers: Loft, Roundhouse, London

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The Independent Culture

The Canadian circus troupe The 7 Fingers all former members of Cirque du Soleil bring their show Loft to the Roundhouse. It is set in the home of seven friends who make use of household items to escape the monotony of life. It includes comedy, circus, dance, song, video-projection and a DJ mixing everything from rap, techno, beatbox and tango.

"We have juggling with kitchen knives, acrobatics while hanging from a tablecloth, contortion in a bath tub," says Sbastien Soldevilla, 34, one of The 7 Fingers. "We play with the furniture as a way of demystifying circus. Bringing circus into the home, using everyday objects, humanises it; we don't have big costumes and make-up. The audience connects to us as real people, not circus acts."

Soldevilla's main disciplines are diabolo and hand-to-hand (acrobatics with a partner), but he is also highly skilled at trampoline, tumbling, acrobatic skiing, gymnastics and diving. His career took off in 1988 when he joined the Cirque du Soleil, and in 2003 he won the Prix Nikouline for the best clown act. In 2007, Soldevilla and his partner won the gold medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris for their hand-to-hand act.

The 7 Fingers was founded in Montreal in 2002 by Soldevilla and six friends: Gypsy Snider (knife manipulation, singing); Isabelle Chass (aerial fabric, contortion); Faon Shane (aerial chains); Samuel Ttreault (hand balancing); Shana Carrol (trapeze, static, swinging); and Patrick Lonard (diabolo, stair-dancing, clown). They premiered their first show, Loft, at Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival in 2002. Since then, they have created Traces, a high-acrobatic show starring five graduates of Montreal's National Circus School, and this year they presented La Vie, a dark acrobatic cabaret.

What prompted them to part company with the globally successful Cirque du Soleil? "We wanted to be the creators of the show, not just the performers."

Charlotte Cripps



To 30 December (0870 389 1846; www.roundhouse.org.uk)

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