Published in The New York Times
“When I’m not focused, stuff happens,” said Mason Ames, the performer in question, in an interview between shows at the Ricardo Montalbán Theater in Hollywood. “I bump into people.”
The show, which closes in Los Angeles on Sunday and opens in Denver on March 11, is the creation of the Montreal-based group 7 Fingers, founded in 2002 with the mission of bringing circus to a human scale. The British newspaper The Guardian called it “circus for the Facebook generation.”
Combining circus acts with emotion and intimacy to win over the audience is a tenet of the new circus movement that started in the 1960s as a countercultural departure from the stunt for stunt’s sake philosophy of traditional three-ring circuses like Ringling Brothers.
But “Traces” goes deeper in its relationship with the audience, as the performers open up about their personalities, vulnerabilities and obsessions. One cast member’s parents are revealed to be psychologists. Another hates when people don’t put the cap on the toothpaste. The show is “really trying to connect with the audience members as if we’re just like them,” said Bradley Henderson, one of the performers. “We’re not superheroes.”