375 Celebration Brings Big Circus: 7 Fingers Explores Montréal's History - CircusTalk

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375 Celebration Brings Big Circus: 7 Fingers Explores Montréal’s History

This year Montreal is going above and beyond the usual summer fanfare to celebrate it’s 375th birthday. Just for some context, the usual fanfare is a summer full of weekly fireworks, dozens of festivals (including the Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival, the International Jazz Festivaland the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.) But the city made it through another deep freeze winter (during which they also celebrate with a festival called Montreal En Lumiere) and is ready to enjoy its ripe old age with some extra festivities during 375MTL. Of course, the cities’ circus institutions could not resist the chance to participate, Cirque Éloize by producing 19 shows over the course of the summer in 19 different neighborhoods, and 7 Fingers with a multi-media walk down the memory lane of St. Laurent during the bawdy era of the 1940s. We had the chance to speak to Cirque Éloize events producer Jean-Philippe La Couture and 7 Fingers co-founder Isabelle Chassé about the role they play in the celebrations. In this two part series, we begin with 7 Fingers.
 Kim: Can you tell us a little about your background with circus? Isabelle Chassé:I started performing at a rather young age. When I was thirteen, I left on tour with Cirque du Soleil. I performed in a contortion quartet for about ten years with them. I did Nouvelle Experience, and then I moved on to the aerial fabric. I did Quidam with them for three years. We founded the company Les 7 Doigts (the 7 Fingers) in 2002. I’ve been in the business for more than 25 years already, mostly performing myself but more and more lately I’ve been of course ageing and having a family and everything. I’ve been leaning more towards directing shows and assisting and directing shows. Of course, my body is aging and that is a reality but it’s also I feel the more I am aging the more I have things to say and things to express and ideas. So it’s kind of an normal evolution to become more of a director when you are getting older. Are you...
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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell has written about circus for CircusTalk.News, Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and was a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of CircusTalk.News, American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.