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KANAGAWA

Cirque offshoot 7 Fingers has lofty ambitions

by Nobuko Tanaka

Special To The Japan Times

Since first touring its native province of Quebec in 1984, the self-styled “multifaceted creative force” that is Canada’s Cirque du Soleil has become a major global phenomenon with several permanent venues.

In 2002, though, seven Cirque du Soleil members turned their backs on that massive enterprise to form 7 Fingers, a small-scale company that had the goal of bringing the circus back down to a more intimate level.

On what will be their second trip to Japan (they had a short tour of Kyushu in 2011), 7 Fingers is set to appear at Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama next week to present their inaugural program, “Loft,” which is the same piece they launched themselves with in Montreal back in 2002.

Since then, they’ve staged “Loft” more than 800 times around the world — invariably to great acclaim despite a lack of grand apparatuses and lavish costumes, which are all trademarks of Cirque du Soleil. Instead, on a stage made to look like a residential loft complete with a refrigerator, bathtub, old TV and a creaky bed, the seven underwear-clad performers will treat audiences to some incredibly acrobatic — and comical — dance performances into which they incorporate props such as apples, shoes and lampshades.

Together with virtuoso tap-dance, juggling, singing and music, those who drop by 7 Fingers’ cozy “Loft” can be assured of a good time.

“Loft” runs Feb. 7—10 at Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama. For more information, call the theater at 045-633-6500 or visit www.kaat.jp.