Duel Reality: 7 Fingers Back in Boston

Duel Reality: 7 Fingers Back in Boston

Before delving into this particular show, Duel Reality, I need to introduce or re-introduce 7 Fingers because a troupe like this is a rare find. You know the experience of salon parties? Parties where some talented, perhaps famous, musician plays in a small-ish high society home. Yeah, me neither, but I can imagine how wonderful a moment it is to share art with the artist in such a private, intimate setting. That is what 7 Fingers is to circus. The Emerson Cutler Majestic, is no high society salon, but seeing high energy, gravity defying acrobatics on that stage feels like it could be. That is not even taking into account the audience members who opted to be seated on stage literally under all the action.

Duel Reality – Mât Chinois, Credit: Arata Urawa

The last time I saw 7 Fingers, was for Passagers/Passengers, which I loved. The theme and story resonated with me so deeply. It may forever be my favorite 7 Fingers work. For some, Passagers/Passengers might have been a little heavy, serious or cryptic. Duel Reality is a theme more relatable for everyone, because we all understand what it is to be involved in a fight, a duel, a vendetta, a feud. Romeo and Juliet is also a story most people are aware of in some form or other.

Duel Reality – Scarlet Lady, Credit: Einar Kling Odincrants

The audience enters the theatre and is immediately split into two teams, setting an us vs. them tone even before the show begins. Then the house lights go down and the show breaks out into an all out brawl, beginning with verbal shots and progressing into an exhilirating rough and tumble fight. Somewhere deep down we all have that urge to just set all social mores aside and get physical.

Duel – Jonglerie, Credit: Einar Kling Odincrants

I happen to be married to someone that struggles to follow plots that have little to no dialogue. He’s very bright but wired in such a way that abstraction is a black hole he can’t see into. I am basically the opposite, the more weird and obscure, the better I can focus and enjoy the story. The wonderful thing about a show like Duel Reality, or any of the works that 7 Fingers creates is that the artistry and acrobatics stand very well alone regardless of how much of the story you follow. On the other hand, Duel Reality, has a very clear theme of us versus them and what happens when love gets thrown into the mix. Nonetheless, if you don’t follow the heartbreaking story in its entirety you will follow the heart-stopping action.

Duel Reality – Hand to Trapèze, Credit: Virgin Voyages

Duel Reality, presented by Arts Emerson, is at the Emerson Cutler Majestic from February 7th through the 18th. Tickets can be purchased here. You may also be able to find discounted tickets at TodayTix.

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