Amazing acrobatic feats displayed in ‘Traces’

Florian Zumkehr balances on a stack of chairs with one hand. Photo by Michael Meseke 2010

There is more than “Traces” of brilliant acrobatic and gymnastic talent in the show now playing at The Montalban Theater in Hollywood.

Almost nonstop, bodies jump and fly through the air, and swing around and scale two tall poles, comedic asides are spoken through mikes lowered on ropes from the ceiling or sung as a piano is played and poignant comments are made while bodies are outlined in chalk on the floor, reminiscent of a crime scene.

The crime?

The end of the world may be nigh.

The reaction?

According to the playbill, to spend what may be their final moments living life to the fullest and expressing any and all thoughts.

Those expressions are made through such acts as doing skateboards tricks (there’s one amusing scene where the troupe mimics an Esther Williams film, lying in a circle, moving in synch with arms and skates boards), reading a book while at the same time acrobatically tumbling with a sofa chair, dancing, flying through multiple hoops, doing one-arm handstands while balancing on multiple chairs and more. Loud, thumping urban music is played throughout the show, which raises the tempo of the scenes.

“Traces” is performed by Mason Ames, Valerie Benoît-Charbonneau, Mathieu Cloutier, Bradley Henderson, Philippe Normand-Jenny, Xia Zhengqi (who does some amazing feats with a Diablo, a Chinese yoyo) and Florian Zumkehr. It is produced by the Montreal-based 7 Fingers.

The show plays through Feb. 20.