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The 7 Fingers Co-founder and Co-artistic Director Shana Carroll on the New York Premiere of "Cuisine & Confessions"

The 7 Fingers Co-founder and Co-artistic Director Shana Carroll on the New York Premiere of "Cuisine & Confessions"
Melanie Greene/Follow @MethodsDance on Twitter

By Melanie Greene/Follow @MethodsDance on Twitter
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Published on April 7, 2017
Photo Alexandre Galliez

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Presents the New York Premiere of Cuisine & Confessions

April 11 - 14 at 7:30P.M.; April 15 at 2 and 8:00P.M.; April 16 at 3:00P.M.

Tickets are $45 - $99

Tickets available online at or in person at the NYU Skirball Center Box Office: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M. NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.

For more event information, visit NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

Click here for more information about The 7 Fingers

If you’re a foodie with an appetite for circus delight, Cuisine & Confessions by The 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts) is a must-see. A colliding calypso of culinary combustion, it premieres in New York City, April 11-16, 2017 at NYU Skirball. 

In preparation for the premiere, co-founder and co-artistic director Shana Carroll carved out time to share her insights about the work.

Not surprisingly, the idea was born in the kitchen. Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila, Carroll’s husband and co-director, were brainstorming when they landed on the possibility of a cooking show. “In general, it’s nice to choose subject matter that’s close to your heart and that you’re passionate about. He’s incredibly passionate about food and cooking. He grew up cooking, and his grandmother was a cook.” As crazy as it sounds, “why not do a show about food [and circus].”

A man throws a cylinder like object in the air which is attached to a string. The act is akin to juggling.
The 7 Fingers's Cuisine & Confessions; Photo: Alexandre Galliez

Carroll also has fond memories of her family and food. “My grandmother wrote a book called Young and Hungry, a memoir and a cookbook, so we thought, what if we approach it in that way and look at the food memories of our performers. We have this autobiographical side where they’re divulging details of their past or ancestry, and at the same time, we’re finding out what the food memory is behind it . . . the recipe of our life.” 

Carroll’s memories gravitate toward her grandmother’s chicken soup, matzo ball soup during Passover, and growing up Jewish. “To this day, there’s nothing in the world that tastes quite like it. I tried to do one on my own when I was alone in Paris for my first Passover away from home. It is really part of the blood memory.” 

The 7 Fingers ensemble shares a unique preparation for a show that taps into food, circus, and familial memories. “If you’re doing something so physical, you naturally want it to fall in the middle of your wake cycle. You wake up late, go to bed late. [Performers] also need time to joke around and have fun because you have to be so focused. It [can be] so stressful when there is such a physical risk.”

A group of performers watch a man throw pasta in a yellow pot
The 7 Fingers's Cuisine & Confessions; Photo: Alexandre Galliez

“Circus needs a fair amount of physical warm-up for the tricks and disciplines . . . juggle, tumble, hand-to-hand, and pole climbing. They play ping-pong. There is always a soccer ball on stage to warm up, play around, and bond. They also have to prep all the food. You’ll see flipping right next to cutting vegetables and grating cheese.” 

Before the live audience, food preparation, physicality, and memory meet. One performer “has a picture of herself as a child dancing in a fruit hat,” that is re-imagined for the circus stage. Flying fruit and tumbling bodies take turns flipping through the air. Side orders of banana bread and pasta mix with warm tea and good conversation. By the end, the audience is invited to taste test the final course. 

As communal experiences become less normal in our digital world, Carroll hopes Cuisine & Confessions activates a sense of community and intimate exchange amplified by live performance. Plus you can enjoy the messy charm of eggs, flour, and other delicious ingredients. 

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