Review: Les 7 doigts presents poetic journey of siblinghood in mesmerizing premiere of “SisterS”

Special Festival Coverage

How fitting that I had the pleasure of watching “SisterS” with two of my sisters. In this new piece by Les 7 doigts de la main, creators and performers Ayin and Miriam de Sela recount their shared journey as siblings, women and artists. Largely through music and acrobatic dance, the concept of sisterhood is framed into a dark fairytale of sorts, poetic and picturesque.

The journey begins at conception, and then continues on to birth, childhood, and so on. We witness the duo go from playing princess to no longer playing at all. We see them fight for a crown, fight for the love of one man, fight whenever there turns out to be only room for one. As they age, their thrones grow forever higher and harder to climb, but they grow too. We watch them go from being one to being two halves, to being two wholes.

The de Sela sisters tell their story with the assistance of fellow performers Sarah Pagé – whose gorgeous and hypnotizing harp playing is the highlight of the show – and William Underwood – who I swear moves through the air and across the stage as if we were swimming. These collaborators are delightful, perhaps too delightful, as there are times when they do steal the show from the titular Sisters. No complaints though, I would gladly watch and listen to Underwood and Pagé perform for an entire lifetime.

Though the metaphors are muddled at times, the key characteristics of the classic sisterly bond still find their way through: the similarity – beyond just “looking alike”, thinking that you’ve drifted apart only to realize, many miles down the road, that you were walking parallel paths all along; the rivalry – ruthlessly competing while still inexplicably maintaining a strong hint of “still sort of rooting for the other to achieve some kind of success and have a somewhat nice life”; and most of all the everlasting nature of this very unique relationship. With several images alluding to weddings, it is abundantly clear that, unlike marriage, sisterhood truly is “until death do us part”.

My favourite line in “SisterS” has to be the sung plea: “Is life like this for everyone?” I remember turning my head to my sister beside me and thinking: “No. It most definitely is not.” Because though no one in the world can possibly understand another person completely – walk along the same road, while wearing the same shoes – a sister has got to be the closest you can get. My sisters are a gift and a curse; I am lost with them, but I’d be more lost without.

The Montreal Complètement Cirque Festival presents Les 7 Doigts’


Venue: Théâtre Outremont
(1248 Avenue Bernard Ouest, Outremont, QC H2V 1V6)
Dates: July 9th – 21st, 2018
Admission: $15.00 – $45.00
Box Office: In person at Théâtre Outremont or TOHU,
by phone at 514 376-TOHU (8648), or online at

Check out the festival’s full indoor lineup and free outdoor programming at

Violette Kay

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