As any aerial arts student, whether you've just taken your first class, or have been practicing for some time now, you've probably been looking all over the Internet for any instructional videos to help you get those new moves. Well, look no more! Aerial Dancing, www.aerialdancing.com, is a website for aerialists featuring an online forum, studio directory, member photos and video gallery, and, most importantly - a video library with lots of aerial tutorials.
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I fell in love when I saw Meridith Bennington's handmade jewelry: the earrings depict aerialists on sterling silver lyras, trapezes, fabrics, poles and more. There's something for every aerialist and apparatus, so they would make a great gift.
Editor's note: Aerial Journal readers can save 20% off the DVD!
Review: Living in Bozeman, Montana has its advantages - among them are great people and lots of hiking and skiing opportunities. Unfortunately, along with cold winters (not my favorite - later this week, the high is predicted to be -5 degrees!) disadvantages include a very small aerial dance community. Although there is an aerial hoop class offered in town, my friend Karen Dade and I are the only ones who regularly practice aerial silks and dance trapeze. Our trapeze repertoire has been fairly limited - that’s part of the reason we were excited to review a new trapeze DVD produced by Melissa Coffey.
The performances were fantastic. Set to music that ran the gammut from Black Sabbath to the BeeGees the routines took place on varied apparatuses (cubes, ladders, rings, single-point dance trapeze, etc.) and featured an array of dazzling movements that certainly proved the title of the show. Not only were the tricks and moves impressive as feats of strength and skill, but they were executed with a fluidity I had not witnessed in student shows. It was also inspiring to see variations of tricks that I am familiar with used as transitions or in ways I had not seen before.
Two years ago, after performing Epic, the Canopy Studio repertory company felt pretty satisfied with their work-- they had explored every avenue of the classical rock genre with aerial. But when the dancers kept coming up with Epic ideas long after, Melissa Roberts, Canopy's Executive Director, knew a sequel would have to happen.
"We kept all these jokes running throughout the years. 'Let's put this in another show,' and, 'Why can't we do Epic Number Two?'" Melissa said. "And that's where the joke became, 'It will be even epic-er!'"
This weekend, Canopy Studio-- a non-profit aerial arts studio in Athens, Georgia-- will perform five shows of Epic-ER.
My aerialist friend Geoff Weaver is the one who told me about the AcroYoga class. Standing outside of Rubber Soul in Athens, I asked him what was it like. What was this AcroYoga I was getting into tonight? Was it acrobatics under the guise of Yoga? Like, jumping onto (or off of) the yoga-craze?
"Your partner is your apparatus," he said. "Your partner is your trapeze."
NoNet was like Circus Arts Unplugged, or The Circus Arts Living Room Concert. Yes, technically everything is still plugged in, and the artists are still performing world-class professional acts. But as a student aerialist watching the show, I felt like I was getting a higher dose of the performers as people instead of just components of a larger show.
NoNet, which will have its final of two performances tonight at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta, includes aerial acts on the silks, hoop, the circus trapeze and straps, in addition to a performance with the pole, acrobatics and juggling, and the trampoline/wall. The show is high-energy, fun and crowd-pleasing, but leaves room for introspective pieces without becoming too weighted or self-absorbed.
This weekend in Atlanta, NoNet: An Intimate Expose of Circus Life, will bring independent local and international circus, dance, theatre and film artists together in one show. But don't expect something corporate like Cirque du Soleil, said Meaghan Muller, who conceived the show, though many of the artists have performed with the group and in other big shows in the past. NoNet is more barebones, with minimal lighting and make-up, turning the focus to the performers in their individual acts.
"You're getting to see who we are," Meaghan said, "Not the act as a performance, but us allowing you see who we are on an intimate level."
Observing each other during the exercises felt like watching a show, even though there were hardly any aerial tricks at all.
"You don't have to have all the skills that ever existed to make a beautiful piece," Rain said.