Dance and Circus Aerials

February 22, 2008 at 10:00 am | Posted in Show Review | 2 Comments
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I went to a work that was the result of a collabooration between Footnote and Fused, put on as part of the Wellington Fringe Festival 2008.

Feb 22, 2008 by Show_Hanger

The name of the work is a combination of the two groups: Footnote – a contemporary dance company; and Fused a collective that puts on circus aerials shows. The collaboration was in five distinct parts: some street theatre, modern dance, aerials, aerials and more aerials.

The street theatre piece was interesting and gave the audience some light exercise, as three, then six dancers lead the audience from The Bats Threatre around to the aerials rig in Oriental Terrace. The dancers danced and clowned their way around Oriental Bay – occassionally slowing traffic. Much of what they did could not be seen all of the time – especially when there were two groups of dancers on separate sides of the road! Still, it was an enjoyable walk to a mysterious location.

The location of the performance was not publically available: you had to text you SECRET to mobile number and have the starting location texted back to you. I found the process a little disconcerting, as there was a very long delay between my TXT and the answering TXT. Next time they need to make the response immediate: TXT is an electronic medium, and there should be no reason why I had to wait over an hour.

I have not watched dance outside, in a while. The setting for the dance peice was on a driveway that had a partial view of Oriental Bay; I found it very disconcerting not having a presidium arch to frame my world ! I really had to concentrate on individual dancers or tight groups of dancers, to avoid being distracted by the views. Still some interesting stuff.

Then the audience decamped from the driveway into the frontyard of a large property, where the rig – The Big Rig – holding up the aerials apparatus was set up.

The first aerial display was by two members of Fused. They was pretty good, up to the standard that I have seen Fused put on before.

The second aerial display was by members of Footnote. They were pretty good from an aerials perspective. They demonstrated that a group of people who have well trained bodies can pick-up basic and intermediate forms in 20 hours. There was even some inventiveness around two dancers on a single tissu – doing mirror shapes.

This fourth part was introduced as a work in progress. I had expectations of dance with an integrated aerial component. There wasn’t. I was a little disappointed. Still it is early days, hopefully once the dancers get over the fun of aerials they can concentrate on incorporating (grounded) dance into the aerials, and vis-a-versa.

I wait for the more mature work with some anticipation – particularly dancing in the air, that owes its origins in aerial shapes, without being a series of static shapes.

The final aerial display was a short – but cool – sequence on the rope by a member of Fused.



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