Frequent Flyers aerial dancers throw on face masks for expressive, transformative show – Boulder Daily Camera
The pandemic has motivated many people to reassess the direction of their lives. While some have completely changed careers, others have taken up new hobbies or revisited topics they once loved.
Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance’s latest creation – “Transformation in the Calling” – is a wonderful reminder of the many unexpected detours life can take.
The hour-long performance is inspired by the lives of its five star dancers, who, in addition to impressing audiences with aerial choreography, have adopted their labels of mathematician, ice skater, ballet dancer, scientist and teacher. of primary.
“Watching the movement’s early creation with the ‘playground’ of aerial devices we hung gave me inspiration,” said Nancy Smith, Founder and Artistic Director of Frequent Flyers. “I saw the device change with the movement of the dancers. It got me thinking about how aerial work transforms us in so many ways – physically, emotionally, creatively – and passion becomes a way of life.
Smith has encouraged community involvement and created spellbinding spectacles along the Front Range since she founded Frequent Flyers nearly 35 years ago. Welcoming curious beginners into her studio, she sees many continuing to take lessons. For some, aerial dance goes beyond a mere interest or alternative exercise practice.
“Once you learn to dance in the air and fly, there’s nothing quite like it,” Smith said.
“Transformation in the Calling” highlights the journey of real-life participants with clever nods to their other professions, captivating solos, and a special device that also transforms throughout the production.
“I discovered aerials in 2010 while in college and hadn’t decided what I wanted to study yet,” said Michelle Randolph, who teaches math at the University of Colorado in Colorado. Boulder. “I was immediately interested in the air and I wanted to learn. Before that, I had danced, but I wasn’t particularly athletic, so I had a long way to go to build up the strength to get to where I am now.
The dance – with its patterns and symmetry – is rich in geometry.
“I was drawn to aerial and math partly because they both felt like a challenge,” Randolph said, “Aerial for me started out as a physical challenge and eventually became a creative challenge. , while math was more of an intellectual challenge.While there are certainly similarities between the two, I find that I prefer to think of them as separate things that can be informed about each other.
Randolph still uses some mathematical elements when swinging on silks or swinging from rings suspended in the air.
“My math background taught me to problem solve and think logically, as well as creatively,” Randolph said. “In my aerial training, I can apply these skills to help me see unique possibilities as well as develop a better understanding of my body in space and in relation to aerial devices.”
For Randolph, taking a break from program planning and practicing and creating with fellow acrobat peers was a welcome change.
“I love working collaboratively with the other incredible artists at Frequent Flyers, together we can create something that wouldn’t exist without the unique experiences and influence of each of the incredible dancers,” Randolph said. “During our rehearsal processes, we build community and trust with each other, as well as inspire each other to continue to grow together and individually as artists.”
Frequent Flyers member Whitney Moore practically grew up on skates. She first laced up at the age of 3 and competed in figure skating from the ages of 11 to 24.
A few years ago – wanting to reach higher than Axel’s jumps would allow – Moore swapped the element of frozen water for air.
“I decided to try my first aerial course in 2015,” Moore said. “I’m always looking for new ways to move and aerial dancing felt like a dream to me.”
Her experience in figure skating made the transition easier.
“Because figure skating and aerial dancing are both forms of performative art, the jump wasn’t too difficult,” Moore said. “There is definitely a crossover between the two art forms. Both combine technical prowess, artistry and expression. Although the execution may look different from form to form, they share a fundamental ability to foster exploration and expression.
While attendees will no doubt revel in how the show unfolds, the subject matter and message of the show may just motivate them to aspire to new heights.
“I hope the show speaks to those in our audience who may be on a journey themselves or may be at a crossroads in life,” Moore said. “I would like it to inspire people to look at their journey in life from all angles and give themselves the space to let their journey unfold with patience and without judgment.”
Upcoming shows will also be transformative in the sense that performers will finally be able to get rid of face coverings.
“The dancers have just started working without masks, which is fantastic both for their ability to breathe more freely and to see their facial expressions,” Smith said. “They will not be masked in the performance. Since we have been working with masked faces for so long, we spend time in rehearsal working on them.
Lisa Caldwell, Valerie Morris and Sofia Rodriguez will also perform on the show.
For Smith, exploring creatively with dancers in person is a welcome change after so much studio time has been missed during the pandemic.
“It’s gratifying to work with these five incredible humans,” Smith said. “They are strong, creative, dedicated, intelligent and charming. We had so much fun doing the show. Leading this tight-knit group is an honor. Collaboration requires a great deal of trust on everyone’s part, especially since you often literally hold someone’s life in your hands.
Smith hopes her latest creation will leave audiences “moved, inspired and delighted”.
Tickets for the show for all ages are $28 for adults and $24 for students, seniors and children under 12. There are three opportunities to see the show, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Iconic folk musician Richie Havens once said he was not in show business, but in the communications business. For Smith, his words resonate deeply.
“The stage belongs to the audience,” Smith said. “If they’re not here, then neither are we.”