What Makes Aerial Work So Challenging to finance and produce?
Aerial Work - It Just Costs More
Price of studio space - Aerialists always pay more for studio space than floor dance folks do. Sometimes this means a higher per-hour rate but it can also mean paying fees for things like ladders or genie lifts.
Insurance - Aerial renters need insurance for liability and Workers Compensation and Disability. Other independent choreographers with small budgets often get by without having these things. We purchase insurance year-round in order to offer workshops as well as to rehearse and perform. Of course insurance for Aerial Dance also costs more than insurance for floor dance.
Rigging - we need to purchase and to replace rigging on a regular basis. Swivels cost $70, steel carabiners rated for live weight are $16 each, the rope we use is $1/foot. It all adds up!
photo below by Fred Hatt
Aerial moves requires time. I'm talking
years to pioneer an art form that invents new movement vocabulary. Everyone has
their own process for this. We apply Modern Dance choreographic tools to mine the potential of the
aerial apparatus. We've spent 20 years building movement vocabulary and we are always working to
expand this as well as to train new dancers.
vocabulary needs to be invented and refined and the dancers need time in the apparatus to do it well.
Time & Patience for Single-Point ApparatusWe hang from a single-point (rather than 2 points like
The makes the apparatus an unreliable dancing partner because every small shift
of weight can send one spinning out of control and often the apparatus
wants to send your body in a different direction than you had intended
(or what was choreographed).
this leads to an aspect of Single point apparatus that is attractive about
this work - we never completely control a single point apparatus so we
must cultivate an improvisational state of mind and this edge has an
aliveness to it that is very interesting to watch. So, sometimes the negative is actually a postive.
It takes a long time to find the balance of control and improvisation and dancers need to train both mindsets.
Aerial work takes strength. Most people underestimate how much strength
it takes, particularly when a body is flying through space; momentum can
create triple the amount of force of one's body weight.
aerial work is one thing, flying around while hanging on is another.
Chin up bars at home help but they are not the same; our bodies
are built so that strength is task-specific so Aerial Dance strength requires working with the apparatus in the studio.
Finding and training dancers who can bring the subtleties of concert dance to dancing in the air takes additional rehearsal & training time. Dancers need strength and have to learn the intricacies of the apparatus.
This takes an investment in dance technique (time in aerial class and rehearsal).
Limited Performance Opportunities
small dance companies want exposure, they apply to showcases that allow
their repertory to be shown to new audiences. Most showases cannot
accommodate Aerial rigging because the space/ceiling isn't workable for
rigging and/or because rigging takes additional time in the space to set
up. Since most showcases also have limited budgets, they don't allow
Aerial Dance choreographers to apply for their showases.
We need a marketing budget to build our audiences and to sell tickets.
Aerial Dance allows audiences and dancers to experience life in expressive and often joyful ways.
Please consider supporting us through our Go Fund Me Campaign HERE
photos by Fred Hatt