Aerial Dance is the first book to showcase this newest dance genre. The book traces the historical roots of this latest art form, which is rapidly gaining in popularity. It also defines its place in the lineage of modern dance and addresses aesthetics, philosophical approaches to teaching, and safety issues.
Aerial Dance will be of great interest to all those associated with or attracted to this emerging art form. Whether a novice or professional, a practitioner or educator, they will learn from those who helped shape aerial dance into what it is today. Through this book and DVD package, readers will
gain insight from essays written by leading choreographers in the field;
gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for aerial dance choreography through “Look Up!” features that provide cross-references to video performance clips on the DVD; and
view high-quality photographs that illustrate the origins of aerial dance.
Part I details the evolution of aerial dance and its place in a postmodern world. It delves into the aesthetics of aerial dance and the differences between this genre and circus-based aerial arts. Part II presents a variety of essays from many of the top artists in the field who provide insight into their own approaches to aerial dance. The book also presents a variety of teaching applications, including ideas for working with special populations and related art forms. Part III is all about safety, including injury prevention, rigging, other safety-related issues. This part helps readers understand anatomical and physiological issues regarding safety.
Note that Aerial Dance is not meant as an instruction book in choreographing or executing aerial dance moves. No book can ensure safe rigging or keep a dancer from falling. Those who are interested in learning and practicing aerial dance must first find a skilled and experienced teacher. The appendix includes contact information on aerial dancers, teachers, festivals, and aerial dance equipment.
Readers will find great insight and direction from seasoned experts in this innovative dance form. Aerial Dance captures the passion of the genre and helps readers appreciate the creative possibilities it offers.
Foreword by Murray Louis Preface Acknowledgments Introduction
Part I. Taking Off: From the Ground to the Air Chapter 1. Aerial Dance in a Postmodern World: Its Roots and Wings in Modern Dance Look Up! Alwin Nikolais Aerial Dance Defined Blurring Dance and Circus Arts Aerial Arts in the Mainstream One Last Swing
Chapter 2. Flight Path: The Evolution of Aerial Dance West Coast: Motivity Look Up! Terry Sendgraff East Coast: Multigravitational Aerodance Group Progeny: The Diaspora One Last Swing
Chapter 3. Air Craft: The Aesthetics of Aerial Dance What Puts the Modern in Dance? Look Up! Jo Kreiter We Start at the Toes and Evolve to the Arms Dance of Swinging and Spinning Aesthetic of Effortlessness Look Up! Fred Deb Enough With Peter Pan! Look Up! Brenda Angiel One Last Swing
Part II. From an Aerial View Chapter 4. Bird’s-Eye View: Essays From the Field Stephanie Evanitsky Terry Sendgraff Robert Davidson Look Up! Robert Davidson Susan Murphy Look Up! Susan Murphy Nancy Smith Amelia Rudolph Jo Kreiter Brenda Angiel Look Up! Brenda Angiel Karola Lüttringhaus Look Up! Karola Lüttringhaus Jayne Bernasconi Look Up! Jayne Bernasconi One Last Swing
Chapter 5. Flight Instructions: Approaches to Teaching Terry Sendgraff Look Up! Terry Sendgraff Robert Davidson Look Up! Robert Davidson Susan Murphy Nancy Smith Jo Kreiter Look Up! Jo Kreiter Amelia Rudolph Jayne Bernasconi Look Up! Jayne Bernasconi One Last Swing
Chapter 6. Custom-Designed Flights: Other Applications Mixed-Ability Aerial Dancing Aerial Yoga Look Up!: Jayne Bernasconi Aerial Sci-Arts: Physics and the Low-Flying Trapeze Kids Who Fly One Last Swing
Part III. Flying Safely Chapter 7. Injury Prevention: Understanding the Anatomy and Physiology of Suspended Movement Shoulder Anatomy Upright Posture and the Neutral Pelvis Core Stability Raising the Arms: Which Muscles Should Work? Flexibility Aerial Positioning of the Pelvis: Hollow Body One Last Swing
Chapter 8. Rigging for Aerial Dance: Keep It Safe Look Up! Nancy Smith The Basics A Place to Stand Frequently Discussed Issues How to Tell if Your Rigger Is Qualified (Qualified for What?) Requisite Disclaimer One Last Swing
Appendix: Aerial Dance Resources Bibliography Index About the Authors
Supplemental text for dance majors at the university level. Reference for dance educators, performing artists, funders and presenters of dance, and other dance professionals.
Jayne Bernasconi, MA, is an adjunct professor of dance at Towson University and aerial dance instructor at Gerstung in Baltimore. A professional dancer, choreographer, and educator for 25 years, she is the founder and artistic director of Air Dance Bernasconi, a nonprofit aerial dance company in Baltimore since 2000. Since that time, her dance company has created more than 25 full-scale aerial dances.
Ms. Bernasconi teaches all levels of modern dance, composition, history, and fundamentals of dance courses at Towson University, and she has designed and taught aerial dance classes, including aerial yoga and a mixed-ability aerial dance, to more than 800 students in the Baltimore and Washington, DC, area. In addition to founding her own dance company, she founded and was artistic director for Forces of Ability (a mixed-ability dance company) and Artsability (for children). She has received several grants and fellowships to further her choreographic endeavors.
When she’s not busy with her dance company or teaching, she enjoys competing in triathlons, playing the piano, and hanging out with her family (without, if possible, embarrassing her two teenage daughters).
Nancy E. Smith founded Frequent Flyers Productions in Boulder, Colorado, in 1988 and serves as the artistic director.
Ms. Smith is an alumna of the Colorado College and studied in the master’s program in dance at UCLA before moving to Seattle to work with Joan Skinner’s dance company. Since 1985, she has taught low-flying trapeze and releasing technique around the United States. Her work with Frequent Flyers Productions has been seen in the Bahamas, Boston, Utah, New Orleans, and Montreal and throughout Colorado. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the first Cutting Edge Award from the Colorado Dance Alliance, the Boulder County Pacesetters Award for Arts and Entertainment, Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, a Neodata Endowment Fellowship in Dance, and the Arts Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation of the Arts.
Frequent Flyers Productions has gained international recognition as a pioneer in the field of aerial dance. The company launched the highly acclaimed Aerial Dance Festival in 1999. This annual offering has brought prominence to the company for advancing the art form of aerial dance.
Ms. Smith enjoys spending time with her family, reading, knitting, and traveling.