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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

The Art of Aerial Dance

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On Réverie’s website, choreographer Isabelle Pencréach states that her wish and “humble quest” regarding aerial dance is “to touch your heart, move your soul while taking you to a world of pure beauty and dreams, make a smile appear on your face and stars in your eyes. If the heart is light, the soul rises and the world may be a better place.”

A fusion of acrobatics, gymnastics, and dance, aerial dance is an art form that takes strength, courage, and imagination to perform. Perhaps the idea of aerial dance can be traced back to the 18th-century French dancer and choreographer Charles Didelot, who used wires on dancers to create the illusion of flying on stage in his ballet piece “Flore et Zéphire.” Aerial Silk or Aerial Tissue is one of the earliest and most popular forms of aerial dance.

In the late 1960s, aerial dance evolved from a modern dance form to a postmodern form. 20th-century modern dance pioneer Alwin Nikolais, an improvisor who explored possibilities in multimedia to choreograph his dances, planted the seeds for aerial dance. Other pioneers of aerial dance include Terry Sendgraff from California and Stephanie Evanitsky from New York. Both of these American dancers had their roots in the works of Alwin Nikolais. In recent years, aerial dance has been popularized by the famous Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, which has incorporated a wide variety of aerial dances into their regular performances.

Aerial dancers use devices such as trapezes, lowering themselves in order to experiment with various movements. As they practice, the dancers grow in bodily strength, which gives them the incentive to receive more training from skilled circus artists. The art form requires dedication to become courageous, flexible, and strong at the same time, expressing the elegance of a beautiful dancer. We’ll now conclude our show with the opening act performed by Dream World Cirque for the “Loving the Silent Tears” musical event, which features Supreme Master Ching Hai’s poetry collection.
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