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Advice for Aerial Performers to Consider

There are a lot of pieces to consider when putting together choreography for an aerial performance or routine or showpiece. There is no right or wrong way in the order in which you put the routine together. You may be inspired by a song first or maybe an outfit you want to wear based on a character you want to portray. Other times, you might be inspired to convey a mood or feeling or even a color throughout the performance. Most importantly, a routine is about the moves and choreography but consider whether or not you need a prop and how that might be incorporated to accentuate the performance.

stage set with lollipop, hammock, pole, audience area
Colorful stage with aerial equipment

As we are draw nearer to our annual Cirque Macabre Halloween Show (Friday, Oct 13th at the ReMixx Night club in Neenah), many students are working hard on planning and modifying their routines. And while song choices were submitted already, students are working on the moves to go with the songs they chose. When there is a sense of feeling stuck on what moves to do, one way to work through that roadblock is to think about any core moves they can do or what is a favorite pose to do on an apparatus. Even if they only have a few moves to work from, a routine can still easily be built upon that with variations, transitions or even floorwork.


Other things to consider while working on choreography is how your body is going to move throughout the piece. This will be correlated with not only the song, but the feeling or emotion you want to portray. Things to think about is how a person would move if they were angry, scared, powerful, confident, proud or joyful. Each emotion portrays a different movement. With that, you want to consider the quality of the movement and ask if it would be brittle, creaky, smooth, twisting or pulling, heavy or light. In addition, asking if the quality of movement would be fast, slow or moving up or down while in or out of an apparatus. These are many of the things performers need to consider while writing choreography for an aerial performance. At Fly Circus and Aerial Arts, all of our coaches are happy to help guide an aerialist through their performance development.


3 women intertwined on triple lyra at sunset
Aerialists demonstrate teamwork on globe lyra


***** Inspiration and references from this piece come from:


Allison Foster's 2022 Guided Exploratory Movement (G.E.M.)

Sergia Anderson's "What it Means to Create a Concept for Your Routine & Why it sets you apart as a performer" and "Content Creator" virtual workshops.


Kalina Suter's "Transforming Tricks" virtual workshop as well as personal experience from a private virtual one-on-one lesson.

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