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Creating Aerial Atmosphere...


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This past weekend Rachel traveled to Austin, Texas with two other aerialist’s (this one was all girls, sorry Brett!) to perform aerial hoop at a private event opening for Earth, Wind and Fire! It was a super fun gig working for an entertainment company she has known and loved for over 10 years. The three girls performed one atmosphere aerial hoop set that lasted approximately 25 minutes and one atmosphere ‘character’ set on the ground mingling with the audience of around 40-45 minutes.

As many of you know, performing ‘atmosphere’ aerial sets are completely different from performing 1 or 2, 5-6 minute ‘acts.’ For example, most event planners or entertainment companies will hire atmosphere aerial because they are looking for beautiful, human ‘decorations’ to add ambiance to their event. Often aerialist’s are hired in conjunction with other entertainment like dancers, stilt walkers, jugglers, musicians etc. Rather then steal the crowds focus for a breathtaking 5 minute act, atmosphere aerialist’s are generally encouraged to move slowly and pause in beautiful shapes and poses in order for the audience to take photographs for an extended period of time.

Aerialist’s Katrina Amerine, Rachel Bowman, Lena Fumi backstage preparing to perform this past weekend  for Way 2 Much Entertainment

If you are focused on pursuing a career as a freelance aerialist, there is a good chance that you will be invited to perform as an atmospheric aerialist for a one-off event, festival or party. As the holiday season approaches with its multitude of celebrations, its time to start preparing for those gigs and ensuring your safety and success!

1. Stamina, Stamina, Stamina!

When you are rehearing for an upcoming aerial atmosphere gig, be sure to practice staying up on your apparatus for an extended period of time in order to build your endurance. If you are preparing for two or three 15 minutes sets, stay up for 25 minutes at a time in order to feel really comfortable on performance day.

2. Create a Blueprint

There is no need to plan out every single second of your 20-minute atmosphere set but it is a great idea to have a sort of ‘guide’ as to the tricks and transitions you will perform. Prepare three or four sequences that flow together well and practice performing them SLOWLY, taking plenty of time to pause and connect with your would-be-audience, giving your forearms time to rest.

3. Pace Yourself

A common mistake we see with newbie aerialist’s during atmosphere performances is a tendency to move extremely fast. Not only is this dangerous for the aerialist when she becomes fatigued and there is still 15 minutes left of her set, but it can also take away from the over all ambience of the room. It is important to realize that with atmosphere performance you are part of a bigger picture, perhaps with other aerialist’s or performers surrounding you and it is important to ‘tie in’ with the energy of the environment. Take your time, pause and breathe.

4. Have Fun!

One of the benefits of atmosphere sets versus aerial acts is that you have more time to connect and ‘play’ with your audience. When performing a challenging act we are usually focused on executing particular tricks and shapes on exact musical cues, this results in less time to truly be aware of our audience and their experience. When you are performing an atmosphere set, take advantage of the extended period of time to look out and observe the crowd. Chances are you will see expressions of child like wonder and awe on the faces of full-grown adults! Drink that in; enjoy the beautiful spell you are creating with your presence, energy and charisma.

Enjoy the rest of your week, train smart and we will see you in the air soon!

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