Aeriosa dance residency suits mountain town vibe

Troupe performers blend of dance training with ACMG rock guide credentials to create dance that scales rock faces with new hybrids

Aeriosa performs live on Toronto’s 58-storey L Tower at a 2012 event celebrating the construction of the Daniel Libeskind-designed building. Aeriosa will bring their synthesis of dance and artistic aerial performance to a week-long residency at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre from Feb. 1–8 as part of Revelstoke Spirit Fest 2014.

The Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre will host Aeriosa Dance Society on Feb. 1–8 for its first ever dance residency; the non-traditional dance troupe’s mountaineering-influenced aerial performances are a good fit for a town passionate about mountain culture.

Aeriosa artistic director and choreographer Julia Taffe joined me for an interview from the Banff Centre, where she’s hosting a residency of Refugia, before bringing it to Revelstoke for a series of presentations, workshops, rehearsals and performances at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre and RSS from Feb. 1–8.

“The work is really inspired by the mountains; it’s a fusion of the technology used for rock climbing, basically put to different purpose, for the purpose of creating art and vertical spaces,” Taffe explained of the troupe’s 13 years performing on building walls, rock faces and vertical spaces using harnesses and ropes.

Dance and rock climbing are a natural fusion: “The parallels between dance and climbing were really apparent to me in terms of creative use of movement, the performance aspect of both disciplines and the body knowledge required to stay calm in the face of physical challenges.”

Aeriosa is most known for their live performances and videos created while they’re suspended from public buildings; Refugia explores new territory using bungee ropes to enable the dancers to “boing” around the performance space.

At RSS, they’ll use Macpherson Court – the large space next to the admin office – to stage rehearsals and performances. The idea is to carve out room for dance in a meeting place designed for the public.

The goal is “to bring dance closer to the community to exist at ground level as part of what people are doing in public,” Taffe said.

A dance ‘residency’ means artists visit to create and stage a performance. “It’s about context; it’s about giving people a chance to see dancers at work,” Taffe said.

“What really gives me satisfaction is to be able to take people and give them an new idea about what is possible in terms of human performance and art and dance,” she added. “It often opens peoples eyes to see what might be possible in a different way.”

Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre theatre manager Miriam Manley is excited to host the RPAC’s first residency.

“If the artist can come and live in the community and there is a chance to watch their process it becomes a much more meaningful event,” Manley said of the several interactive sessions available to adults and youth. That includes chances to strap in and experience the bungees for yourself.

The Saturday, February 1 talkback session with Julia Taffe will be a Spirit Fest kickoff event and an opportunity to learn more about the series of participatory events leading up to the Saturday, Feb. 8 final performance. Both events start at 7:30 p.m. at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

See the Revelstoke Times Review Community Calendar for individual workshops and performances.

Here’s a video of a March, 2010 Aeriosa performance for the Cultural Olympiad at Vancouver’s Scotia Bank Dance Centre.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Jocelyn’s Jottings: When everyone is a friend of a friend

Chances are I know someone in Revelstoke who knows you, such is… Continue reading

Revelstoke city staff bring forward community centre reopening plans

Plans for the arena and pool will come later this summer

Slow melt at high elevations near Revelstoke this spring

At one location on Mt. Fidelity there is double the usual snowpack for early July

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Most Read