Aerial Arts of Utah presented Flight of Fancy; Illusions at the Rose Wagner this past weekend. The curtain opened to a foggy scene that set up a theme that connected the whole show: a woman curiously wandering around, being shown various sparkly objects and aerial acts by a mysterious man in a top hat. Similar themes are common in Cirque du Soleil and other shows.
The collection of aerial acts included standard apparatuses such as aerial trapeze, hoop, and fabrics. And there were also some unique apparatus combinations, such as four sets of aerial hammocks and two sets of aerial fabrics, all hanging from a wide bar that spun in place. There was also some acro partner work and some dance. I appreciated the variety and the creative use of combined aerial apparatuses.
My favorite piece included four aerialists on a double trapeze. Their costuming and character approach was charmingly reminiscent of vintage circus performers. In addition to precise and well-practiced choreography that was performed in coordination with the music, what made this piece stand out was how the performers connected with the audience through eye contact, and by providing applause cues via ‘ta-da’ movements (for example, jazz hands shooting out on all sides). Their playful, showy, confident attitude was inviting and enjoyable.
Areas in which I hope this group will continue to improve include flexibility (specifically of the feet and legs) and character, which felt shallow at times. On the other hand, commendable elements of Illusions included strength, bravery, skill at aerial tricks, and connecting the show with the concept of the wandering woman and the top hat man.
Kendall Fischer is the artistic director of Myriad Dance Company. In addition to dancing with Myriad, she also performs with Voodoo Productions, and has enjoyed opportunities with SBDance, Municipal Ballet Co, and La Rouge Entertainment, among others.