A young woman in fox ears playfully contorts on a hanging trapeze to slow, deep cello moans. She paws seductively at the audience before she pounces to the ground, landing gracefully on all fours.
She promises the audience a menagerie of art.
Aerial dance performance, without scripts or dialog, has taken to the air in Albuquerque.
The multimedia-style movement theater incorporates hanging trapezes, aerial fabric, swings, hoops and interactive sets, according to Air Dance New Mexico’s website
Monica Demarco, a music theory and composition alumna, said she collaborated with local artists to create “Animales Animados,” an aerial show at The Kosmos Performance Space Saturday to an audience of more than 130 people.
Local aerialists and musicians united to produce a theme that focused on the animals in humans and the humanity of animals, the show’s creators said.
“The idea started with a dream I had about a ram,” Demarco said. “I talked with my friend, Kaeti Frady, about it, and we thought we should put a show together about this.”
Frady said she really liked the idea of turning Demarco’s dream into a reality.
“The dream got me thinking about how many times I’ve embraced qualities of animals in my artwork,” she said.
The show had various acts of aerialists accompanied by live music from local musicians. The artists used minimal rehearsal time and improvisation to represent a different animal.
Kaley Mcgowen, a psychology alumna, said “Animales Animados” was the first live aerial show she had seen.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “They are strong, really talented dancers. They’re really impressive.
Brahm Woody, an instructional technician at CNM, said the show was spectacular and really conveyed the animal in the performer.
“Each performance brought a different feeling,” he said. “(The fox piece) was full of passion, pizzazz and danger. The next act was completely dark and terrifying, you could feel the power of the ram accompanied by that dark industrial music.”
Demarco said she and Frady set up the aerialists and musicians on a blind art date to create the collaborations. The result was a lot of ideas and input coming together creating a diverse performance full of improvisation.
“I feel like we can be kind of divided in terms of artistry,” Demarco said. “I think it’s nice to cross-over and experience new things. (We) wanted to start bridging these different artistic communities and making amazing art out of it.”
It was important to communicate beyond verbal language to express the stories and feelings of each piece, she said.
“Rather than being just a dazzling circus performance, it still has another layer, another element involved,” she said.
Air Dance New Mexico’s next aerial dance theater production will be “Fight or Flight,” which will run May 2 to May 4, she said.
Fight or Flight by Air Dance New Mexico
May 2-3 at 8 p.m. May 4 at 2 p.m.
AirDance ArtSpace, 3030 Isleta Blvd. S.W.
$15 general, $10 students, children and seniors
Tickets available at the door, reservations: 842-9418 or airdance.org