Aer Time: a cabaret for international dance day

It’s an escape, a passion and a painful art – and I keep on loving aerial dance. It is truly movement in three dimensions and has become a part of who I am.

While I love writing, finding the latest scoop, and singing pop songs with friends (looking at you, Ashley Wiebe); twisting, turning, dropping and rolling from 30 feet in the air using nothing but a piece of fabric is just awesome.

Sunday, April 29 is international dance day and to celebrate, Monica’s Danz Gym is hosting  the Aer Time Cabaret show at its 25 Scurfield Avenue studio. Momentum Aerial and Acrobatic performance troupe will be there – I was fortunate enough to dance with them in Lausanne, Switzerland in the summer of 2011, as well as in Dornbirn, Austria; Ottawa, Canada and Boulder, Colorado years before.

The talented Jennifer Roy, my personal friend and incredible acrobatic artist will perform, as well as senior aerial instructor Liz Cooper. Jordan Dock, who auditioned for Canada’s Got Talent judges, will also showcase his work.

I’m honoured to be a part of this event presenting my work in progress These are my hands performed to the Across the Universe version of  the Beatle’s classic, I want to hold your hand.

These are my hands refers to the opposite of what the song impresses: holding someone else’s hand.  Instead I’ve decided to reclaim and hold my own hand; forgiving myself and reaching out to my own hopes and dreams.

Far too often we reach out to others around us,taxing relationships and falling prey to life’s many demands – often to the detriment of our own health and happiness.

It’s with such generous extension we forget where our hands – where we – are.

So please come by Monica’s Danz Gym, 25 Scurfield Blvd, and celebrate international dance day on Sunday April 29 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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Flying High

Brett Enquist Photography

It’s officially one month until I fly off to Switzerland!

To say I’m excited is the understatement of the century, this event has been the culmination of four years of hard work and sacrifice. I haven’t had a long weekend or Saturday to myself – one where I haven’t had some sort of rehearsal. There have been painful days of bruised, ripped and scratched backs (along with the backs of knees) and callouses forming on callouses. But there’s the reward of working with the most fantastic team for so long. We’re a huge family – complete with the siblings that irritate each other. Age doesn’t matter, and sometimes we forget that some of the younger girls we dance with look up to us – “us” being the university and college age girls who seem to have it the best — we get a slightly later curfew in Switzerland.

But when we go over to Europe to represent ourselves, our school and HELLO – Canada! – it’s a full time job. Our clothes have been pre-selected, our make-up practised, our team walk rehearsed (start with right foot). We’ve worked all year on the piece we’re taking there, along with many of the pieces in the recent dance recital. I never understood why I couldn’t have as much patience drafting my written work as I do with my dance. Every nuance has to be there, or else you run it again – and the bruises darken.

But I love this, I’m so truly honored to not only have the ability to dance, but the means. I get to fly for Pete’s sake! (Pete’s rather happy about this). Our theatre teacher made a video about what we feel dance is to us, what we’ve learned. Until he posts the video, all I can remember saying was that dance doesn’t only teach you to deal with your mistakes, it teaches you to accept corrections and try again. And then you yearn for it, and yearn for it elsewhere. We not only have the physical flexibility, but the creative room to miss a double pirouette and still pull off a great performance. There are far too many incidents in life where there is no give.

I can’t believe it was four and a half years ago I said first “I’ll never be able to do that” and after my first class, watching the experienced dancers high above — “I can’t wait to do that.” Now I do it almost everyday. It’s such a big part of who I am creatively – once you play around in vertical space, it’s the biggest “eff you” to boundaries of the horizontal. I could talk about this connection for a long time but I will leave you today, amidst all my excitement, with a poem I found while cleaning out my files. I wrote it awhile back after I first attempted the trapeze bar, how I wanted more but was fearful. Now I play freely.

TrappedEaze 
By Daniella Ponticelli

The bar is cold

Like new day break’s dew

Stewing in the silence

Hanging limp, hanging

Dry.

Brett Enquist Photography

A lone steel bar

Waits for rough edge hands

To grab on lust’s sweet plight; 

Flying high, flying—

Sigh.

A still girl waits

It is I who begs

Taking in the trap’s gaze

Moving slow, moving

Still.

The cloud is high

One beat swing will work

To skim its white belly

Reaching lift, reaching

Breath.

The need to fly

Is rapt in a cage

Leaning on ribs and heart

Beating loud, beating

Wake.

Nod the hero

Get up/un furl claws

Yearning for fledgling awe

Trying pride, trying

Fate.

There is no death

There one ex  hale waits

Swinging for the last time

Trusting limbs, trusting

God

Here I let go

Take me there St. V

Knowing my last love waits

Hinging pain, hinging

Fault.

One big chance now                             

Air kiss’red on neck

Flying high on sweet bliss

Catching bar, catching

Hope.

Return to ground

Heartbeatslow    down      catch

Showing fear in silence

Keeping strength, keeping 

Faith.

Face Self in glass

Marred by a big act

Lying satisfaction

Going strong, going

Free.

Bar is still cold

Like old day end’s death

Faking  joy til ’morrow

Floating high, floating

Trapped.

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