Beginning in 1995, with the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the department of Theatre & Dance began exploring 'Aerial Dance'. Working with Neil Humphrey, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, avid climber and dance student we were able to 'fly' the fairies in to the industrial world created in the production. In 1998, Neil attended the Project Bandaloop workshop at the Banff Arts Center in British Columbia. Building on this experience vertical dance was explored in an out door production at a local climbing area. Response was overwhelming!
The first vertical dance class was offered during the spring semester of 1999. Team-taught by Humphrey and Margaret Wilson, then an APL in the Department of Theatre & Dance, issues of safety, rigging and choreography in the vertical dimension were introduced. Vertical II was introduced during the spring semester 2000. In this course the math and physics involved in the rigging and anchor setting were discussed. Students enrolled in Vertical II design and construct a 'rig' for vertical dance and create commensurate choreography for public presentation.
Vertical dance was recently performed at UW in the spring dance show, Collected Dances, Part II, win March 2006; in Awaken/Shift, March 2009; in Perpetual Motion, March 2010; and in an evening-length vertical dance concert, Boxed Set, March 2011.
Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo will be featured August 20 and 21, 2011.
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