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Thrill to the amazing acrobatics of Aeros

Wednesday, Jan 15 2003
Unfettered by gravity, common sense, and potential point deductions from that pesky Olympic rule book, the acrobatic movement-theater troupe Aeros delivers the thrill of victory without the agony of defeat. Two producers from Stomp and three of America's most athletic and imaginative modern dance-makers (David Parsons, Daniel Ezralow, and Moses Pendleton) have collaborated with members of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation to create this astounding company; its daredevilry has earned it sold-out houses and gape-mouthed fans.

The performers, drilled to physical precision from childhood, are choreographed into ensemble dance pieces that showcase their technical strengths. Among these are the abilities to hold off-kilter balances for extended intervals and to fly unaided by wires or trapeze. They vault off furniture and gymnastic equipment, hurtle themselves over one another, and flip their prone bodies about the stage like fish out of water. What looks like reckless abandon is actually a carefully calibrated mix of power and control, orchestrated with more artistry than your average floor routine.

Current and former Pilobolus members Pendleton and Ezralow have long experimented with trompe l'oeil movement; former Paul Taylor dancer Parsons most famously created the illusion of flight in his solo Caught, which used a strobe light and a strategically timed series of jumps to suggest an airborne dancer who never touches down. Stomp turns ordinary materials into extraordinary instruments of percussion. Aeros is the logical extension of each, an intersection of sleek, sculptural physicality with visual and aural twists. Here, even pedestrian movement is choreographed into a larger image -- the inner workings of a steam engine, say. These are not intellectual exercises -- the artists favor simple, short scenarios over long narrative structure -- but they're not entirely athletic exercises, either: Expect a bit of whimsy, and more than a little wonder.

About The Author

Heather Wisner


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