Aerial Dance

Front Cover
Human Kinetics, 2008 - Performing Arts - 141 pages

Aerial Danceis the first book to showcase this newest dance genre. The book traces the historical roots of this latest art form, which is rapidly gaining in popularity. It also defines its place in the lineage of modern dance and addresses aesthetics, philosophical approaches to teaching, and safety issues.

Aerial Dancewill be of great interest to all those associated with or attracted to this emerging art form. Whether a novice or professional, a practitioner or educator, they will learn from those who helped shape aerial dance into what it is today. Through this book and DVD package, readers will

-gain insight from essays written by leading choreographers in the field;

-gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for aerial dance choreography through “Look Up!” features that provide cross-references to video performance clips on the DVD; and

-view high-quality photographs that illustrate the origins of aerial dance.

Part Idetails the evolution of aerial dance and its place in a postmodern world. It delves into the aesthetics of aerial dance and the differences between this genre and circus-based aerial arts.
Part IIpresents a variety of essays from many of the top artists in the field who provide insight into their own approaches to aerial dance. The book also presents a variety of teaching applications, including ideas for working with special populations and related art forms.
Part IIIis all about safety, including injury prevention, rigging, other safety-related issues. This part helps readers understand anatomical and physiological issues regarding safety.

Note that Aerial Danceis not meant as an instruction book in choreographing or executing aerial dance moves. No book can ensure safe rigging or keep a dancer from falling. Those who are interested in learning and practicing aerial dance must first find a skilled and experienced teacher. The appendix includes contact information on aerial dancers, teachers, festivals, and aerial dance equipment.

Readers will find great insight and direction from seasoned experts in this innovative dance form. Aerial Dancecaptures the passion of the genre and helps readers appreciate the creative possibilities it offers.

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About the author (2008)

Jayne Bernasconi, MA, is an adjunct professor of dance at Towson University and aerial dance instructor at Gerstung in Baltimore. A professional dancer, choreographer, and educator for 25 years, she is the founder and artistic director of Air Dance Bernasconi, a nonprofit aerial dance company in Baltimore since 2000. Since that time, her dance company has created more than 25 full-scale aerial dances.

Ms. Bernasconi teaches all levels of modern dance, composition, history, and fundamentals of dance courses at Towson University, and she has designed and taught aerial dance classes, including aerial yoga and a mixed-ability aerial dance, to more than 800 students in the Baltimore and Washington, DC, area. In addition to founding her own dance company, she founded and was artistic director for Forces of Ability (a mixed-ability dance company) and Artsability (for children). She has received several grants and fellowships to further her choreographic endeavors.

When she's not busy with her dance company or teaching, she enjoys competing in triathlons, playing the piano, and hanging out with her family (without, if possible, embarrassing her two teenage daughters).

Nancy E. Smith founded Frequent Flyers Productions in Boulder, Colorado, in 1988 and serves as the artistic director.

Ms. Smith is an alumna of the Colorado College and studied in the master's program in dance at UCLA before moving to Seattle to work with Joan Skinner's dance company. Since 1985, she has taught low-flying trapeze and releasing technique around the United States. Her work with Frequent Flyers Productions has been seen in the Bahamas, Boston, Utah, New Orleans, and Montreal and throughout Colorado. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the first Cutting Edge Award from the Colorado Dance Alliance, the Boulder County Pacesetters Award for Arts and Entertainment, Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, a Neodata Endowment Fellowship in Dance, and the Arts Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation of the Arts.

Frequent Flyers Productions has gained international recognition as a pioneer in the field of aerial dance. The company launched the highly acclaimed Aerial Dance Festival in 1999. This annual offering has brought prominence to the company for advancing the art form of aerial dance.

Ms. Smith enjoys spending time with her family, reading, knitting, and traveling.

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