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Aerial Dance FAQ


 

 

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What is the difference between trapeze dance and circus trapeze?

Circus trapezes are rigged from two points quite high off the ground. Aerial dance trapeze ropes are rigged at a single point from a 15-30 foot ceiling, theater truss or tree limb. The trapeze bar hangs at about shoulder height. The single point allows for circular pathways as well as straight lines. The exciting moment of transition in circus trapeze is flying from one trapeze to the next; the magical moment of transition in aerial dance is from dancing on the floor to floating through the air. The focus of circus trapeze is to let go mid-air and perform flips and tricks; the focus of trapeze dance is expression and artistry. Circus trapeze routines are often a series of tricks with a pause for applause between each one. In aerial dance, the choreographer's goal is to share his or her vision with the audience. Of course, we too love applause!

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Who invented Aerial Dance and how did it come to Wisconsin?

Terry Sendgraff is the inventor and grand dame of aerial dance. A dancer and acrobat, she was studying circus trapeze when one day the ropes crossed creating a single point and aerial dance was born. She named this new form of dance Motivity. In her late sixties, she still teaches, choreographs and dances in Oakland, California. Robert Davidson, an important pioneer of aerial dance, traveled around the country performing and teaching. Many of the aerial dance companies in the United States were inspired by his performances and workshops.

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What does "Cycropia" mean?

Cycropia (sy-KROW-pee-ah) is an artistic spelling of Hyalophora cecropia, a large, beautiful North American silkworm moth native to Wisconsin, and featured in the header of this website. Cecropia moths have reddish brown wings with red borders and grey and white markings including a crescent moon shape. Gretchen Miller and Robert Summerbell choreographed a work titled Moth's Diary in honor of our namesake.

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Do you teach classes?

Yes, we offer annual workshops for adults.

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Is it dangerous?

The press likes to play up the danger of trapeze dance, perhaps it draws readers and audience members like moths to a flame, but actual injuries are rare. As in all forms of dance and exercise, injuries are possible. Safety and focus are a must, we take pride in training our dancers to have proper technique, awareness and good judgement.

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What other dance troupes are doing aerial work?

Here are some links to other aerial troupes and dancers (If you are doing aerial work and would like to be listed here, or you would like to update one of our links, please contact the webmaster):

 

Other dance links

Articles about aerial dance:

 

Please feel free to submit any questions you still have about aerial dance to info@cycropia.org.

 

 

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