Roaming by any means, Iím a traveller by nature who loves to share a tale or two. Motorbike rider, hiker, photographer and hand-crafter who loves the great outdoors. Follow my adventures at www.facebook.com/theroamingbanshee. Blog coming soon!
Acrobatics meets art in stunning aerial displays
Graceful flights through the air, gravity-defying acrobatics, ethereal music and live artists were the features of this unique showcase of performance art pieces from the Kaleido Company.
I've long been a fan of acrobatics, gymnastics and circus shows like Cirque du Soleil, so when the invite to attend Kaleido Company's Showcase performance appeared in my inbox, I jumped at the opportunity to attend.
Aerial ring trapeze / Photo by Joe Spina Photography
Kaleido Company is a circus group founded by performer Sarah Green in 2016. The evening's event was designed to showcase the types of performances the company offers. They have performed pieces for the Perth Fringe Festival plus other Australian and international festivals. What makes this group unique is they have a focus on the mental health benefits of art. Originally training as a psychological scientist, Sarah told us of her own struggles with mental health and how circus performance was part of her healing. Many of the company's pieces explore mentality and human physicality, turning trapeze into more than just a display of graceful acrobatics. Plus, they're for hire!
Aerial Bartending The evening began with a session of aerial bartending. The two trapeze artists, Sarah and Maisie Hughes, took turns at pouring glasses of champagne for guests while suspended from a ring trapeze. In between customers, the artists performed graceful manoeuvres on the ring. That's the most exotic glass of champers I've ever had!
Pouring bubbly from the ring trapeze / Photo by Xander Kabat Photography
This was followed by a stunning piece of aerial trapeze by Sarah and Maisie on a custom-built, vertical duo trapeze. This act combined trapeze displays on bars plus acrobatic balances as the artists wound their way across the contraption and around each other. The gracefulness of the performance belied the strength of the two women. Set to a very soulful song, I was easily drawn into the tenderness of this piece.
The first music act was by Hvybones. This solo performer uses his guitar to create heavy ethereal sounds. This made a great atmospheric backdrop to enjoying a drink and the artwork in the artists corner.
How Does Your Brain Work? The next show was "Imaginaerial". A work-in-progress being developed for next year's Perth Fringe Festival, Sarah says this piece "draws on neuroplasticity studies to present an imagined reality of how our minds could function". To me, this performance art piece portrayed how the simplest act of our bodies is extraordinarily complicated and can become distorted by the impacts of a disease like Alzheimer's. Sarah's blindfolded rope trapeze act explored the mind's inner workings while Maisie wrote at her desk. The two women then performed an acrobatic piece exploring the simple act of making a cup of tea in a way that will make you think twice about it next time!
Sarah & Maisie exploring the machinations of the mind / Photo by Xander Kabat Photography
Exploring Body Dysmorphia Sarah returned in another aerial act, "Body Dysmorphia", that was true performance art. This piece was performed to music and the spoken story of a young woman's experience with anorexia, body image and society's perceptions. Sarah's trapeze and dance act matched the story of the young woman's treatment, including her hospitalisation, and how her eating disorder was caused by depression and anxiety, not concern about weight loss. The harsh moves, heavy falls and contortions of the trapeze artist are something I've not seen before and was more akin to what is commonly seen in modern dance. Usually, trapeze and acrobatics are focussed on the strength and grace of the artists, but Kaleido Company's performances have added a whole new angle to this art.
The next live set of music was performed by Japanese Tongue Sisters. Initially joined by Hvybones, this duo played a unique blend of ambient music featuring vocals, keyboard, guitar and drum.
Japanese Tongue Sisters and Hvybones / Picture by Joe Spina Photography
Escaping the Rat Race The final piece for the evening, "Secretary", combined music and trapeze. It started with a performance by Japanese Tongue Sisters, Hvybones and Maisie as the Secretary, with music created by the sounds of objects moved on a typical office desk. This led into a performance by Maisie, as the Secretary became distracted from her humdrum work into the more exciting world of the trapeze. A harsh phone call brings the Secretary back to reality before she escapes again into her alternate world. A fast-paced and very physical piece, you have to respect Maisie's strength in this one!
The Secretary escapes her humdrum life / Photo by Xander Kabat Photography
Hosting in the Perth Mess Hall made for a relaxed atmosphere to the cocktail-party theme, where we could enjoy the individual acts showcased during the evening, check out the different artists and their work inside the Mess Hall, and enjoy dinner and dessert from the food trucks out in the main grounds. Two painters, Soojin Mitton and Bertie Louise, were creating new pieces throughout the evening, adding an interactive angle to the arts corner.
Inside the Mess Hall / Picture by Xander Kabat Photography
With the season of Christmas parties fast approaching, wouldn't an aerial bartender or an interactive circus murder mystery make a great addition to the evening's festivities? How about a burlesque aerial and theatre show for your next corporate function? It's all available from Kaleido Company!
Ring trapeze act by Maisie Hughes / Photo by Xander Kabat Photography