Cool performance but crappy pics ?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 6:22 PM

So you work really, really hard on what you think is a rockin, awesome performance. You memorized all of the choreography, your timing was spot on, the audience loved it...

Then: You see the photos and video. What the ....?!? My legs aren’t straight! I thought I had my toes pointed?? And when did that hunchback get on my apparatus?!?

I have said it before, recording your self is the best trainer in prepping for a performance. I have also said this before: aerial photo shoots are Hard.

Instead of giving you a “Do as I do” speech, because I too, always need improvement, I will give you advice I have been taught over the years, as well as what I have learned and continue to learn, from experience.

We will start from the toes and go all the way up!!

Toes: OK, you have heard this speech before. You hear the instructors mention, beg, plead, yell to POINT YOUR TOES!!! We have also discussed this in the blog world, so instead of re-writing my awesome suggestions, I will attempt to provide you with a direct link to those blogs.

Limbs: In reference to choreography, many of you have heard me say before: Every move must have a purpose. Brilliant, right? :) The same holds true for your limbs. In a performance, each of your limbs must have a purpose. Yes, I can hear you now: “But they do, they are holding me up!” OK, smarties, what about your free leg during ‘man in the moon’, what about your arms and legs when you are simply sitting on the trapeze?

   What to avoid:

Limp noodles: If your muscles are not contracted or tight from the joint down to your phalanges: you have limp noodle limbs! Tighten those muscles!! Does it make it harder? Does it feel like more of a workout? Yes, ‘fraid so. Is it worth it? Take some video and find out! (hint: the answer is yes!)

Semi-straight legs: “But it felt straight!” Sound familiar? Yea, me too. If you think your legs are straight try this: Pull your knee cap upward using your quad muscle. Now do it with perfectly pointed toes. Feel the difference?

Semi-stagged legs: Usually, the ideal positioning for legs are super straight or specifically stagged. Anything in-between ends up in the limp noodle category. If you are going for the stagged limbs, you should have specific angles, muscles tight!

Wandering limbs: One of my instructors used to call this ‘space leg’. Think of it like this: When you do an inversion and same side hook on the fabric, what are you doing with your non-hooked leg? Is it pushed straight back, straight with the foot pushing towards the floor? Or is it wandering somewhere in-between the ceiling and floor? Don’t let your limbs wander people!! Keep them in line! Literally!! (Get it? in-line? haha!!!)

Chest, neck, torso: Want to get rid of that hunchback when you do inverted splits?

A slight arch of the back will do wonders. Activate your shoulders. What are active shoulders, you ask? Well; Shoulders pushed down away from your ears, shoulder blades pushed together, chest up!!

Show your neck! It has an important job! Its holding up that beautiful head of yours! If you are pushing your chin down towards your chest, you look like your struggling, even if you’re not. Many times I see you guys looking at your feet or legs. I promise they’re there. If they fall off, I will let you know. Show your neck!

Almost as bad, is the ‘aerial snob’. While we want to show our neck, we don''t want to show our nostrils as well. No need to crane the neck to see the ceiling or floor. We want to see your neck, but we also want to see your pretty face. So....

Face: Aerial is hard. I know. Everything we do hurts. I know. But lets not let the audience know just how bad it hurts or just how difficult it really is!! Make all the faces you want in training. Class is the place to let out all those painful grunts, squeaks and four letter words. The learning environment is the place to have your tongue sticking out and the brow furrowed in concentration.

But when its showtime, or picture time; you gotta put on the performer face.

What is the performer face? It should match the feel of your piece. Simple as that. You don’t always have to make eye contact with the audience. You don’t always have to look sullen. You don’t always have to have a goofy grin on your mug (I know, drops are fun, but we gotta be pros sometime right? :) )

So that was lengthy, I know. Thanks for sticking through it. Film your rehearsals, find what flaws you want to fix and do it!



                 AB students working on their lines!!   can you spot the ‘little’ future aerialist?