With aerial silk (performing acrobatics while hanging from a fabric) and aerial ring and rope (acrobatics done hanging from a rope/ring) gaining popularity across dance shows and Bollywood songs, it was only a matter of time that a festival would be held in the city. Titled Airplay, the two-day event celebrates aerial movements and has been organised by Natura, Dancers Alliance and Capoeira De Ouro.
Aerial silk is performed while hanging from a fabric
Airplay will include workshops on using aerial silk ropes, slack-lining, aerial yoga/pilates, Kalaripayattu, Capoeira and Hip-Hop.
Speaking about the event, festival organiser Shubhangi Swarup says, “Airplay is a fitness and dance festival centered around aerial dancing and acrobatics. There will also be an artificial rock climbing wall, slack-lines, flying harnesses and martial arts like Capoeira that involve movement off the ground.”
Watch out for...
In all, there will be three aerial performers from Mumbai: Manik Paul, Shruti Jasani and Aditi Deshpande. Graduado Sucuri will teach Capoeira while Samar Farooqui will teach slack-lining and the Natura team will teach wall climbing. The Terence Lewis Dance academy will teach Tutting and Hip-Hop.
Artificial wall climbing
Slack-lining, one of the highlights at Airplay, is a balancing art done using nylon or polyester webbing tied between two anchor points. Says Samar Farooqui, founder of Slacklife Inc, “You develop your core muscles, balancing and concentration skills. It is accessible to anyone who’s keen to try.” Tutting is another draw; it is a style of Hip-Hop that involves popping one’s arms at perpendicular angles.
Interestingly, aerial disciplines are simultaneously modern in nature and yet have a basis in the past. “The rope-and-pole Mallakhamb has been around for centuries; aerial silk has popped in around 2010,” explains aerial dance teacher Shruti Jasani.
Studio for all things
While Sitara Studio may seem an unconventional venue, Avishkar Tendle, MD, Natura, explains that since it boasts of a high ceiling it is ideal to host aerial activities and offers a climate-controlled environment, making it a fit.
Such events may become a regular feature, states Nikhil Hemrajani, VP, Sitara Studio, “Depending on the response, we intend to hold classes for dance and indoor adventure activities. Airplay has been designed to introduce diverse trends to city folk.”
On May 17-18, 12 pm to 10 pm at Sitara Studio, Dadar (W).