It is true. Circus arts is definitely making a comeback! Blame it on Cirque Du Soleil, Rockstar Pink or Acro-Yoga, but it is truly everywhere you go. From Yoga studios, the beach, dance studios and gyms alike, there are rigs set up to host (and hoist) Aerial classes. Fire-dancing and Adagio (aka: Acro-Yoga) classes are shared on the same sprung floor where hundreds of yoga mats have been rolled out upon. What’s the reason for the popularity?
My name is Chantel Durelli and I’ve created a talent management company two years ago called Eccentric Talent Management (www.eccentrictalent.com
). My nine year experience with the circus world (former performer with Cirque Berzerk, aerial instructor who has her own 20’ aerial rig and Chinese Pole erected in her backyard and circus show producer/director) and my past twenty years experience of practicing Yoga that I have utilized to help round out my professional athletic careers make me very “close to the fire” in terms of this Circus question. Circus Arts, whether it might be Stilt-Walking, Fire-Dancing, Adagio (Couples Acrobatics or Acro-Yoga), Aerial Art or Contortion/Hand-Balancing, are all incredible workouts to build muscle, a way to intensely stretch, a path to conquer fears and also a way to experience meditative movement.
To be specific, let’s take Aerial Art (aerial hoop or lyra, silks or trapeze). To me it is another form of Yoga… just taken to the air. For one, FORM is of absolute importance… shoulders down, rhomboids pulled back, spine long, abs and ribcage pulled in, toes pointed and engaged, and a breath with each pose. Second, CONCENTRATION is integral for obvious reasons. Third, each move needs to be held and done over and over again... REPITITION. Lastly, the amount of FLEXIBILITY needed to do these skills is quite demanding. I’m sure after a Silk class your hamstrings and anterior deltoids will tell you so… just like a Yoga class! All these qualifications of an Aerialist mirror that of a true Yogi. The idea is to create Yoga in the air with a bit of flair.
What I am proposing is not to stop practicing Yoga or pack up your things and “run away with the circus” (although I keep seeing my friends and clients leaving town to do so), but to incorporate the two. Try something new that will challenge you. Without Yoga, your body most likely won’t be able to do Circus Arts as readily and without Circus Arts, you might experience burn-out. Definitely a nice complimentary duo.
Please check out your Aerial Studios and circus schools near you and jump into a class. Or you can always contact me at [email protected]
for advice on classes or try an aerial class out in my backyard with experienced instructors, many of which are also performers in local circuses. I promise, the experience is magical!
www.JJGym.com (Van Nuys)
www.KineticTheoryTheatre.com (Culver City)
www.LeStudioLA.com (Culver City)
Of course, if you would rather just watch from your Yoga mat and hire any one of my professionals for an event, please let me know! I would be more than happy to send them your way and make your event truly dazzle.
Namaste, Aloha, Honk,
President of Eccentric Talent Management