Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dancing High in the Sierra Foothills

 CODA: Grace Edith Callaway, 1987-2011
We miss you Amazing Grace, and we love you. We celebrated your life today with music, kind words, videos of your dancing, as the snow was falling outside the church.  Your mother shared her dream, where she met you and you told her, " Now I need to learn to dance in a different way." Love to you - Nancy

I live in the San Francisco Bay area where you can see the most innovative dance in the world, so I was amazed to find a dance company in the sleepy town of Grass Valley that outdid any performance I've seen around here recently.

Last week-end our friend and aerial dancer Grace Callaway invited us to a concert by the AirAligned Dance Company. (Grace is the dancer in the far left of this photo). Aerial dance I've learned, has been around since the 1970s, but it was new to me.The dance form consists of  acrobatics and and dance performed from long strips of cloth hanging from the ceiling. Dancers climb, fall, slide, twist, dance together and apart with incredible skill and grace.

Another highlight of the show was Shredder Hoops, the performs with hoops from her neck, her torso, her legs, and her tippy toes. With memories of my hula hoop days, I know the skill it takes to get one or two hoops moving in the most logical parts of the body. And Shredder worked up to 10 hoops at time!  My admiration for her work only grew when she told me she practices five hours a day. Also to note are company director Tresa Honaker both for her beautiful dancing, her choreography and her ability to put together a show as professional as this. Musician Craig Thomas tied things together with keyboard, guitar music and vocals, and brought the house down with  a sexy David Bowie rendition.

This tightly produced show consisted of aerial dance, hoop dance, modern dance,  show dance and a little hop hop bound together with a loose narrative around a masquerade theme. Each dancer created a character and created a short piece around the character.They put on a show once a year. Definitely worth a trip to the Sierra Foothills!

Air Aligned has a number of videos on YouTube so you can see for yourself. Here is their demo tape:

And here is one of Grace's solos


Blogger Shredder Hoops said...

Thank you for your kind blog, Nancy. I am Shredder Hoops, from San Francisco. I am honored to have been a guest performer for this amazing show filled with such a kind and talented cast, and a very supportive and enthusiastic audience.
My final hula hoop trick consists of over 30 hoops. I teach hula hoop and aerial classes here, in SF, at my company's new Circus and Dance Institute. I would like to invite you to come explore your youthful spirit again. The hula hoops I provide are specially weighted for adults to help you succeed. Warning! You may fall in love:)

Thanks again, Nancy, and I hope to see you soon.
Much Love,
Erin Shredder Hoops

9/15/2010 2:59 PM  

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