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Aerial Towers

Risk and Trust

Hearts are in mouths watching Naomi and Martina being carried through the space on the shoulders of the two men below and continually changing their collective point of balance in acrobatic group structures.

Prepare with a set of trust exercises in pairs and small groups, giving and taking weight in controlled conditions starting with simple ‘straight board’ bodies, leaning weight forwards and back. Students should understand the need for a strong core, solid base and soft arms and knees to receive weight safely and do something with it.

  • How many ways can you attach to a partner? What body parts can you balance on, pull away from, fall into, push, lean against, swing around, hang from, wrap around, perch on?
  • Use different body part combinations in search of more unusual hooks and surfaces (elbow/knee, hand/foot, head/hands etc..) and experiment with a variety of shapes (stretched, curved, angular, tucked, long, arched, asymmetrical)
  • Start and finish away from each other and find ways into and out of each move.
  • Choose three ideas and build transitions between them so they flow one into the next on the spot. Then travel the phrase – what do you need to do differently?
  • Lead students through a range of assisted jumps, turns and lifts referencing footage from Charge for examples they can try, and inviting them to find their own. Perfect one way of lifting a partner’s full body weight and transferring them into a new space.
  • Find different ways into and out of this lift using some of these words: attract, spiral, suspend, fall, arch, launch, slide, tumble, sink, repel, throw, collapse, fall
  • Use the partnering ideas to build a duet based on risk and trust.
  • Join up the pairs to make groups of four and set yourselves the task of traversing the space together with just one rule: one of you never touches the floor

Give this person an object to hold onto and ‘protect’ from start to finish – what might it be and why is it significant? Watch the scenes. How does the introduction of an object affect the meaning and atmosphere? Does it make a difference what the prop is or how it is treated?

Charge is supported by

Warwick Arts Centre, Rothschild Foundation, Ernest Cook Trust, Tipping Point, Stories of Change

Official energy partner of Charge

First Utility

Motionhouse is supported by

Warwick DC, Lottery Funded, Arts Council England, Vitsoe, John Ellerman Foundation