What: "Cirque de Minuit (The Midnite Circus)," the Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance 25th anniversary party
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4
Where: Ellie Studio Loft, 908 14th St., Denver
Info: 303-245-8272 or frequentflyers.org
Here's an assertion you've probably never heard before: Stilts can be sexy.
At least that's what one audience member told Danielle Hendricks, after watching the Denver performer balance atop her tall aluminum pegs in a black and red corset and lace leggings.
This show is all about redefining what you think you know.
Welcome to the "Cirque de Minuit (The Midnite Circus)," the Boulder-based Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Company's nontraditional 25th anniversary party. Experience the circus Saturday night at the Ellie Studio Loft in Denver.
But don't expect to sit in the audience and watch an ordinary show. Saturday. You will walk through the winding hallways of the historic building as Boulder composer Jesse Manno plays his wide repertoire of instruments live. Suddenly, a performer will crawl out of a basket, or slide down from a silken fabric from the sky.
Even if you attended Frequent Flyers' "Cirque de Minuit" stage show in Boulder last year, this show will surprise you, says Nancy Smith, founder and artistic director of the studio.
Like journeying through a circus from tent to tent, the audience will discover all kinds of performers throughout the night and space.
"It's almost like you're in it," Smith says. "Being up close and personal, it's really intimate."
The Boulder dance company has never done something like this before, she says.
She decided to stage the event in Denver this year to make it accessible to a new crowd and also turn it into a hybrid between a party and performance.
Instead of sitting in chairs, the audience will stand or sit right next to the performers. Some dancers, including Hendricks, will walk through the crowd.
At a recent rehearsal, her extra-extra-long legs pranced across the room. With a twirl, she removed an item of clothing, burlesque-style. She slowly folded into a backbend, and as her hands balanced on a chair and her stilts stretched toward the ceiling into a handstand, she seemed to defy the laws of nature.
Everything about this show seems surreal and supernatural, in fact. A woman dressed like a black and white snake slithers up a piece of red silk fabric. Bodies hang upside down and twist and spin through the air. Everything is black and white and red -- like the story that inspired the show.
Smith came up with the concept after reading the book, "The Night Circus," by Erin Morgenstern.
Some performers' characters and costumes were inspired by the book: clocks, bird cages and circus stripes. But you don't have to know the book to enjoy the show, Smith says, and the performance does not recount the story.
The show raises money to support Frequent Flyers programs.
"I think it'll be a journey, where you'll go through feeling, 'Wow, that was really moving and beautiful,' to 'Wow, that was really odd and funny,' to 'Wow, that was really crazy hard and interesting,'" Smith says.Learn even more about "Cirque de Minuit" by pushing "Start" below and using the arrows. Enjoy!