What: Frequent Flyers' Student Company presents "Scrooge's Holiday Flight," an aerial dance take of the classical Christmas story, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
Where: The Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder
When: 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8
Tickets: $25, or $20 per person for groups of four or more
In this "Christmas Carol," the ghosts really fly.
They swing and soar across the stage while wearing stilts. They dangle from chains and climb long, silk fabrics. They flip around the trapeze, and they peek through a swinging black metal window suspended from the ceiling.
Charles Dickens couldn't have dreamed it up more magical himself.
This is "A Christmas Carol," Frequent Flyers style.
Frequent Flyers is Boulders' aerial dance troupe, internationally known for its circus and aerial arts program -- as well as unique choreography and storytelling style.
The show, "Scrooge's Holiday Flight," an aerial twist on the famous Dickens story, opens Friday, Dec. 7, at The Dairy Center for the Arts and runs through Sunday, Dec. 8.
Every year, the Frequent Flyers put on a holiday show, but this year they decided to do something other than "The Ratcracker" (their version of "The Nutcracker").
"We wanted something new and fresh," says Kim Townsend, of Denver, assistant director for the show.
She says one of the intentions this year was to get more youth involved: "Scrooge's Holiday Flight" features more than 40 members of the student company, as well as a few of the professionals.
Townsend says she expects this show to attract more families and youngsters, as well as give the young performers a platform through which to share their art.
Frequent Flyers' student company is "growing tremendously," according to student company director Danielle Garrison, of Westminster. "We decided to give them the opportunity, to see how far they could take this production, and really challenge them."
Plus, she says, Frequent Flyers always is looking for the next evolution, the next opportunity to grow and progress the art.
She says this show is magical, the holiday spirit embodied.
"What makes it magical is the character," Garrison says. "I remember sitting down and creating the characters for this show and wondering how we were going to portray Marley and all of the ghosts. All of the characters created by the professional company -- these characters are all so beautiful in their own way."
Jacob Marley does a solo routine on chains. The Ghost of Christmas Past does a flying solo on stilts, while wearing a vintage-inspired wedding dress. The Ghost of Christmas Present is quirky and comical. The Ghost of Christmas Future -- well, Garrison doesn't want to give that one away.
"The company members really took this character development to a new level," she says. "The audience will know the story, but then seeing it in an aerial dimension will really make them feel that excitement, the true message of the story."
Unlike the theatrical versions of "A Christmas Carol," this show has limited dialogue, says Townsend.
"It's a little more abstract in that it's a dance piece," Townsend says. "There is some narration we took directly from the book, but a lot is interpreted through dance and movement, as opposed to words. ... It's more a feast for your eyes than just watching a play or musical."
The music is different, too, spanning classical to swing to even dubstep remixes. That makes it more fun for the student performers, Townsend says.
Although the story is not new, she says the plot -- about greed and community -- remains applicable today. And the music brings that home.
"We wanted to make it a little more modern, relatable to modern days," she says.