Next month, Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance will take the Dairy Arts Center’s stage for the first time in two years.
While during the pandemic the gravity-defying troupe kept crowds entertained with virtual content and outdoor shows, “Gravity & Relativity” will mark the group’s long-awaited return to indoor shows at a Boulder-based venue that the members have performed at for years.
“We’re really excited and grateful to be able to perform at the Dairy again,” said Nancy Smith, founder and artistic director of Frequent Flyers. “It’s been quite a journey as a nonprofit, entering our 34th year, surviving the pandemic with all its chaos and challenges.”
This latest offering by Frequent Flyers is sure to deliver all the drama, varied themes and acrobatic excellence the long-running arts organization is known for.
Tickets for the latest production are $23-$27. Attendees have the option of seeing the show at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 or they can catch a 2 p.m. matinee on Dec. 5.
Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test will be required for guests.
“Super excited to convene our community to experience this new show,” said Smith. “We’ve been doing outdoor shows and some site-specific work during this hiatus from the theater. However, there’s nothing quite like having all the magic of the lighting and sound in a controlled environment.”
Seven skilled performers shine in this thought-provoking and heartfelt offering choreographed by Natalie Wise, who is also in the show.
While Frequent Flyers aims to entertain with spellbinding and jaw-dropping moves, the group also often uses the art form as a conveyor of bigger stories with an end result that’s quite layered. “Gravity & Relativity” takes the opportunity to explore the hardships ushered in by COVID-19, as well as the strength that surfaced in its wake.
“The arc of the performance could be viewed as the journey many of us have experienced during these unprecedented times: isolation, loss, struggle, new coping mechanisms, reconnecting with what’s important, becoming ever more resilient and strong,” Smith said.
The pandemic altered the lives of many and ultimately changed the way we navigate the world.
“The title reflects the idea that the situation is grave and it’s relative,” Smith said. “Some have flourished and others have suffered terribly. And to the audience it may appear that gravity is relative for our beautiful flying humans. How we all choose to respond to these times is the crux. We choose the importance of making and connecting through art.”
In addition to taking to aerial silks, dancers will spin lit-up LED hoops and some will even don costumes adorned with tiny lights on sheer wings and pants, making for truly mesmerizing visuals.
Smith said attendees can expect “a dynamic, tender, beautiful and thought-provoking journey.”
After “Gravity & Relativity” wraps, fans can enjoy “Stargazers” by Frequent Flyers Student Company. The show — running Dec. 10 and 11 — takes audiences on a journey through the cosmos. All the planets, moons and stars will be explored using aerial fabric, lyra and trapeze.
Also on Dec. 11, “Flying Lessons for Humans” — a production that explores the depths of human emotions and experiences — will take place at the Dairy.
Frequent Flyers is coming back strong with new content and some routines that have been years in the making.
“We’re finally doing the piece with the Boulder Philharmonic, ‘Butterfly Lovers Concerto’, on April 30, 2022, at Macky, that originally was slated for two weeks after the pandemic shut us all down,” Smith said.
The collaboration with Boulder Phil centers on spring’s promise of rebirth and renewal. Orchestral pieces pair beautifully with the radiance of aerial dancers.
The program will kick off with a new work by composer Mason Bates titled “Undistant” that reflects on the recent experience of “cocooning” during the pandemic and the joy of reconnecting again.
Those interested in taking lessons with Frequent Flyers can do so in the new year.
“We have our new session of classes starting on Jan. 10 at our studios in Boulder for anyone ages 5 and up,” Smith said.
In 2022, Frequent Flyers will be working on a film project titled “UpStream: Art + Ecology = Awareness.”
And starting in July, the 24th annual International Aerial Dance Festival — an event that was virtual in 2021 — will commence in Boulder with in-person performances.
For now, those craving the beauty and intrigue of acrobatic arts — with a deeper message — can look forward to three performances of “Gravity & Relativity.”
“I hope attendees take away the feeling of possibility in this beautiful and complicated world,” Smith said. “Curiosity. Awe. Surprise.”