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Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance member Anastasia Timina performs in the parking lot near the restaurant Blackbelly in Boulder on Aug. 23, 2020. The 24th annual Aerial Dance Festival performance showcase will be Friday through Sunday at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder. (Grace Creative Studios/ Courtesy photo)
Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance member Anastasia Timina performs in the parking lot near the restaurant Blackbelly in Boulder on Aug. 23, 2020. The 24th annual Aerial Dance Festival performance showcase will be Friday through Sunday at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder. (Grace Creative Studios/ Courtesy photo)
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Aerialists from across the globe will collect in Boulder this weekend for the Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival’s performance showcase.

The showcase portion of the 24th annual festival will take place Friday through Sunday at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St. Over three shows, artists from Ukraine to Idaho will present original pieces using bungee, aerial trapeze, hoop, and other apparatus.

Megan Cattau, one of the show’s artists, noted her excitement to collaborate with other aerialists.

“It’s just such a wonderful opportunity for aerialists across the country to come together and expand our practice and to train together and to learn from one another,” she said. “It’s a wonderful community.”

Since its founding 34 years ago, Frequent Flyers has showcased the work of over 90 artists for over 18,000 audience members. The festival, which began July 31, includes not only shows but also courses taught by the featured aerialists. Over 3,900 students have taken these courses since Frequent Flyers was established

Nancy Smith, the founder and artistic director of Frequent Flyers, noted that many of the performances this year are uniquely personal. Some pieces include textual aspects to enhance the artistic presentation, while others rely more heavily on movement and music. Themes of the dances include love and loss, Ukrainian heritage, parental relationships, or, for Smith, her childhood as an aerialist.

“You’re seeing people do amazing things in the air and they just happen to also have this personal information in them that is really moving,” Smith said.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at thedairy.org or by calling 303-440-7826. Every artist will present in each show. Cattau noted that audience members can expect see a vast range of styles and methods in aerial dance.

“Audiences can see some pieces that are just a real virtuosic show of athleticism, some pieces that are more narrative with some spoken word, some pieces that are emotionally evocative, some pieces that are exciting and make you want to dance,” she said. ““Hopefully the audience can see how much diversity there really is in aerial dance and how much power there is to tell different stories.”

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