As part of the celebration of the Law Society 400 years anniversary, we were commissioned to create and perform an aerial spectacular as a surprise for the over 1000 delegates at the ICC in Birmingham. Initial discussions with managing director Emma Larkin, began almost a year ago when she found CircusMASH through word of mouth and was impressed by our high quality entertainment experiences. Emma wanted to really wow her client and offer an element of surprise, with aerialists dropping down from the ceiling in a jaw dropping display of aerial silks. We loved the idea, so began exploring ways to create this highly impactful surprise with the limited rigging options we had. Although the venue wouldn’t allow for us to rig aerialists from the ceiling to drop down, we had a few other ideas about how to create this impact.
Once rehearsals began with aerialists Raquel San Gregorio, Penny Barrett, Nerina Orton and Charlee Oakton, we started devising a group ensemble piece on the ground, which would serve as a visual feast and distraction for guests, to draw their attention to the ground. Meanwhile, our aerial silks were rigged to integrate as part of the set, so unsuspecting guests could only guess the long white silks were drapery to frame the stage.
The electrifying performance showcased the artists in brilliant white coats, which when opened, revealed an highly reflective interior coating that shot beams of light around the room. Underneath, costumes were adorned with hundreds of sparkling coloured crystals, catching the light to creating a mesmorising sparkle. As the ensemble came to a close, the lights went out and a huge rumble shook the room, creating sense of confusion and excitement, whilst the aerialist made their way to the silks, climbly quickly in the dark, to set for their big surprise moment. We were really thrilled to work so closely with Zest on the lighting design, which really helped intensify the impact of our performance.
Following a big quaking crack, the lights switched on, creating a bejeweled gradient of colour surrounding four white silks, hanging 10m in four corners of the room. Gasps and whispers radiated through the audience and when the music started, the aerialists dropped down from the ceiling, leaving the audience speechless and breathless! What followed was a beautiful aerial routine, choreographed by CircusMASH head trainer Raquel San Gregorio with assistance from Penny Barrett, who also took the lead on makeup designs. The routine finished with a final gasping drop, which was then met with a huge roar from the audience.
The piece was directed by Zaq Andel, who took inspiration from the concept of Geodes and Gemstones, creating a piece that saw performers cracking open from a hardened shell to reveal beautiful sparkling gemstones inside. The costume design was a collaboration between Zaq and Rachel Boxley, who then made each of the costumes from scratch, taking Zaq’s initial designs and moulding them into something practical and approachable.
Emma Larkin commented on the 15-minute spectacle, “Thanks Zaq, the performance was great, definitely the impact we wanted! I look forward to working with you again soon.” WE too can’t wait to work together again, very soon! Thanks you Emma and All in All events for having us and letting us bring the magic of aerial spectacle to your event.
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