Performers from Aeriosa rehearse last year in Saxe Point Park. The Vancouver-based acrobat group return to Esquimalt for a series of performances Aug. 10 and 11. Photo contributed

Aeriosa swings from Island trees

Aerial dance group returns to Esquimalt with new program dedicated to Salish Sea

It’s not often that anyone but the eagles who soar over Saxe Point Park get to hang out in its iconic trees, but the acrobats of Aeriosa will dance along the branches when they return for a series of performances Aug. 10 and 11.

“It’s such a cool thing to witness,” says Wendy Swan, president of the Township Community Arts Council, the event’s host. “You’re kind of in awe, thinking ‘how are they even doing that?’ The strength that they have is amazing.”

The Vancouver-based group has performed in some interesting locales, including on the cliffs of the Squamish Chief and the side of the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver at its opening.

The show blends contemporary dance with mountain climbing skills for a dazzling display of vertical dance as performers spin on cables fastened to the trees.

Under the tutelage of artistic director and founder Julia Taffe, Aeriosa will perform four half-hour shows that begin with a welcome dance from the Esquimalt Nation singers and dancers, after an overwhelming response last year.

“We knew it was going to be a big thing, but it just kind of blew us away,” Swan says of the 5,000 people who took in the shows.

The dancers of Aeriosa were equally as surprised at the attendance, immediately planning a return, with a new program Dancing Trees by the Salish Sea.

Swan says the group came to scout out sites within the Township and landed on Saxe Point Park, for the height of the trees but also the backdrop of the ocean and Olympic peninsula.

Aeriosa performs at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. both nights. Swan recommends coming early, bringing a picnic or grabbing a bite at the food trucks that will be on site.

The event is free, family-friendly and accessible with parking available at Archie Browning arena.

For more info check out Aeriosa.com or to see what else the TCAC is up to, visit them online at TownshipArts.org.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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