Under the Gaslight, Aloft's student show on February 25th, was truly impressive. Check out our original show shots above. It's exciting to see aerial acts within a larger story line or plot, rather than just an exhibition of skills. We were especially excited that they chose to explore the subjective elements of mental illness.
Gaslighting, by definition, is a term for psychological abuse where the victim is led to doubt their own memory and perception. Here's the Wikipedia definition:
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
The term "gaslighting" comes from the play Gas Light and its film adaptations. In those works a character uses a variety of tricks to convince his spouse that she is crazy, so that she won't be believed when she reports strange things that are genuinely occuring, including the dimming of the gas lamps in the house (which happens when her husband turns on the normally unused gas lamps in the attic to conduct clandestine activities there). Since then, it has become a colloquial expression that is now also used in clinical and research literature.
Earlier that night, I was shooting Emilie Autumn's amazing show at The House of Blues. It was an eerily appropriate pairing, as Emilie's concerts are a music/ performance art hybrid that take place in a Victorian era asylum! She even performed a song entitled...you guessed it, Gaslight! Our photo filled recap is coming soon.
Here's Aloft's show premise:
Under the Gaslight
The Aloft Loft
The Aloft Student Ensemble Performance group presents a full length contemporary circus show exploring the line between sane and "crazy". Aloft's signature style of using traditional circus apparatus in new and surprising ways, and spinning clear narrative through movement and risk come alive again through this group of 10 up-coming acrobats, studying at the Aloft Loft, the Midwest's premiere contemporary circus school. Trained by some of the top instructors in the country, and directed by Aloft's Artistic Director, Shayna Swanson, the performers have created a show based in consensus building which questions weather mental illness is just one tragedy away from everyone.
All proceeds from the seat reservation fee for this show will go into a new scholarship fund to assist current Aloft Loft students who lose their incomes due to the economy in continuing their acrobatic training. Some money will also be directed into mirco-grants to help professional artists-in-residence at the Aloft Loft develop new work.
We were back there tonight to shoot El Circo Cheapo and celebrate Du-Jay's 11th birthday with family. They've been doing the show for 3 years and sell out every show! Some of their talented performers also work as teachers at CircEsteem, so the kids were extra stoked to see folks they know perform. We caught El Circo Cheapo back at Brilliant Corners Fest and were thoroughly entertained. They run a fabulous, monthly circus at Aloft's space, on the first Saturday of every month for just $10 floor seats & $15 for a chair. Tickets tend to be in high demand and sell out, so plan ahead. Check out Aloft's main site here for more details.
El Circo Cheapo!
“The only thing cheap is the admission!”-Santa Fe Reporter
Like circus? Like awesome things that are crazy cheap? Then have we got just the thing for you. El Circo Cheapo Cabaret is an amazing circus show like nothing you have ever seen. An ever changing cast of some of the world’s most talented circus performers, as well as other performance artists, ensures no two shows are ever the same…and seat reservation fees are low!
Make your seat reservation for El Circo Cheapo Cabaret now by heading here.
*The 7 PM show is family friendly. The 10 PM is 18+. Both are BYOB. We'll have our family friendly photos up from tonight 3/3 in the very near future!