Gravity and Levity, Taking Flight

Review in Issue 17-3 | Autumn 2005

After a twenty-year career as a dancer and aerialist, Lindsey Butcher is now artistic director of her own company, Gravity and Levity, which evolved from the desire to explore the creative and expressive potentials of aerial dance, applying a dance aesthetic to a circus artform – literally dancing in the air. Taking Flight is an ‘aerial dance installation performance' made in six parts (three live pieces, three films) with a team of collaborators. It opens with Falling Up, an elegant and complete solo with Lindsey on a single-looped rope, a continual corde lisse on a mechanical pulley; we enjoy beautiful images of falling, foetal flying, suspension, and – yes – falling up. The three films interspersed throughout the performance show: a beautiful aerial solo vertical dance set against a huge red brick wall, a documentary of the rehearsals, high and low-lights, seen through choreographer/filmmaker Becky Edmund's eyes, and a humorous day in the life of two office workers in a topsy-turvy world. Reinventing the Wheel gives us a trio: two dancers (Charlie Morrisey and Lindsey Butcher) and a wheel. Like a constructivist Michelangelo – poised and impossible moments of suspension and counterbalance within a large rocking 'German wheel'. I enjoyed the peaceful moments of poise between elevation and return. On single-line harness, Why? is a driven and seemingly perpetual aerial dance duet with Scott Smith, in two parts. Exploring improbable angles, where weight, gravity and relationship to floor is altered, visually there was a bleakness to it, all was monotones and void of vibrant colour. Calculated precisely and with strong physical articulation, this was something of a visually boggling promenade performance, skilful in the extreme – an excellent presentation of the form of aerial dance and an exciting exploration of the possibilities of cross-artform collaboration.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-3
p. 24