The Point to host two-day symposium in association with One Dance UK

11 Sep 2017

European Aerial Dance Festival (EADF). Image © Mark Morreau 2016.

In August 2017, The Point, Eastleigh played host to the eighth annual European Aerial Dance Festival (EADF), presented by Gravity & Levity. Following the success of the two-week event – which saw participants travel from around the globe to hone their aerial skills – the venue will curate an Aerial Dance Health Symposium on 13 and 14 January 2018 in association with One Dance UK.

“Aerial dance is still in its relative infancy. I think we’re only just beginning to discover the possibilities and how it can inform and be informed by other art forms. It borrows variously from aerial circus skills and dance, but aims to forge its own artistic identity.” – Lindsey Butcher, Gravity & Levity Artistic Director

The Symposium has been developed to offer engaging insight into the multi-faceted discipline, and has been conceived by Gravity & Levity’s Artistic Director Lindsey Butcher, One Dance UK and the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS).

NIDMS Manager Claire Farmer said:

“One Dance UK, as the national support body for the dance sector in the UK, is delighted to be supporting Gravity & Levity in the production of the first aerial dance health symposium in January 2018.

“Working alongside Gravity & Levity’s Artistic Director, Lindsey Butcher, we are pleased to be combining our relative areas of expertise in aerial, dance, health provision, injury reduction and the demands of physical training in the arts and in how we can collaborate with aerial artists to support them in their health, wellbeing, and the longevity of their aerial careers.”

The first of its kind, the Aerial Dance Health Symposium is a dedicated conference focusing solely on the aerial arts – a discipline which is often over-looked in comparison to traditional dance practice. In August 2016, the EADF’s one-day event and round-table discussions were met with gratitude from artists, with one participant commenting:

“Last year’s one-day aerial symposium was priceless to my development as an aerial dance artist. It provided me with further connections within the field and insights to aspects of the practice I hadn’t even dreamt about.

“The diversity of the different guest speakers kept me engaged throughout the day and built beautifully upon the practices I had experienced during the European Aerial Dance Festival the previous week. I learnt more in one day than I had in seven years of practice; just imagine what a two-day symposium could do!”

In August 2017, five industry experts led discussions on different aspects of aerial performance at this year’s festival: Mark Glover on over-training versus periodisation; Chantal McCormick on aerial arts as a business; Kat Cooley on what it takes to make an aerial artist; Lindsey Butcher on gravity, levity and longevity; and Mark Morreau on the use of digital technology in training, learning and performance. The 2018 symposium will be the first stand-alone two-day event with the aim for it to become an annual occurrence.

The symposium is born in response to feedback from the EADF. Now in its eighth year, the festival offers training for aerialists of all experience levels. Week-long courses available include Cyr Wheel, Gyrokinesis, Aerial Dance Trapeze, Vertical Dance Cocoon and Corde Lisse. The festival is inclusive, offering workshops led by experts of the industry. This year, the event focused on providing participants with advice and useful knowledge on varied aspects of aerial training and pedagogy, with practical sessions, keynote speakers and round table discussions working towards continued healthier aerial practise, something which is vital to both One Dance UK and Gravity & Levity’s work.

The first Aerial Dance Health Symposium will be held on 13 and 14 January 2018 at The Point, Eastleigh.