Tomomi Imai in "Tethered" from "Dreamscapes"


    Above and Beyond Dance was created to explore the enormous range of untapped potential in the fusion of dance and circus arts work—a blend which creates possibilities that go far beyond the traditional spectacle of circus and which expands upon the choreographic possibilities of dance.

    Essentially, our interest lies in creating movement which functions within a dance aesthetic, as we utilize circus arts disciplines such as aerial work (including aerial silk, hammock, static trapeze, and aerial harness), stilts and acrobatics. Our goal, using these techniques, with all the accompanying excitement and visual possibilities, is to effectively extend the range of line and movement beyond that which traditional dance styles can achieve.

    The aerial work, for example, allows for movement which can function above the ground, often in apparent disregard for gravity. Performers on stilts, while grounded, are afforded extended leg lines and move dance into a vertical realm in which it generally cannot exist.

    These techniques, merged with modern dance utilizing weight-sharing, lifts, and acrobatic elements, create a stage environment which can explore both vertical and horizontal dimensions in new and exciting ways. Dancers may appear upright, inverted, impossibly tall, or free of the constraints of the earth altogether. Within this strange new world, perceptions of power and weakness, connection and disconnection, and limitation and freedom are heightened, enabling the exploration of the complexities of the human experience.

    Above and Beyond Dance works collaboratively with several experienced performer/choreographers working together with a similar aesthetic approach. Each collaborator has particular strengths and contributes choreographic ideas and material to be integrated into the artistic whole. The Artistic Director guides the process and interweaves each dancer's choreographic input in order to generate a cohesive work of choreography which captures her artistic vision.