The Flying Trapeze

In my last post, I thought about how we define art, the different types of media platforms for expressing art, etc. One area that I didn’t dig into was the performing arts, in which artists use their body, voice, or objects to convey artistic expression. (This is different from performance art, which challenges orthodox art forms and cultural norms and seeks to convey meaning in a more drama-related sense, rather than serving as a simple performance for entertainment purposes).

After I spent a weekend in the throes of what felt like a Cirque du Soleil for the Average Joe – or “Jane” in this case at the DC outpost of the New York Trapeze School for my 9 year-old’s birthday, we realized this was not just your everyday performing arts. It was physical in ways I have not seen the arts to be. Not long after chalking up and learning the mechanics of how to grip a bar, they were climbing the rig and leaping off the platform to fall, arch, twist, and somersault in mid-air. The amount these girls learned in a choreographed 120-minute session was incredible. The syncopation, timing, grace, and fluidity created a complex challenge and the physical dimensions made it exciting to watch.

Sometimes it is just as exciting to watch a novice at work as it is to watch a master artist. Particularly when they are doing incredible feats 30 feet in the air!


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