Maybe you’ve heard about the growing popularity of aerial dancing, or maybe you’ve seen one of Denver’s circus groups performing an immersive event with stilt walkers, fabric dancers and trapeze artists. But have you heard about the adrenaline-inducing performances of vertical dancers who use rock climbing technology paired with choreography? If not, it’s time you did — because it might just be the newest trend in the dance and acrobatic world.
Luckily for Coloradans, there’s a world-renowned troupe coming to Breckenridge in August for the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) to perform gravity-defying stunts from some of Colorado’s most iconic mountains.
The group calls themselves BANDALOOP. Based in Oakland, California, BANDALOOP started when Amelia Rudolph decided to reimagine dance as a vertical performance. Not just an aerial performance (like the fabric and lyra dancers), but one where the dance floor is turned on its side. Using the physicality and muscular discipline inherent to aerial dancing, BANDALOOP combines it with intricate choreography and climbing technology. The dancers are suspended from vertical faces (like skyscrapers and mountains) while both controlling their movements and flying through the air.
Currently, BANDALOOP has six core dancers, along with Rudolph and Melecio Estrella (the associate artistic director). But the list of alumni and occasional dancers is staggering. And that’s partly because, when the troupe isn’t touring the world performing, they are offering classes, camps, intensives and team building programs.
During BIFA, BANDALOOP will present a series of “site-reactive” performances in and around Breckenridge. These performances will be filmed and certain ones are open to the public for viewing. The dates will be August 15 through 17 and the locations are at the Breckenridge Clock Tower (August 15) and Riverwalk (August 16 – 17).
For more information and updates about catching one of BANDALOOP’s Colorado performances, go here.
*Editor’s Note: This article has been changed since it was published to clarify the BANDALOOP performances will possibly occur on the side of a mountain, but not a 14er.