2017 Viola Award Nominee for Excellence in the Performing Arts

OPIA was an aerial dance performance produced in an airplane hangar, Wiseman Aviation, near the Flagstaff Airport. It was the first performance by the new group, Dark Sky Aerial. There were two showings: Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, 2016. Both showings were sold out in advance, with over 350 people witnessing this unique performance.

The show was ambulatory. The audience was instructed to move around the large hangar to follow the performance as it migrated to four different stations. The show began with a stunning dance film and continued with spoken word performance and then aerial dance. The entire venue had been completely transformed into a cutting edge performing arts space with opening reception and art exhibition.

About Dark Sky Aerial (from their website):

Dark Sky Aerial is a collaboration of local aerial artists. We dream and unleash creative performance experiences. Our work is thought-provoking, reflective, and innovative. We seek to explore the boundaries of human potential through movement, art, and social circus.

Dark Sky Aerial is a dream realized by six women (Abby Chan, Carrie Gaydos, Elisa Venezia, Isabelle Dove-Robinson, Joan Garcia, and Nicole Gallant) in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Social circus is an innovative term referring to the growing movement toward the use of Circus and Performing Arts as mediums for social justice and social good. The concept of Social Circus uses alternative, pedagogical tools to work with marginalized demographics and to raise awareness for larger social or environmental issues.

Audience raves:

“OPIA was a moving and breathtaking performance conveying interconnected themes of humanity. This was the best aerial performance Flagstaff has seen, and it’s only the beginning.”

“Last night I attended the opening night of OPIA presented by Dark Sky Aerial Arts. Going in I thought I had an idea of what to expect. When the performance started, all of that went out the window. OPIA is by far the most professional production by any Flagstaff performance organization this year. The quality of the performances was stellar and well rehearsed. The lighting was brilliantly effective. The choreography was mesmerizing, the performers were completely encapsulated by their characters. The audience was drawn in to their feelings, their emotions. And what pulled all of this together seamlessly was the soundtrack. Each “act” was the concept of a different director, yet the music flowed flawlessly from act to act. The stand out of the night for me was the Isabelle Dove-Robinson’s Solicitous. Dance to the spoken word Walking. Brilliant! Never have have I seen performance art so well executed and performed since my days living in Los Angeles. BRAVA Dark Sky Arerial for bring performance art to Flagstaff!”

“Six young Flagstaff women combined their talents to create OPIA – a brilliant combination of dance, aerial arts, theater and spoken word. OPIA is metaphorically and physically (the audience moves through the space) a graceful journey through life’s challenges and emotions. It is a stunning first in Flagstaff and I hope this group will create more as they continue their journey.”

Dark Sky Aerial website

4FlagTV video

AZ Daily Sun article

Dark Sky Aerial – Performing Arts Winner for OPIA