Brave Space is the building of a blanket fort, the act of sneaking under a hoopskirt, an impulsive congregation in the tiniest of tents. Intimate and low tech, this hour-long work of contemporary circus invites the audience to sit nose-to-nose with bold aerialists and acrobats to build the world we want to live in, even for only a few shared moments. An antidote to the daily news cycle, this hypermobile show can pop up in fields, intersections, theaters, and warehouses -- wherever people need beauty, hope, and comfort. This October it’s popping up in an 108-year-old church.
Conceived of and directed by Aloft artistic director Shayna Swanson, Brave Space is designed not as a “safe space,” but as a space that will bring audiences up close and personal with their humanity and their fears, to encourage them to better care for themselves and for those around them. This is the first show Swanson has directed in six years, and five of the seven performers are recent graduates of Aloft’s full-time professional training program. “I realized in order to make the shows I wanted to make, I needed to first train up a new generation of artists,” she says. In those six years Aloft’s school and company has itself has grown to fully inhabit a new studio home in a renovated church in Logan Square.
Inspired by the idea of creating community in trying times, Brave Space starts as a puddle of fabric on the floor, and grows to encompass a world of wonders that includes juggling, cyr wheel, and duo trapeze, a rope act like no other, and awe-inspiring feats of balance and strength. The audience is limited to 100 people per show, and audience members must be able to sit on the floor, stand up, walk around for the duration of the performance. Audience members requesting assistance, or a chair to sit in, should note so when purchasing tickets. In addition, Brave Space may make persons suffering from claustrophobia feel uncomfortable at times.
Directed by Shayna Swanson; featuring Brian Dailey, Heather Dart, Hayley Larson, Linnea Ridolfi, Zoe Sheppard, Sarah Tapper, Rachel Webberman.