Buy Tickets
Tech Info





Balanced Edge' to extend Orts' reach 

Arizona Daily Star; Tucson, Ariz.; Oct 20, 2000; Jennifer Lee Carrell;

Orts takes to the air once again in a concert of adventurous creativity.

"Balanced Edge" explores all kinds of balancing acts and sheer edges. It also explores an entirely new breed of aerial apparatus, extending the simple low-flying trapeze to double-barred trapezes, skeletal boxes, mobiles inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, and spinning discs.

Each of these newly invented, complex kinds of trapezes both test and display the dancers' dynamic use of weight and momentum, as they partner each other and the trapezes that give them the power to fly.

Aerial dance, as Orts performs it, creates living, dancing sculpture suspended in midair. In creating these moving shapes, artistic director Anne Bunker often raids her dreams and daydreams; executive director Chuck Koesters engineers these visions into physical and safe reality.

"Balanced Edge" is a full-length work that hovers on the edges between different art forms, combining aerial and modern dance, poetry, music, videography and performance art.

According to a collective statement by the company, the piece is "a collaborative work inspired from and created within the landscape of the Southwestern United States. When we speak of balance, we speak of the dance between human beings and the desert. We refer to the drama that is unfolding at this very moment between human desire and the natural world. We speak of the balance in the rocks and spires, fantastic shapes created randomly as the result of eons of erosion and change. For the artists in this project, 'balance' is the word that binds us, and 'the edge' is where we meet to create."

For this work, videographer Koesters (who is the company's technical wizard and in-house composer as well as executive director) has created a form he calls "edge video," which will run as a backdrop to the dancing mobile sculptures. It includes images ranging from purely abstract to the blading of the Sonoran Desert to the rock spires of the Cochise Stronghold.

Koesters is also the lighting designer. "The lighting," he says, "will be the most colorful and intense I've done."

Adds Bunker: "When it comes to lighting, we have an impressionistic idea of what light can be. It doesn't matter if you see everything. As with Monet or van Gogh, what matters is the impression of the whole."

Writer Charles Alexander, artist Cynthia Miller and actor Paul Fisher are also contributing to the multimedia work.

Aerial dance is a startling, potentially revolutionary development in dance; "Balanced Edge" will display Orts at the cutting edge of this new art form.

* Contact Jennifer Lee Carrell at 573-4114 or at

Top of Page