Aerial silks soar in flight of fancy


The arcane field of circus arts will be showcased in a one-off performance by a Dunedin contemporary circus group this Saturday.

Aerial silks specialist Rochelle Brophy, principal of Brophy Aerial Studios, has been sharing her skills with Dunedin schoolchildren and adults for the past seven years.

In recent months, a group of her students decided it was time to put their skills to the test in a performance.

And so, contemporary circus arts, dance and theatre show Fragments of a Dream was created.

Workshopped by Brophy and choreographer-dancer Emma Holloway, along with the students, the show tells the story of a young girl who is unwell and cannot go to the circus – so the circus comes to her in a dream.

“We have amazing performances, from stilt walking, contortion, acrobatics and hula hoops to breath-taking aerial silks acts,” Brophy said.

The performers include Brophy and Holloway, aerialists Silkie Alliott and Harriet Koch, aerialist-contortionist Regina Hegemann, acrobatics duo Jooske Honig and Cecile MacNeille, and hula hoop artist Maruysa Nume.

Children involved in Rochelle Brophy’s aerial silks classes at local schools will also be part of the performance.

Dunedin actress Terry MacTavish will keep things moving along as narrator and ringmaster, while the action will be accompanied on piano by Jordan Clark.

“It’s fantastic to have so many talented people to draw on in a contemporary circus context,” Holloway said.

Brophy said training on aerial silks was growing in popularity as a fitness option, as it was very helpful in developing upper body strength.

“It is really gymnastics in the air,” she said.

Fragments of a Dream will be staged this Saturday from 6.30pm at King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre in Bay View Rd. Tickets are available online and at the door.