Aerial Assault

Okay, so The Little Mermaid was a bust. No worries, though, because I still get to photograph tons of awesomeness at San Antonio's Majestic Theater. An aside: fans of film and the arts owe a huge debt to the Majestic not only for their noteworthy track record, but also for the fact that it was the first air-conditioned theater in Texas

Last night I had the opportunity to link up with Arts San Antonio  to shoot the National Acrobats and Circus of China. Though I suspected I wouldn't see any clowns, elephants, and lion tamers, I was wasn't expecting to see freaking aerialists and non-freaky contortionists. 

  If I sneeze, you're  all  screwed. 

If I sneeze, you're all screwed. 

I've always been a music and theater guy, and I shamefully admit I know little about dance, ballet, and those kind of performing arts. I have, however, photographed aerialists in the past, so I knew I could expect to be wowed. And wowed I was. 

  Is Human Jenga a thing?

Is Human Jenga a thing?

Unfortunately, I had more restrictions than I'd anticipated: the usual three-song limit, with the added stipulation that I shoot from the theater's veranda. You know, where the merch booth goes. Yeah. I had to shoot from way back there. 

Those first few shots I took sucked. I'm not even going to post them. Fortunately, I ran into one of the honchos of Arts San Antonio, and he was gracious enough to allow me to shoot from anywhere in the theater provided I got in no one's way. I won't mention him by name, but if he's reading this... you, sir, have my gratitude. Your gesture allowed me to get shots like this one:

  Cue that third Shadows Fall album.

Cue that third Shadows Fall album.

Rules is rules, and we gotta follow them; I put my cameras away after the third number only to be consistently stunned by the things timing, coordination, balance, and dedication can allow a human to do. Acute gamma (spelled "Γ" in case you're wondering) positions from a rotating twelve foot pole? Check. Gyrating fifteen steel hula hoops? Done. Hooping a giant slinky? Yawn. Eleven+ dancers in human pyramid formation on a single, moving bicycle? For amateurs. Honestly, I can't remember half the stuff I saw last night because I was too busy reaching for my jaw. I hadn't seen such grace and elegance on a stage in a while. I needed it. 

  Asleep at the wheel.

Asleep at the wheel.

But not as much as this young lady needs her coffee.