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Aeros defies the laws of gravity

Troupe melds art of dance and gymnastics

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AEROS, Kingsbury Hall, Jan. 27, additional performance Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m. (355-2787 or 581-7100).

The law of gravity doesn't apply to Aeros.

The seasoned 20-member aerial dance team soared across the Kingsbury Hall stage Monday night and left the appreciative audience a little breathless.

From the get-go, the audience knew this wasn't an ordinary dance troupe. Nor was it just a spectator sport. The 90-minute production (excluding intermission) melded the two physical disciplines of dance and gymnastics, and let it loose on the unsuspecting crowd.

Variations highlighted the flexibility, balance, timing and dexterity of the company members, who are all part of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation.

Leaps, back flips, forward flips, forward rolls, walkovers, cartwheels and good old-fashioned running were all part of the energetic extravaganza. Soaring dives into rolls and walking handstands were greeted with cheers of delight, which fed into the overall energy of the show.

Projected imagery of clouds, sunflowers and redwood trees highlighted the strong, deliberate activities with subliminal visuals. The dancers used each other as launching pads, pedestals and sparring partners throughout the sometimes humorous segments.

One of the night's showcase works, "Mushrooms," focuses on four men vying for a place on two pommel horse-type seats.

Black light was also an eye-opener as white flaying and spinning jump ropes became moving Spiro-graph designs during "Flick Flack," and the troupe used parallel bars to illustrate a routine titled "Machine."

During that work, live microphones focused on the athletes' rhythmic breathing, giving the work an organic percussion soundtrack.

This piece in particular brought to mind the hit musical "Stomp," which demonstrates that music (particularly percussion and rhythms) can be made with anything. Perhaps that's because the creators of "Stomp," Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, collaborated with Aeros artistic directors Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons and Moses Pendleton to get Aeros flying.

While watching Aeros, there can't be any doubt that dance can happen anywhere — even five feet above the ground.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com