Grounded Aerial Artistic Director Karen Fuhrman teaches dancers.
Climbing the ladder and more than 10 feet off the ground, I remembered that I’ve always been slightly afraid of heights. After hooking onto the wires and giving myself to the cord and the weight, I began to test the bungee during Grounded Aerial classes at Immersive Gallery in Brooklyn.
I would be flying from cords rigged to the ceiling. At first awkward, and grabbing on to the wire, I thought about my friends taking a trapeze class over the Hudson River. Suspended from both sides of their hips, they were able to do forward and backward rolls, jumps, and catches. I was a trained scuba diver and hoped to spin and invert before the aerial class was over.
To prepare, Instructor, Owner, and Artistic Director of Grounded Aerial Karen Furhman asked us to create short movement sequences before attaching to the bungee. The folks involved with Grounded Aerial say that you can “fly, catapult, and bounce” across the stage. Though I graduated from the acting program at Tisch School of the Arts in 1995 and spend most of my time writing now, I would be content to use my performing arts training and attempt to gain some agility in the process.
After my initial awkwardness, I started testing out rotation. A believer in incremental practice and a cautious person, I began to twirl in space. It was challenging, but the side to side runs provided speed and bounce. Starts, stops, and changes in direction required a minimum of effort. Artistry and character-based work could reach new dimensions with Grounded Aerial classes, and I wanted to attempt curls and rotation – the possibility to get off the ground, try new aesthetic concepts, and fly higher.
At the end of the class, inverted and suspended on a wire in a meditation pose, it gave me the feeling that flight is a great possibility, and that the chance to test new ground always exists in NYC.