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A Length of Rope May 5
Posted March 27, 2017
A Length of Rope Tour is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tour sponsored by Anchorage Community Works. This tour will circle the United States offering donation-based performances and workshops across the country.

Schmidtke will be presenting her solo contemporary circus show A Length of Rope. The show explores the significant choices we come to in life, with a rope and trapeze suspended on opposing sides of each intersection. These two circus apparatuses represent the struggle of choosing between different directions—be it a choice of place, identity, friendship, or love. There is no fourth wall in this show, spectators can see Schmidtke's hands tremble from physical exhaustion, and some portions are performed among the audience members. The show’s relatability and vulnerability invite spectators to project their own choices on the performance and explore for themselves their lost possibilities. In this way, the work is innovative; it pushes beyond circus, beyond drama, to a place of intimate connection.

Joining Schmidtke on tour will be Bellingham, Washington-based performer Strangely. From emceeing to performing his own full-length show, Strangely will be joining the tour as a multifaceted performer. Strangely has thrice circled the globe with his award winning, “rollicking, sing-along, one-man, cabaret riot” (Broadway Baby, Edinburgh) show Roaring Accordion. Never failing to impress, Strangely draws audiences into an epic world where anything can—and often does—happen.

New York performers Ed Toney and Chriselle Tidrick of Above and Beyond Dance will also be part of the show, presenting their most recent creation Our Breath. The performance pairs the company's signature blend of aerial artistry and dance theater choreography with the live recitation of original poetry by accomplished poet Ed Toney. Both artists are propelled forward by the language of movement and the language of poetry. Dance theater choreography on the floor is intensified by the incorporation of choreography for aerial silk, which expands the dimensionality of the space. With his imposing height, Toney can tower over Tidrick while negotiating space on the floor, but Tidrick looms above Toney once she has ascended the fabric. Using relationships such as these, the pair explores the question of who threatens whom and explores racial dynamics, revealing underlying fears and prejudice present in race relations today.

Ariel Schmidtke is an interdisciplinary physical performer and multimedia artist. Encouraged at a young age by gymnastics she began training as an aerialist with the Dream Science Circus at the age of eighteen. Ariel spent several years studying dance, theater, and circus arts in order to diversify her performances. In 2010 she joined the New Old Time Chautauqua Tour, and was inspired by their mission to bring entertainment and education to diverse rural communities with the intention of inspiring creativity and supporting community. After this tour she traveled to Paris, France to explore the origins of Nouveau Cirque and expand her performance skills. In France, she trained intensively at the Académie Fratellini and enriched her approach to circus dramaturgy. She returned to the United States in 2012, and continues to travel and perform her work, hoping to share wonder and excitement with small communities across the country.
Friday, May 5, 2017
The Muse Brooklyn
350 Moffat Street
Brooklyn, NY 11237
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Ariel Schmidtke
Note from the CircusNYC Editors: Posted as received.