Aerial Silk

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Aerial silk (also known as aerial contortionaerial ribbonsaerial silksaerial tissuesfabricribbon, or tissu, depending on regional preference)[1] is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a special fabric. Performers climb the fabric without safety lines – that’s because the silk is their safety line. They use the fabric either for contortion (called “circus”) or ballet (called “Aerial Dance” – circus is preferred). Some routines employ the use of motors in the rigging so the acrobat can “fly” through the air, but silks are the most striking when they stay perfectly still. Some performers use dried or spray rosin on their hands and feet to increase the friction and grip on the fabric. Aerial silks acts were made famous by Isabelle Chasse in Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam. Chasse was a famous contortionist who thought that the fabric would help show off her skills better than cane balancing or floor work. Ever since, silks have been associated with Cirque. Aerialists all over the world have made the art their own – adding tricks and coming up with new material for the whole circus world to adopt and enjoy.

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