My work to-date on flyweight chains has used two rigging points that are very specifically oriented. But sometimes there is a problem: the venue just can’t be rigged that way. It might only have a single point, or the points that it does have are oriented the wrong way in relation to the audience.
Enter the solution: a rotating spreader bar, that attaches to a pulley on either end, and that can be rigged from just a single point. Added bonus: the whole unit can spin – the aerialist and the chains orbit one another, making a whole new dimension of movement possible!
Luckily for me, I’ve got some expert help on hand. Jez Weston and Patrick Herd put their engineering-heads together, and calculated the size of steel bar that we’d need to withstand the forces; Patrick designed and constructed the bar and attachment points, and Carl at Steel and Tube load-tested it the whole rig, with the bar, pulleys, and cables.
It took some getting used to the new movement, but overall, most choreography has turned out to be transferable. I performed the new piece, at ‘The Life You’ve Imagined’ in Wellington on 23 June, in a venue that was previously impossible to rig as I had wanted.
A woman tumbles from the sky. Tethered to heavy chains, she is constrained, but almost weightless – she spins, soars, and scales the chains with fluidity and grace.
Flyweight chains is a new apparatus, developed by Andrea. The aerialist is counterweighted by heavy chains, and dances with near-weightlessness. This act is available for hire, and can be tailored to your requirements. Pictures and videos of recent performances are below. Please contact Andrea for booking enquiries.
Imagine you’re on the moon. You can jump six feet high, spin, glide, and climb as if gravity was barely there! With flyweight chains, most of your weight is lifted by the chains, meaning that you can experience near-weightlessness. It’s easy to harness in and just have fun, and if you’re more serious, the dance and theatrical possibilities are extensive. Flyweight chains is also almost unique, among aerial apparatus, in that it makes aerials accessible for people with upper body strength limitations.
“I really, really, really like this toy! It’s like having super-powers!”
“I haven’t been able to do aerials for several years due to chronic health problems. But with the flyweight chains, I could do aerials again. It was such a buzz to be able to leap and dance in the air without any strain or difficulty.”
Andrea teaches “have-a-go” (15 minutes per person) sessions on flyweight chains, as well as more structured private lessons for students who are interested in developing technique. Students are securely harnessed in, and there is a strong emphasis on safety.