At the end of every August when the Orton Park Festival makes its triumphant return to the east side block that once served as a cemetery well over a century ago, a remarkable thing occurs there as night falls in the late summer air. Performances end on the live music stages, the food vendors close up shop, and a hush descends upon the crowds gathering around a regal and imposing oak tree with massive (and sturdy) boughs. They're getting set to watch the (nearly) annual performance by Cycropia Aerial Dance, a fifteen-year-old troupe based in Madison.
In addition to these shows under the stars, the group also regularly performs on stage. Now there's a chance to view examples of both in a Cycropia Aerial Dance sampler recently published online. Featuring numerous views of the troupe's shows over the years, the video only hints at the old, weird splendor of their summertime spectacle.
Nearly four minutes of footage from the sampler follow below.
Cycropia Aerial Dance utilizes a broad variety of tools in its productions, including trapeze, bungee cord, ropes and harnesses, and stilts, among many other aids for contesting gravity. The group isn't currently promoting any upcoming performances, but with luck they'll be returning to Orton Park (or on stage) before the summer of 2007 ends.