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Volume 68, Issue 100, Thursday, February 20, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

'Aeros' flips into Hobby Center

By Chris Goodier
The Daily Cougar

The creators of "Stomp" return with "Aeros: The Illusion of Flight," a gravity-defying flight fusing the grace of dance with athletic agility. Itis playing this Friday and Saturday only.

The Society for the Performing Arts will host the group, which is made up of 15 medal-winning members of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation.

Photo courtesy of The Society for the Performing Arts 
Performers of "Aeros: The Illusion of Flight" defy gravity by fusing the grace of dance with athletic gymnastic agility. The group is composed of medal-winning members of the Romanian Gymnastic Federation. 

The idea behind the show originated in 1997, when a Milan producer met with choreographers Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons and Moses Pendleton. Two years of brainstorming landed the team in Bucharest, Romania, where the worldis only performing arts project for a national gymnastics squad began. 

The squad worked on muscular strength, equilibrium and harmony. The production focuses on aerobic gymnastics, which is "similar to aerobic exercises, but more tactical and developed," Ezralow explains on the productionis Web site,

Aerobic gymnastics is not a sanctioned Olympic event; only two forms of gymnastics, artistic and rhythmic, are offered to global judging panels. Competitors in the artistic form use rings, bars and other such equipment. Rhythmic gymnasts use balls and sticks.

Ezralow expresses his underlying motivation on the Web site: "Iim incredibly inspired by the way people push (and elevate) their bodies to forms of mastery and beauty. It helps you appreciate the body as a means of expression, versus words, versus sounds. These are phenomenal bodies that fly through space." 

Choreographers worked to recreate the reputed Romanian mystique of Olympic gymnastics by casting Gold Medal winners, but initially found the experience awkward. While dancers act onstage, the form of gymnastic execution is very functional. Physical imagery is emphasized in the showis soaring contortions, though directors rely on entertainment as well.

"Weire interested in creating something people get, not to place something over peopleis heads. ‘Aerosi makes you feel as if youive been taken on a journey of what the physical body is capable of," Ezralow said on the Web site.

Donit miss out on the show that The Washington Post called "exceptional, jaw-dropping, aplausing-inducing stuff" and the Chicago Sun-Times describes as "a mix of humor, eroticism, sculptural experimentation and hard-core muscularity."

"Aeros" runs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Hobby Centeris Sarofim Hall, 800 Bagby St. Tickets are $15 to $50 and can be purchased online at or by phone at 713-227-4SPA. Tickets are often available at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St., for half price the day of the show. 
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