21 Dec 2021

Aeriosa Dance Society


Dancing Through The Seasons
Artistic Director's Message


The Winter Solstice has arrived! We can start looking forward to longer days and shorter nights! I always feel a delightful boost marking this special day! Hmmm, maybe I will celebrate by going to bed early tonight and sleeping in tomorrow....

This morning (December 21st) I am awake bright and early to present Being Called to the Landas part of the final event of the Portrait and Landscape online series. I am looking forward to sharing insights into Aeriosa's long time Thunderbird collaboration with Bob Saplek Baker and the Spakwus Slolem Squamish Sea Going Canoe Family.  

I am presenting my talk alongside Mexican and Canadian dancer Diana Lopez Soto. Diana is a compelling artist who weaves sustainability through every part of her life and her work. We both feel pulled to explore how our dance practices can be in deeper relationship with the land and its people. And we are both curious to hear from the audience: What are others thinking about, and how are they tending to their work?

If you are available at 10am Pacific Time on December 21st and want to join us, you can register here and we will see you on Zoom! 

Wishing you and yours a restful, peaceful holiday and a hopeful, happy new year,

With Love and Respect,
Julia Taffe


Live Vertical Dance Class - 8 Weekly Sessions with Aeriosa  
Learn to Fly!

Vertical dancers use rope and harness systems (similar to rock climbing) to access different ways of moving on the ground and in the air.

This beginner level class series is designed to develop safety awareness and learn about vertical dance equipment while introducing foundational vertical dance skills through progressive technical lessons and creative exercises.

This fun 8-week series will take you safely into flight as you build core strength and get comfortable with dancing in a harness. You will learn how to hover, slide, swing, tilt, rotate, and tip upside down while exploring the creative potential of dancing in suspension.

Intro to Vertical Dance
Age 19+
Sundays 9:15am-11:15am 
Jan 9-Feb 27 2022
Cost $240+gst/8 classes (no drop ins)
Roundhouse Community Centre Dance Studio
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC

Aeriosa safety protocols:
Proof of vaccination and ID checks are required. 
Masks must be worn at all times.
Class size is limited to 12 registered participants.
Partnering exercises may not be offered, if they are, participation is optional.
Participants must complete a Health Screening Declaration before each class.
Participants are required to read and sign the Aeriosa vertical dance waiver form.

Classes are taught by Aeriosa Dancers Cara Siu and Meghan Goodman.


Looking Back 
2011 Winterruption Festival: Cold Hands Warm Heart Too
Aeriosa Performed Cold Hands Warm Heart Too under the Granville Street Bridge above Granville Island in Vancouver during a snowstorm in the winter of 2011

Suspended high above the ground, four women invoked a ritual conjuring warmth and light on a cold winter's night. Aeriosa performers Julia Carr, Lisa Gelley (from 605), Cara Siu and Julia Taffe cast a magical spell under the Granville Bridge. Choreographed by Julia Taffe, this suspended quartet inspired the Flight School choreography in Aeriosa's full-length theatre show Being, which premiered at The Dance Centre's 10th Open House in September 2011.  
During the daytime at Winterruption 2011, Aeriosa also took part in New Works Pop Up Dances. Two safety workers (Aeriosa dancers Kira Schaffer and Meghan Goodmanchanneled Elvis Presley in his early days, channeling the Italian folk ballads O Solo Mio and Come Back to Sorrento! Aeriosa’s exuberant vertical moves and witty costumes made the performance exciting and funny. Fun fact: 50 years ago these passionate serenades as rewritten by Elvis, convinced Barry White to pursue a career in music.  
Aeriosa Web Store - Now Open for Business
Gifts for you, and everyone on your it's-never-too-late list!
We are so excited to announce our SHOP page is up and running!
Inspiration In The Arts 
Corporeal Imago
Vancouver based choreographers Gabrielle Martin and Jeremiah Hughes co-founded Ci in 2018. Brought together by their shared background in dance and theatre, they started collaborating while performing as principal characters with Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK - The First Flight. Ci is what happens when two artists who have been performing circus as entertainment give themselves a carte blanche to explore the shadow side of our human experience. To learn more about CI, visit these links below:
To learn more about Gabrielle Martin, click on links below:

Click here to read the Georgia Straight article - Gabrielle Martin joins PuSh to lead programming and community initiatives for 2022 and 2023 festivals

Special Connections
Cara Siu
Cara is a movement artist engaged in performance research, community/site specific and dance theatre. Her passion to share expression, physicality and imagination have fueled many diverse dance experiences. Growing up on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, Cara was privileged to received her dance training at Simon Fraser University.   She continued training in Seattle, London, and Vienna at Impulstanz. As a collaborator/performer, she has contributed to the original productions of Donna Redlick Dance Theatre, Link Dance Foundation, Raven Spirit Dance, Kokoro Dance, Aeriosa, Firebelly Productions and sirenscrossing (UK).
To learn more about Cara, visit social media links below:
Tell us about how you started dancing with Aeriosa
I remember taking my mom to the Vancouver Library many years ago on a grayish afternoon to watch Aeriosa dance on the south side of the main library. I was mesmerized by the reflections of the dancers in the window, the intriguing character on the roof (what was he doing? what's rigging?) and the other-worldly sensation of watching people float. Those ballet lines (outline of dancers' bodies) mixed with the way that time expanded and that wild daredevilishness of it all - it was magic!

Fast forward a few years later, in anticipation of the 2010 Olympics, Julia Taffe (Aeriosa) and Michelle Olsen (Raven Spirit Dance) were collaborating on Inspired by Place. I was working with Raven Spirit Dance at the time and Michelle invited me to a creative session in Stanley Park with Julia and Aeriosan dancer Alisoun Payne.  Later that week, we went to a climbing gym and watching Julia climb lit something inside me.  As you may know, Julia is a fantastic climber and I loved watching her 'lazy climb' with the languid ease of a primate swinging through trees.  At once, I was addicted and in love with both climbing and vertical dance.  (So deceiving....it looks so easy and effortless yet can be so challenging to nail it!)

I'm so grateful to the Aeriosan dancers passing their knowledge and experience to me. Memorable are Theresa Carroll, Alisoun Payne and Abby Watkins.

What creative projects are your working on right now outside of Aeriosa?
I'm looking forward to temporarily shifting to school-mode. I'm starting a Health Care Assistant program at VCC and am looking forward to learning how I may transfer my experiences in dance and movement to supporting and aiding others.  

I'm also excited to have time to get my sewing groove on.... Usually sewing is dedicated to Hallowe'en costumes (LOVE making them!) but I'm hoping to squeeze in a few creative projects that are less theatrical. 

What is the most inspiring person/topic/thing in your life at this time?
At this time, almost-Solstice, embarking on our fifth (?) wave of the pandemic, I've been thinking a lot about renewal, specifically, creative renewal.... That process where the seed of an idea is hatched, then there is the germination of planning, the labour of creating and finally the blossoming/manifestation of the concept. And after, there is that inevitable rest. This cycle is wondrous to me - how an idea can spark from a tiny glimmer and can grow to be a painting, poem, play, dress, meal, song or dance that in turn can become the tiniest niggling of inspired idea for another..... so onward the cycle goes.

Currently, on constant replay at our house: Song Machine from Gorillaz and The Golden Casket from Modest Mouse. On my bedside table: How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa. 

Things that inspire happiness to see, touch and hold: 

When you think about 'flying', what do you imagine or envision?
I'm thinking murmuration: the beautiful expanding/contracting, 3-dimensional phenomena where 100s or 1000s of starlings fly in unison.  To quote starling researcher, GF Young, the "remarkable ability to maintain cohesion as a group in highly uncertain environments and with limited, noisy information"  How amazing is this?