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Project Bandaloop creates new work, "Letter to Birmingham" just for UAB's Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center

Posted Sep 21 2011 4:34pm
Something amazing is happening this week at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Aerial artists Project Bandaloop are in residence, and their performances are unlike anything Birmingham has ever seen. The performers are literally dancing on the walls outside and inside the center. The troupe is inspired by the possibilities of climbing and rappelling to craft “site-reactive” dances. The experienced dancers, climbers and riggers, under the artistic direction of founder Amelia Rudolph, have performed for half a million people at major city landmarks and outdoor sites all over the world.

At noon and at 6 p.m. Thursday the community can see two free, 20-minute outdoor rehearsals open to the public. Everyone is invited to come see the dancers as they embrace, leap, fall and jump using the wall as a springboard.

On Friday night Project Bandaloop will perform “Outside/In,” the week’s groundbreaking grand finale, a show absolutely unique to Birmingham and a first for the company. They will first perform outdoors, dancing on the brick walls of the building for the audience. Then they will move inside the Alys Stephens Center’s Jemison Concert Hall, where they will premiere “Letter to Birmingham," a work they have created just for the ASC’s space.

“Because of the open space here, we are creating a piece that we can only do here, and we’re making it here,” Rudolph says. “We’re using the walls and the ground and the air and we’re working really hard on this piece. It is unique to this site.”

Last week Project Bandaloop premiered a new work in San Francisco, “Bound(less),” and the new work will now be performed Friday night at the Alys Stephens Center show.

In keeping with the ASPAC’s “Flirting with Boundaries” season theme, artists like Project Bandaloop bring people from all over the community together to experience the power of creativity and imagination. This residency attracted interest from linemen with Alabama Power Co., interested in the group’s technology, dancers from the Alabama School of Fine Arts interested in learning aerial techniques and Birmingham’s young professionals, who want to see cutting-edge arts performance. If you, like me, want to experience something never before seen in our community, come on down to the Alys Stephens Center, and look up.
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