Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Circus is pain

Have you ever seen a Cirque de Soliel show? Did you marvel at how beautiful and daring the performers were?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Circus is painful, or as I often like to say: 'Circus, it's surprisingly painful!' A common question upon learning a new move (especially a drop) is: does it hurt? And then: how much does it hurt? And then: Does it hurt more than <insert move here, usually Double Bubble>?

Andrew and I stopped doing trapeze because it hurts. Think about it, you're sitting/standing/hanging on a metal bar with no padding but your own skin and muscle. I've heard it said that hoop hurts even more. No thank you. With silks and rope, you often tie up your feet in knots, then stretch yourself in unusual directions. Then there are drops. Again, you tie yourself up in some fancy wrap, then you LET GO (either with a leg or a hand) and jerk to a stop. Circus produces some interesting bruises...

I don't have much experience to compare aerials to other performance arts with, but I have spent time figure skating. Figure skating only hurts when you do something wrong, like fall. Jumps and spins don't hurt while you're doing them, although I suppose some pairs or dance moves might be more uncomfortable.

What's brought on this post, you might ask? Andrew and I took a private lesson yesterday to learn some double/duo aerial moves. It hurts even MORE than regular aerials. I suppose this should make sense. It's not just your own body weight pulling against the bar of a trapeze (which we learned the first basics on), or the live ends of silk, it's someone else's body weight too. Oi. I have some interesting discoloration coming out today.

So, after this one might wonder why anyone would want to do aerials. My answer: despite all the discomfort IT. IS. AWESOME. As I wrote not long ago, I love performing drops. The whoosh (and the rush) as you go from the top to the bottom of the room. Also, you just get used to the discomfort. It's a little like developing a taste for a food that you didn't like at first. You do it (or eat it) enough, and you get used to it.


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