Back in the Net

It’s the thing that spun me away from the circus. I have only met one person who has one too. He told me he made his own and smiled as I tried tricks all of ten inches above the ground with a bandage from ankle to thigh and still upside down.

My aerial net always seems to have a reckless and creature-like soul that comes alive more than any other equipment. It is has that brutish, tantrum misbehaviour and like a big black horse only I could gallop while other were thrown, find the right balance and it gives the strongest, blissful rest above ground.

It gave me my last performance and it gives me Butoh. It is my difference from anything else that was ever in the trapeze school of women in jazz boots performing grace to Phil Collin’s tracks. It is like Collin’s the horse in Radcliffe Hall’s Well of Loneliness. It is my infante terrible.

This is the first time in months I started creating with it again.




Of London: Circus

‘Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.’

“What shall I do now? What shall I do?
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
What shall we ever do?”

‘Unreal city….’

– T S Eliot ‘The Waste Land’

Summers morning shivered through the rarity of exposed, skin and rattled the bones that led tired eyes and a skull of petals, seashore treasures, the road it used to go. In a cloud of misfitted, white dress, summer felt cold.

‘Some of us walk in the day,’ a friend had sung. It had always been a night time ditch place flowing with headlights, lurking enemies, twisted ankles, disused motel. Summer left the midway exposed.

And all looked newly scrubbed and void. The dark tower stood proud in technicolour as a workhouse chimney, the snap of the guard dogs bark slept; off duty where the factory smelt of glue. .
‘Show me a trick?’
‘I Don’t Do Tricks,’
The man with his hood up demanded money from empty pockets outside the corner shop.
There was once a Christmas tree in the garden of the funeral parlor, it caused doubled laughter but the joke is forgotten.

The white dress lifts like a Big Top and twists like a shroud around a ghost of the circus’s legs as Clancy stands silent, licked with paint and banners. Roll up, Roll up….roll ups? Press up? A slip of old echoes on Wednesday nights.

It was the Christmas trapeze ropes grazed the tops of feet, roll off, drop out of seat, turn, catch the weight at the last moment and. And for years after in a yellow gymnasium lined with trees, the trick was never achieved again. Years later on a blue January train in Maize Hill fresh acrobats huddled in mutiny.
‘She is weak….if she get blood on the silks..’’
How can so much sunlight leave London so cold?

‘You used to hold my feet when I got scared….’
One after another strangers climbed the ladder and swung through the air on a rainy Hoxton morning.
‘You used to hold my feet when I got scared.’
At the bottom of the city, teenagers had peeled off anger to laugh, taught to juggle in a skate park. A trapeze had twisted beneath a climbing frame and caught the drips of twilight trees, and caught delight in numb fingertips. Circus of the dumps.

A security barrier lifts at the entrance, curtain up…’heads up’ the technicians carabiner had dropped to the theatre floor. Lights Up, only the audience wasn’t there.

Curtain call?

Summer blinks on a tattooed back.

Hands come together without applause.

‘I always find myself back here.’ The words twirl.

‘Down by the riverside……Look at the stones on the river bed
I can tell from your eyes
You’ve never been by the riverside…….sings Agnes from the last performance like a whirlitzer tune.

The trapeze is wrapped in its own ropes against a bookcase. It cherishes the smell of paraffin, lingered days of dancing with fire, breaking into the park.

‘But there’s fire! There was fire…..’

The performance smoldered out a little after midnight on the football pitch.

Here are clown arms, belligerently take them. ‘In case I don’t come back.’

Midday on the midway brought rain. The white dress must have washed seethrough as it billowed around London for the rest of the day.

The dress has lost a button, caught over the edge of a little trapeze.

Lyra day 3- Pain and Rental

Captains Log:
Hoop day 3 -pain, presumed loss of genitals. Straight leg is meant to be same angle as arm but it unbareably hurts. Get a big man to stamp on your inner thigh it’s akin to that…oo yeah aerial’s so pretty….maybe it would hurt less to not repeatedly try and roll sideways out of it to hang ‘prettily beneath the circle. ‘Rolling around a metal bar of rough tape is like bathing in sandpaper.

Still I get back on: the enticement of aerial dance.


If anyone out there beyond Lyraland is reading- how do I fix my frame in this pic from creaking? It creaks so loud that the deaf lady upstairs puts her gospel on up loud.

I am willing to offer free use of this hoop, an aerial net and 10 m of low stretch aerial silks (good for yoga) in return for space to train. The only prerequisite is adjustable riggle so i can work low to the ground. Im in London/Surrey border.

PS- if the miracle of space is offered you must be ok with me occassionaly in odd dresses and doing my own thing with my headphones in working on routines (I have the terrible habbit of listening to one song on repeat forever )

Ariadne x

Love Letter to a Trapeze

The following is a script I’m working on for a low trapeze piece;

You are the only one that doesn’t tell me I’m fat or my hair’s gone wrong and lifts my weight,
At least when you bruise it stains and isn’t changed by do-gooders saying I should give you up- which would only bring me down,
You never mind what I wear,
I don’t mind if you’re not washed as long as rope doesn’t Tear.
You are there every night I come home,
Faithfully you hang around waiting my return without boredoms or moans.
I tell you anything- I tell you everything!
And you always listen and say, without words, tell me again.
And I hang off every word.
I think someone called it dance once.
What would you say if you could say?
Would it spoil our silence as you hold me up?

Back to the Cabarethoop, dance, training, choreography

I had a rare moment of not feeling like a sloth to start plotting my hoop comeback. Below is the video an hour in to devising.

The idea is going to be more twisted burlesque than fat 30 something.

Luckily, living in a charity apartment block for the visually impaired there is a huge empty room with water cooler, free wifi, punch bag and er a mobility scooter? No one ever uses it except to access the laundry room. Sxcept the woman walking through the video, more than likely on purpose. She works here and always talks to me like something she trod in. Ho-hum..

.hoop devising

I’m starting recording from where in the song i start hooping and also when the music breaks down I’m just plotting other moves I didn’t have height for.

At this stage it’s mostly just mapping out the song in my memory.
But I’m happy it is progressing from just a thought. I hope to find a scratch night or newbie slot to test it out and will post development here.

Aerial Dance Breakthroughcircus, aerial fabric, aerial sling, dance

music box

I had kind of given up on this aerial silks move called music box. Every time I tried to roll my body sideways in my tiny silks it was like trying to push a house over. The strain and unsupportive strain on my back was to much and for weeks I gave up kn it.

Today I had one of those staring me in the face moments and tried it with the sling part around my upper back. And hey I can roll. It still has this horrid ‘everythings about ti dislocate’ worry but I’m real happy.

Can only manage ine and a half rotations at the moment before it strangles my leg.

It’s weird how aerial fabric can look so soft yet turn into razors when moving in it.

Wish I had more space.

Self taught circus

An update on my extremely low and creaking silks update, teaching myself at home. This isn’t so much a routine as just seeing wheres best to move to.

I think my splits and layout/back balance are improving. I no longer splat on the floor after that gazelle thing.
I think in another universe maybe I could perform this low and some nook and cranny of a festival or venue….
aerial dance daily impro