Phoebe and Jasper's 2018 Showcase Preparation
Phoebe and Jasper are staples at the Levitate aerial studio, an inspiring and dedicated mother-daughter powerhouse who regularly awe me with their beautiful silks work.
For this year’s showcase, Phoebe (Mum) and Jasper (daughter) decided to perform a routine together. Two weeks before the performance, I asked them to tell me a little bit about their process and preparation.
Some background about their silks journey: Phoebe started doing silks a year and a half ago, thinking she was going to an aerial yoga class. Though she quickly realized her mistake, she got hooked on aerial silks, and Jasper joined a few months later after seeing her mother train at the studio. Neither of them had any prior dance experience.
This is their first time performing together, and they decided to go at it together because Jasper did not want to perform on her own.
So how do you start the process?
Phoebe – well you have a lot of ideas in mind, but then you just don’t know how to start it. It’s messy – you need to find a song that you really like
Jasper – we chose “Jack’s Lament” from the ‘Nightmare before Christmas’.
I'm a master of fright, and a demon of light
And I'll scare you right out of your pants
Phoebe- we chose it because the showcase’s theme was about dark and light. We chose the dark – it was a movie that we both liked.
Jasper – Jack has to do something every year to scare people at Halloween. All the other people in the town are like “yeah, good job, Jack” but he’s doing the same routine every year and he’s getting bored… he wants to try something new. So he finds something new, but he’s the only one who’s really excited about it. The other people in the town are all about Halloween… but he wants to do Christmas. A skeleton that wants to do Christmas – yeah that’s funny. But in the end he admits that Christmas is not for him.
Yet year after year, it's the same routine
And I grow so weary of the sound of screams
And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King
Have grown so tired of the same old thing
Are you trying to tell the story of the song in your routine?
Phoebe - We were just trying to do some moves that we really love to go with that song. I kept coming up with tricks, but Jasper kept saying – no, not that one. So I told her, if you have your own ideas, you can make your own routine! But she wanted to stick with me.
Both of us can’t dance, so we tried to put in as many tricks as we could so we wouldn’t have to do any dance moves. But then we had to add some hand movements…. The song is creepy, so we use hand gestures to add to the creepiness effect.
Jasper -The song is quite sad, Jack is sad when he tells his story of being bored with his routine.
But who here would ever understand
That the Pumpkin King with the skeleton grin
Would tire of his crown, if they only understood
He'd give it all up if he only could
Phoebe – Now we’ve locked down our routine and we keep refining it. We are both doing the same routine, so we use eye contact to keep in time with each other.
We chose certain elements in the song to emphasize with the routine. Like when the song says “Jack the Pumpkin King” we knew we wanted to have a drop. Or when it says “year after year” we’re climbing up.
Our first practice was really hard. We felt like we were dying half way! We asked ourselves – how are we going to perform this? But now it’s just three minutes and we’re done.
Are there any bits in the routine that you are still struggling with?
Jasper - when we are upside down, and we have to take the footlock off.
Phoebe – yes she gets stuck there, but I can’t wait for her, I have to keep moving. Because it’s synchronised, we can’t get anything wrong, because it will be too obvious. When you’re solo, no one knows your routine, and you can just improvise if you make a mistake.
Jasper – but I’d rather be with someone and make a mistake, then be by myself and make a mistake!
Phoebe - In the time till the performance, we just need to get more practice! Just running through it again and again. We’ve probably performed the routine at least 50 times already.
What’s your hope for the showcase itself?
Phoebe- just that nothing goes wrong! And that we have fun. I’m sure we will have fun.
Oh, there's an empty place in my bones
That calls out for something unknown
The fame and praise come year after year
Does nothing for these empty tears
Good luck Phoebe and Jasper!