Archive for September, 2011
The fabulous photos are starting to roll in! Here’s a sneak peek at our epic event at Capitale in NYC this past week. Enjoy!
You see your event in your head. As you imagine it, your attendees enter your event space and people are flying from beam to beam in swaths of fabric, doing back flips over the bar, and juggling bread sticks. The partygoers get sucked into this crazy world that you have created and no one wants to leave. Everyone has scrapes under their chins from when their jaws hit the floor and consider it the party of the year.
Great. Bandaids are on order. Now what?
Visualization is the fun part of planning, but we have to realize that what we see in our head is a montage of highlights. Our imaginations conveniently edit out the stuff in between. We want to make sure that the audience sees what you envision and not the ramping up and down. How you create the “wow” is going to depend on your particular party.
The biggest decision to be made (aside from what shoes you are going to wear) is whether you want ambiance or individual acts. Ambiance consists of walk around acts and people dangling in space. With ambiance, the DJ continues to play his music and all the choreography is improvised on the spot. With individual acts, each act is specifically choreographed to music and everyone stops what they are doing to watch the act. Both types of entertainment have their plusses and minuses. You just have to look at the realities of both and really figure out which one will work for your event.
When Ambiance/Walk-around is best:
-When your event attendees are mostly just walking through a space, not hanging out in one place, or when there is no peak time of an event (i.e. trade show that goes all day or at the entrance to a huge event)
-When there are several things going on simultaneously and you don’t want any one part to take the focus (when there are other engrossing activities to engage in like getting fake tattoos)
-When a space has several different rooms to walk through with different themes and no one is going to congregate in one place for very long (in a museum)
-When you want no interruption of the music or mood in any way (a trance marathon)
When Acts are best:
-When you are looking to make a dramatic statement (acts can be used and choreographed to sell or say anything)
-When you want people to remember one unforgettable moment
-When you have a chance to grab everyone’s attention (and the award goes to…)
-When everyone is congregated in one place or sitting down at some point (during dessert or waiting for a speech to start)
-When you want to build to a dramatic entrance, make a big introduction, or kick off something (at the end of one twenty minute non-stop performance extravanganza, drop a curtain in front of a new shiny plane and reveal new branding)
Now you know whether to choose ambiance or an act for your event. Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to this article. How to keep the ambiance in the background or really bring the acts to the foreground: the secrets to making your choice WORK!
Psssssssssssssssssst! Did you know that you can have fabrics custom dyed for your event? One of our silks got ruined by a stray pen left in a suitcase, so today we’re playing with a marbled dye effect just for fun!
Probably the worst themed party ImaginAerial has ever done was a Luau themed party complete with fake tiki lamps and plastic leis. Now this theme sounds like it could be fun, except that it took place in an incredibly dark sports arena on the east coast. The party goers shivered in their mumus as they sipped mai tais in the cold and drafty space. And it was so dark, I’m not sure anyone was aware of people flying around above. Everything about this party was incongruous with our act and the venue. No one told us the theme ahead of time, so we arrived all Cirqued up, looking like we’d gotten the wrong room. If we’d only known, we could have been tropical birds or even just had water themed music and costumes, but instead we looked like aliens from Montreal dropped in the tropics.
White parties are also all the rage. Yes, white is cool, classy and modern, but white is well, white. Colorless, monochromatic, and dare I say, a little dull. Also a white costume on a white silk on a white background gives you the “Where’s Waldo?” problem. However, we aren’t here to insult themes even though it’s fun. When cleverly done, a great theme can really make a party stand out.
First, just because you have cirque acts at your party does not mean the party’s theme has to be “Cirque”. There is nothing wrong with a cirque theme, but most cirque acts are more than willing to play with different kinds of themes. You can choose almost anything, whether it be the Roaring 20’s, Space Aliens, or Vampires. We can make it work. Integrating the theme in with the acts makes the whole event seem polished rather than thrown together. I’ve had prosthetic fangs on while partnering with two other people on a trapeze and no one bit a hole in her tongue. I know it can be done! The theme doesn’t have to be elaborate; it just has to work for your event.
Questions to consider when you are searching for a theme:
Who are your attendees? What is the occasion?
Has this theme been done in your community before?
What do you want people to walk away with?
Will it work with the feeling of the space? and the dimensions of the space?
What is your budget? Will it require special decorations or costumes?
Is there a way to integrate your food or entertainment into the theme?
Some of our favorite themes have been: Under the Sea, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, In the style of a certain painter, Winter Wonderland, and Moulin Rouge.
Just please, spare us the Hookie Lau unless you are having it outside or in Hawaii.
We have performed with the flu, during a blizzard, and without costumes. We’ve improvised in all sorts of ways, performing through snot and snow (even sans glitter!) without ever missing an appearance. When I heard about Hurricane Irene, my first thought was that we’ve been rained on during a performance before, how bad could it be? Our client wisely pointed out however that an event in a tent during a category three hurricane just seemed a bad idea. Luckily, she quickly reorganized the tent and caterers and our entire team was able to reschedule for Thursday, Sept 1st. After some initial scrambling, it turned out to be a spectacular night after all.
The theme for the party was “Alice in Wonderland”. I love this premise because it allows for surreal things to happen… like Circus! The characters in this story are clear and just lend themselves to being portrayed by wacky cirque acts.
The aerialists alternated as the Cheshire Cat, who is always seen up in a tree and often upside down. We had spectacular Cheshire Cat smiles painted on which looked funny if our own teeth were seen. In order not to ruin the illusion, we had to do toothless smiles. It worked but try undoing decades of habitual smiling!
The Queen of Hearts walked around inside a giant bubble and took kids inside with her. She also used the bubble to make her own head disappear. The more she told the kids she was going to chop off their heads, the more they seemed determined to get into the balloon with her.
The Mad Hatter unicycled and juggled various objects while the March Hare spun plates, tossed a diablo, and juggled.
Our characters didn’t just walk around in costume but interacted with the attendees and showed off some difficult skills. Their talents and willingness to play with the their characters really added to the wild and colorful atmosphere.
In the end, Irene never stood a chance against the force that was Alice.