Get Vertical

Project Bandaloop takes dance to the Great Wall.


Courtesy of Project Bandaloop

Watch out below! Project Bandaloop, the vertical dance troupe, is scaling the Great Wall of Oakland for a one-night-only performance.

Vertical dance is much like the more-familiar horizontal style dance, except that instead of doing it on a nice level surface—like, say, the ground—Bandaloop dancers leap and jump and twirl on the sides of mountains, cliffs, and skyscrapers, all while rigged up in rappelling-style harnesses that keep them high above the ground.

A little bit acrobatics, a little bit parkour, and a lot modern dance, Bandaloop’s performances may recall dizzying stunts like Dan Goodwin scaling the Empire State Building or Jean-François Gravelet walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls, but the troupe’s act isn’t just spectacular because of the danger. Freed from gravity, dancers’ movements comment on the way that humans interact with the environment by offering a new perspective on familiar landmarks that tend to fade into the background.

 Bandaloop’s Dances From Thin Air looks at humans’ relationship to man-made structures, with a live performance on the concrete wall itself, and natural environments, with film screenings showcasing some of Bandaloop’s performances in the mountains of national parks. The evening will feature footage from the short films SHIFT and Coyote Waltzes, both shot on the granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park. Acrophobes, beware!

Bandaloop, Dances From Thin Air, Dec. 1, 8 p.m. Limited preferred seating, $20; general admission, free. Great Wall of Oakland, West Grand Avenue and Broadway, Oakland.


Published online on Nov. 28, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.

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