In contrast, the trapeze first appeared in the 1850’s, and consists of a horizontal bar hung between two ropes. Typically, when people picture a trapeze, the image that comes to mind is the flying variety, where one performer launches themselves, trapeze in hand, from a tall platform, releases, and is caught by their partner on a different trapeze. This is still a common variation, but there are many other iterations as well, including static, dance, and swinging. The static trapeze shares many similarities with the aerial hoop, or lyra, an apparatus where performers manipulate their bodies around, above, and under the apparatus. The aerial rope, or corde lisse, shares a movement style with silks, but offers its own unique skill set and performance quality. Other aerial apparatuses include straps, Spanish web, hammock, and cloud swing, to name a few.
While the traditional circus often involved animals, contemporary circus focuses more on feats of the human body. For modern audiences, this concept is embodied in Cirque Du Soleil, which originated in 1984 and often features multiple aerial acts in their shows. Their productions tour throughout the world, and in the past few years their shows Corteo, Crystal, Ovo, and Verekai have toured through West Valley City to perform at the Maverik Center. Typically, aerial performances in Utah can be found at local arts festivals, private events, or in their own original shows. Additionally, aerial arts are beginning to find traction in more traditional theatre. The character Ren McCormack added excitement to West Valley Arts’ production of Footloose by incorporating rope skills in a dance number.
Brock Dalgleish as Ren McCormack in Footloose
Aerial arts have also recently gained traction as a form of physical fitness, and people take to aerials for all sorts of reasons: a desire to improve their strength, a need for a creative outlet, or simply an interest in developing a new skill set. The strength, grace, and flexibility involved makes it ideal for anyone looking for an innovative workout that encourages their artistic side. Classes are taught for all backgrounds, body types, and skill levels – flexibility and upper body strength are not prerequisites for starting!
The aerial community is a welcoming one. With aerial studios becoming widely accessible, and the appearance of aerials in shows becoming more common, you are likely to encounter it as you explore creativity and the arts.
Local aerial studios:
Aerial Arts of Utah
1301 Miller Ave
SLC, UT, 84105
Aerobatics Performing Arts
14015 S Minuteman Dr
Draper, UT, 84020
*only offers youth classes
Aeris Aerial Arts
8496 Harrison St
Sandy, UT, 84070
Onyx Pole and Aerial Fitness
8385 Allen St $114
Sandy, UT, 84070
9854 700 E
Sandy, UT, 84070
Root to Rise Studio
160 N Station Pkwy
Farmington, UT, 84025
On Tuesday we took a closer look at a specific topic, Disney's classic animated motion picture Fantasia. In this post we will get to know the arts on a broader spectrum. Let us know what topics you'd like to know more about and we will do the research for you. Happy reading!
by Melanie Budge
Have you ever wondered why an instrument is considered a woodwind or if all brass instruments are made of brass? If so, I have another question for you. Have you ever heard of organology? Neither had I until I started looking into today’s subject. Organology is the science of musical instruments and their classifications. There are several popular methods to do this, but for our purposes we will use the most common instrument classification that divides them into four groups – string, brass, woodwind and percussion. The instruments listed are primarily those used in a traditional orchestra.
String Instruments are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings. The strings may be plucked, strummed or played with a bow.
Examples of string instruments:
Violin Viola Cello Double Bass Piano
Harp Fiddle Sitar Ukulele Mandolin
Brass Instruments are musical instruments that produce sound by the vibration of the player’s lips. There are two types of brass instruments - valved and slide.
Examples of valved brass instruments:
Horn (French Horn) Trumpet Tuba Cornet
Examples of slide brass instruments:
Woodwind Instruments are musical instruments that make sound by splitting an exhaled air stream on a sharp edge. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. Reed instruments can have a single or double reed.
Examples of flute woodwind instruments:
Flute Recorder Organ Piccolo
Examples of single reed woodwind instruments:
Examples of double reed woodwind instruments:
Oboe Bassoon English Horn Bagpipes
The harmonica and accordion are considered free reed aerophone instruments because they have small metal tongues arranged in rows within a frame. The airflow is generated either by the player's breath or by bellows.
Percussion Instruments are musical instruments that produce sound by being struck, scraped, rubbed, shaken, etc. They are believed to be the oldest musical instruments.
Examples of percussion instruments:
Timpani Bass drum Triangle Snare drum
Cymbals Tambourine Glockenspiel
This is a very basic list of instruments. If you want to see the shear magnitude of how many instruments exist in the world, visit All the Musical Instruments of the World website. It is amazing how many ways have been created to produce music.
Wikipedia - Musical Instrument Classification, String Instrument, Woodwind Instrument, Brass Instrument, Percussion Instrument, Organology
Encyclopaedia Britannica - Musical Instrument - Classification of Instruments
West Valley Arts wants to bring you information on topics that are interesting and entertaining. For our first 'Get to Know the Arts' segment, we highlight the classic Disney movie Fantasia. If you want us to put together information on a specific topic, please don't hesitate to let us know.
By Melanie Budge
I love basically all things Disney. Disneyland is a frequent vacation destination and Disney+ probably gets way more use than it should. When I think of my love for Disney, it all started with a gift. When I was a teenager my brother gave me the VHS tape of Fantasia. It was the first movie I owned, and it started a lifelong love of bringing the imagination to life. Fantasia isn’t my usual go-to movie when I think of Disney animated movies, but I recently fell in love with it all over again.
The concept for Fantasia began in 1936 when Walt Disney wanted to reintroduce the world to Mickey Mouse. He felt the mouse that started it all was waning in popularity, so went to work creating an animated short featuring Mickey as the title character in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Unfortunately, production costs were high enough that the decision was made to expand the project into a feature film in hopes of making it more lucrative.
On November 13, 1940 the film had its original theatrical release in New York City. It includes seven vignettes, as well as an intermission jam session, showcasing classical works reimagined as animated short films. Narrated by Deems Taylor and conducted by Leopold Stokowski, each section is worth examining:
1. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach – Disney used abstract animation for this section, a concept that had fascinated him for years. At one time Disney wanted to make this section into an experimental 3-D film, with audiences being given stereoscopic frames.
2. The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – The animation in this section used the ballet suite to depict the changing of the seasons presented with fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms and leaves.
3. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas – The story is based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1797 poem “Der Zauberlehrling”, which served as the inspiration for Dukas’ music. Mickey Mouse is the apprentice to the sorcerer Yen Sid (Disney spelled backwards). This segment influenced many aspects of Disney culture and production through the years, including the Disney Parks nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!”, the current musical production “Mickey and the Magical Map” at Disneyland, and the use of the sorcerer’s hat in décor and “Mickey’s Philharmagic” 3-D film.
4. Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky – Selected sections of the score are used to depict the Earth’s beginning, from its formation through the extinction of the dinosaurs. Some of the dinosaur scenes seem like they may have strongly influenced the pre-historic section on the Disneyland Railroad route. The filmmakers received guidance on this segment from experts in the field – Roy Chapman Andrews, director of the America Museum of Natural History; English biologist Julian Huxley, paleontologist Barnum Brown and astronomer Edwin Hubble.
5. Intermission/Meet the Soundtrack – A brief jam session leads to a visual demonstration of sound as rendered on film.
6. The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven – The animation for the segment illustrates a mythical world of colorful centaurs, cupids, fauns and other classical mythological creatures and figures.
7. Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli – This comic ballet is one of the more memorable animated shorts from Fantasia, with its dancing ostriches, hippos, elephants and alligators. Who could ever forget Hyacinth Hippo in her tutu? The four-part number uses these characters as a pageant of the hours of the day – morning, afternoon, evening and night.
8. Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert – The evil Chernabog, a thing of nightmares, summons evil spirits and restless souls from their graves on Bald Mountain. As night gives way to dawn, the spirits are driven back by a chorus singing Ave Maria. Actor Bela Lugosi, who had played Dracula, was brought in to provide reference poses for Chernabog, but the animator didn’t like the results. The two pieces of music are meant to be a contrast of the profane and the sacred.
Walt Disney said, “In a profession that has been an unending voyage of discovery in the realms of color, sound and motion, Fantasia represents our most exciting adventure.” One of the unique features of this film is the use of Fantasound, a stereophonic surround sound system. It incorporated two projectors running at the same time – one ran the video and a mono track and the other ran the sound film that used multiple audio tracks – to simulate the sound of having an orchestra in the theater.
Fantasia was re-released several times after 1940, but it wasn’t until its release in 1969 that it became a success. The advertising for this release was psychedelic in style and attracted teenagers and college students looking for a unique experience. Over the years the film has been altered and remastered many times. When it was reissued in 1990 it underwent a two-year restoration process, which included reinstating the original Stokowski soundtrack and restoring each of the 535,680 frames of animation by hand.
As mentioned above, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was a big influence in the creation of Fantasmic! at Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks. In fact, a short section from several segments in Fantasia can be seen during the show, from the Chernabog in Night at Bald Mountain, to the goldfish in The Nutcracker Suite.
Fantasia is a testament to the brilliance of the imagination. Though it may not be as popular as other classic Disney favorites such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio, it is worth another look, especially if it has been a while since you’ve seen it.
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