Workshops with David Corlew

Trapeze: Beat and Swing

Friday August 9, 6:30-8:00pm, $55

Come talk about beats! We’ll dissect what makes beat sequences feel as good as they look and the specific muscles and factors that help generate a powerful force while still keeping a deep connection to the static bar. We’ll learn two sequences: one focused on symmetrical movement, driving the tempo of the sequence, and one focused on adding asymmetrical vocabulary, controlling the bar and accounting for timing variations as a result of the added instability.

Pre-requisites: – Familiarity with long hang beats (full beats), pike beats (half beats), and knee beats. – Must be able to do one pull-up and one hip pullover.


Trapeze: Dancing Cheek to Cheek

Friday August 9, 8:15-9:45pm, $55

Is the trapeze an instrument of speed, stinging callouses, and rigid steel at every turn, or a potential weightsharing partner worthy of collaboration? Come slow down with vocabulary that melts and spills from one movement into another, developing a languid relationship with the various shelves our bodies can provide along the legs and hips to hold us up. Working hands-free when possible – and looking for softness, a sense of ease, and gooey flow – we will see what we can do to break down the trapeze’s sometime reputation for discomfort.

Prerequisites: – Students have should facility in their front and back balances and solid hip pullovers.

Fabric: Homonyms and Elision

Saturday August 10, 12:00-1:30pm, $55

There is a particular joy in wrapping yourself up in a fabric and then erasing your work with a mere pull-up, as if the apparatus were an etch-a-sketch. Or discovering how a slight variation from one wrap can take you to another. Or utilizing a different foot lock to seamlessly connect the transition from one pose to another. In this theory-infused workshop we will puzzle through knots and wraps to find connections between tricks and a method for staying safe as we explore new vocabulary in our process.

Prerequisites: Students should be able to invert and complete a hip key climb (starting with an opposite knee hook) on both sides.


Trapeze: Those Damn Ropes

Saturday August 10, 1:45-3:15pm, $55

They look simple enough. Can you just treat them like a vertical apparatus? Kind of…Come level up your rope vocabulary in this workshop for students who want to spend more time above the bar but find themselves having trouble. We’ll explore twists around the ropes, split variations and modifications, and transitions to and from seated on the bar as we talk about how to develop further strength and confidence for this umbrella of vocabulary on the trapeze. The workshop is structured to accommodate students working at different levels, showing progressions for practice as strength improves over time.

Prerequisites: Students must have a solid hip pullover and be able to do a bird’s nest in the ropes from a seated position on the bar. Ideally students will also feel comfortable inverting in the ropes from standing as well.


Fabric: Set up/Pay off

Saturday August 10, 3:30-5:00pm, $55

We all have vocabulary that creates set up problems: it’s are so fun to do! It creates such an effect! But it may take as long as ten, twenty, or thirty seconds to prep. Is it actually worth it, slogging through that drudgery to get there? By the time the move is ready, is the audience already over it? If we’re performing for other aerialists, have they already guessed exactly what’s about to happen and followed it through to the finish line in their mind? This workshop focuses on creating a choreographic process rooted in identifying one trick as the base for a sequence and then “solving” that trick. We will investigate guiding principles for complexity, “quick fixes,” and other methods for adding a personal flair to our technical vocabulary.

Prerequisites:  Students should come with a drop in mind (or two or three) that they’d like to use throughout the workshop for exploration. This drop should be repeatable for the student without exhausting them.
Prerequisites: Students must have a solid hip pullover and be able to do a bird’s nest in the ropes from a seated position on the bar. Ideally students will also feel comfortable inverting in the ropes from standing as well.


David Corlew is an actor, musician, and aerialist always looking for an opportunity to smush those three worlds together. He holds a B.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University, where he first began in the Voice and Opera Studies program, studying under Kurt Hansen. He is also a graduate of the Professional Training Program at the New England Center for Circus Arts, where he studied duo trapeze under Aimée Hancock. As an actor and mover currently based in Chicago, he has worked with Writers Theatre, the House Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, the Actors Gymnasium, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As an aerialist, he has performed as a member of two separate trapeze duos, gigging around Chicago and New England and performing in two original productions at the Actors Gymnasium. Having grown up as a violinist and pianist, he often finds himself playing one or the other while working in plays and circuses. When he is not performing, he is teaching aerial and circus arts to children and adults, recreational and professional alike.