“Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires,
Man is a fallen god who remembers heaven”.
Alphonse de Lamartine. “L’homme” addressed to Byron, 1819.
I don’t know if man can remember heaven. But the feel of the air on our limbs is the closest we can get to tasting perfect freedom. In that moment, if only briefly, we can be gods.
Our desire to explore and defy gravity comes attached with limitations. Just like good things, limitations comes in threes. Strength, flexibility and balance are skills that we must master in order to attain the moments of grace offered by aerial dance. As we strive for that taste of freedom in our work, we look for safe passage that will allow us to transcend our limitations.
The smooth blend between floor and airborne work is the key that opens the door to infinite possibilities in dance.That connection is granted by locks which secure our bodies in the air.
One of the most important anchors when working with silks are foot-locks. They are essential to attain freedom while exploring movement in the air.
Figure 8 and under-loop are secure, easy to use foot-locks. They allow beginners to attain confident stability while adapting to the apparatus, because they don’t require great height. A few inches off the floor will be enough to perform this trick. The figure 8 foot-lock is commonly taught at beginner level because it is more secure. The under-loop is a new alternative that I learned from Roberto Gasca, a Cuban circus artist, living in Madrid. I have since shared the under-loop technique with my sister Monica, and now she is teaching it to her students around the world.
Professionals and more advance students will find the under-loop a very useful tool. It’s an efficient way to get in and out of a foot lock. It serves as a solid base from which to create wide varieties of movements at different heights.
If you are interested in foot-locks, here is a video on how to perform the technique.