TAKE FLIGHT is an inclusive FREE year-long programme for young people aged 13-25.

You’ll be introduced to aerial acrobatics, physical theatre and choreography to explore and develop aerial skills. You’ll get to develop some inspiring physical skills and moves on aerial cocoons, hoop, silks, rope and Chinese pole. Practicing and training in a safe environment where you can challenge yourself, increase your confidence, overcome your fears and make new friends!

Join and become an aerial acrobat, email soren@scarabeus.co.uk

View our collection of I Love Moving online classes, that can be done from the comfort of your own home, created by our fantastic Take Flight teachers:
I Love Moving online classes

Interview with Our House Is On Fire Tutors

Beatrice Perini

Tell us about Our House Is On Fire. What aerial routines are you working on? 

I’m curating the Water scene and specifically choreographing the aerial cocoon.

What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Put yourself out there as much as possible, staying truthful to who you are; don’t be shy about your worth but stay humble; be committed, work hard and don’t be afraid of rejections. Resilience, it’s must if you want to preserve a healthy career in the entertainment industry, and don’t forget to look after your body, mind and emotional being.

What are you looking forward to working on when restrictions ease?
I’m looking forward to a good old dance jam with peers! I am working on a couple of Scarabeus projects, Our House Is On Fire and Flying Into Physics; a collaboration for a new production of Puppetswithguts; and an interactive installation research project in collaboration with designer and sculptor Kate Langrish-Smith.

How did you start working in the industry? What attracted you to the aerial and circus world?
I started to be interested in aerial work when I was at college. A lecturer organised a workshop to experiment with aerial slings and trapeze and that was it: I was hooked! On one level I loved the fun and elation of being suspended and swinging; on the other had I was captivated by how the physical tension was a call to attention, both for the performer and the audience. So, I began to explore how such heightened focus could translate in a performing language which expanded awareness, of the body, the space and the objects when off the ground. And that became my college research during my last year. Which led me to travel to the west coast of the United States, where I met aerial pioneers and established companies, such as Jo Kreiter (Flyaway Productions), Joanna Haigood (Zaccho Dance Theatre), Amelia Rudolph (Project Bandaloop), and Terry Sendgraff (Motivity dance method). After I finished college I went back to Italy for a couple of years and worked with aerial and dance companies such as Theatre en Vol and Carovana, to finally base myself in London, where I immediately got in contact with Scarabeus Aerial Theatre making myself available and the rest is history: my ongoing collaboration with the company, still growing stronger after 17 years!

Why do you enjoy working with young aerialists?
It’s a great way to explore different pathways and challenge the aerial language, keep your skills fresh, relevant and up to date!

How do you keep motivated to train?
I like to diversify approaches to the technique learning, at times more skilled based other times more creative explorations; I regularly change equipment, or style of movement; and also, when possible, I try to train with a friend or friends, which is also a great way to skill share!

What is your warmup and cooldown routine?
It very much varies according to the type and intensity of the activity. Generally speaking, for the warm up it’s a mixture of mobilizations, stabilizations and lengthening exercises, much related to somatic and yoga practices aimed to build up internal heath and awake motor coordination. As for the cool down, mostly all body round deep, sustained, stretches, and spinal twists, to decompress the joints by elongating the muscles.

What have you missed the most over the past year?
Live performance! And of course being able to freely socialise and train; and travel to visit family and friends.

What was your first professional job within the industry?
It was an abseil with Scarabeus, for a commission show to launch the children’s Library Seven Stories in Newcastle

Most memorable moment on stage?
Oh gosh, so hard to pick! Each show has its own memorable moments, from shoes melting on the roof of the Glasgow Science Centre, whilst rehearsing for the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony; to the witnessing of the most spectacular sunset, whilst sitting on the roof of the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, at the end of the dress rehearsal for the Paralympics torch relay show.

What has been your favourite show to work on and why?
I need to pick two. For the message and process, I ought to choose, ‘Heartland’. That is because it was quite a long collaboration between Candoco, Scarabeus and award winning writer Nicky Singer. The show developed very organically over almost two years and it also toured various festival across the country in some very “special” times, during the riots and looting which animated the country in 2011. And the show was bringing such a positive message of union and equality instead! The other show I want to mention is ‘Light Touch’, created for the Bloomsbury Festival on the Brunswick Centre in London. That is because its pioneering spectacular nature and the community involvement. ‘Light Tight’ was not just a very complex and extensive site specific show, but it also created such a level of community participation across the whole site, both during the devising period and the performance! Definitely another great collaboration of Scarabeus this time with visual art company Snake Oil, truly pioneering show in bringing together on such a scale, live performance and video, with both pre-recorded and live feeds.

What have you found to be the most challenging moments in your career?
The loss of a friend and colleague to a freaky accident. On a more general note, with the passing of the years, I find the harder and harder having to accept the financial precariousness of the freelancing life style, always having to look for the next job. Although, as the last year has highlighted, the precariousness is a status of the sector in general!

Education
2012-2013  – Post Graduate Certificate, Physical Theatre for actors and dancers, Jasmin Vardimon, Royal Holloway University of London

1999-2002 – BA (Hons) Theatre at the Dartington College of Arts, Devon.

1996-1998 – Drama and Acting Arts Diploma at the Theatre Academy Permis de Conduire, (Rome).

Skills
Primary: Advanced harness work (single/double pick-up, back/front/side; bungee/static line; counterweight)

Aerial fabrics, fabric sling (cocoon)

Secondary: -Double hoop -Cordelisse

Years in the industry
I was 16 when I performed professional for the first time, so 28 years in the performing industry.

Website
https://vimeo.com/beax

Phoebe Knight

Tell us about Our House Is On Fire. What aerial routines are you working on? Why do you feel this show is important?

I’m working with the Chinese Polers, and rest of the cast, on the ‘deforestation and protest’ scene. This show is important for so many reasons. Not only has it united the young performers and staff during times of isolation, it has bought us together for a cause greater than ourselves. A cause that affects the generations to come more than we can feel the affects of right now. In the production of it, it has kept us all engaged, and deeper our understanding of vital issues. Imagining and manifesting ways that we can make a positive change within ourselves, and, with the release of the film, a positive change in our communities. If we don’t act now, there will not be an opportunity for future generations to even be. And we have the power to change that, if we act now.

Why do you enjoy working with young aerialists?
I see how much of an unquantifiable positive affect aerial has on the wellbeing, confidence, and sense of belonging, of the Take Flighters. Aerial requires working together, but also hard work and trust in yourself, which grows through practice and determination. I see this grow every week in our students.

What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Practice, trust, and listen to your needs. Our paths all take different lengths, tangents and focuses. Trust the process.

What have you found to be the most challenging moments in your career?
The most challenging moments have been when my different forms of work didn’t allow enough space for each other. Especially as I was starting out, but still juggling many jobs. In a way this lockdown has helped me to slow down and refocus, giving more time and space to trust the process.

What are you looking forward to working on when restrictions ease?
I’ve been really enjoying working on ‘Our House is On Fire’ with Scarabeus, which is a response and call to action to the climate emergency. I can’t wait for the filming and production of this when the restrictions ease! I am also looking forward to facilitating movement with others in person, after all this time working away in our homes. This new digital age has inspired me to further work with circus and dance for camera, and movement for mental wellbeing.

How did you start working in the industry? What attracted you to the aerial and circus world?
I have always been in awe of the sheer athleticism of circus, and equally the glamour, the sequins, the spectacle. Whilst I was in my formal dance training, I was drawn to train circus alongside, because of this. My first love was flying trapeze, but then I spent most moments on the platform not being able to take my eyes off the Chinese Polers. I was in awe!

How do you keep motivated to train?
I have learnt over time, just how important training is to my mental and physical wellbeing, which is usually enough. Greater than this though; it’s genuinely fun! My connection to it is more to the idea of play than train. Then the training just happens.

What is your warmup and cooldown routine?
I’ll admit, I’m not the best at cooling down, because I get over excited and carried away. My warm up routine usually starts with breathing, grounding and mobilisation exercises to land in the body. Flowing into improvisation, imagery based explorations, and then in to more cardio and strength based work, to raise the heat and blood flow before moving on to an equipment specific warm up

What was your first professional job within the industry?
Working with a traditional big top circus. Performer, Rigger, FOH. Mucking in to all the roles

Most memorable moment on stage?
I think it is impossible to forget those shows of stumbling on stage for my ‘drunk’ pole act, and being met with just 2 dreary faces in the empty audience. The sweat dripped off everyone’s faces whilst we contended with 30 degree heat. Climbing 6m in the air, where the heat pushes to the 40’s. I’m wearing 3 layers of clothing to avoid pole burn, and slip on my own sweat. I hold on for dear life, and still make the audience laugh anyway. Though, that could have been due to pity…

What has been your favourite show to work on and why?
When I was training, we worked with Lea Anderson to perform one of her old repertoire pieces, ‘Smithereens’. To this day it is one of my most favourite productions. It commented on the cabaret era of the Weimar Republic, whilst also distorting this idea of chorus. The choreography, costumes and music were all incredible, and it was a most beautiful cast!

What have you missed the most over the past year?
Touch

Education
BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Foundation in Circus Arts from Aircraft Circus.

Skills
Chinese Pole and Aerial Rope

Years in the industry
4 years

Lauren Carter

Tell us about Our House Is On Fire. What aerial routines are you working on? Why do you feel this show is important?

Our House Is On Fire has been a really interesting project to work on. It looks into different areas and effects of climate change and pushes forward that message that we need to act now. We explore four main sections within the performance we feel is important to highlight which are water, fire, wood and call to action. I am part of the fire group exploring movement through silks and rope. Within our section we have taken research and inspiration from the wildfires and the destruction fire itself can cause and looking into the contrast of fast and erratic movement of flames to the slow and cautious movement from the people on rope trying to escape. This show is really important to me because time is running out and I believe the people who could help make a huge impact are not taking climate change seriously enough. People have used their voices, they’ve tried to show urgency through actions and protests and the change is still not big enough so using performance medium can help access and inform more people. How many mediums do we need to use to highlight the seriousness of the issue to make changes faster?

What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Chuck yourself into it! Be curious, find what you like and don’t like, go to classes and workshops, talk with people, volunteer with organisations in areas you want to learn more about and find charities / groups that support emerging artists. There are many out there from Dark Yellow Dot to The Roundhouse and Wac Arts which offer advice, support and many different workshops to develop skills. At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is someone saying no.

Why do you enjoy working with young aerialists?
I love working with young aerialists because they are so inspiring and their energy is infectious. Seeing them build their resilience, confidence and trust in themselves is really rewarding, I definitely learn a lot from them too.

How do you keep motivated to train?
There’s so much to learn and improve so this naturally keeps me eager! I try to get myself involved in the arts as much as possible to keep me engaged and connected. I like to find works that inspire me whether its online or performed live, watching new things I wouldn’t normally pick too to stay open minded. When it’s available I try to attend regular classes or workshops to continue developing my skills. Being in a room with people who have the same likes and similar goals is infectious which really helps to keep pushing forward and then seeing results of the hard work also has a big effect.

What is your warmup and cooldown routine?
I often switch this up depending on how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling more energetic, I use more of a dance approach extending my limbs away from the core creating space for movement in the joints. If I’m feeling more tired I’ll use more floor work to ground myself and focus on my anatomy. My favourite warm up is yoga based as it brings me into the present moment. It works both the body and mind and helps me to feel and focus on controlling my movements. For a cool down I love to scan through the body and stretch out the muscles and move through any tension created. I am a sucker for a good stretch.

How did you start working in the industry? What attracted you to the aerial and circus world?
I come from a dance background and originally started Edge Hill University on a dance course. In my second and third years I was given the opportunity to take aerial modules starting with bungee assisted dance (which I loved!) and progressing onto hoop. After graduating I wanted to develop my aerial skills further and came across Scarabeus’s Take Flight Program. Whilst on the course I was offered some volunteering opportunities which led to assisting with workshops and then tutoring. It was the strength aerial made me feel within myself and the constant new challenges it brought that made me want to continue developing in the circus world.

What was your first professional job within the industry?
My first professional job was tutoring on Scarabeus’s Flying Families and Flying into Physics workshops.

Most memorable moment on stage?
My first professional performance job was in a local pantomime which was really exciting. Following a pie in the face scene, us graceful fairies had to run a loop of the stage in heels. As I run I slip on a wet section of the stage and completely stack it. In the same night I am placed at the end of the line in a pin wheel. As I’m holding onto the person in front of me the pinwheel turns faster than usual. Me being one of the smallest at the end can’t keep up and is holding on for dear life being dragged around from mid-air to my knees. This night still makes me both cringe and laugh hard!

What have you found to be the most challenging moments in your career?
For me the most challenging moments have been learning not to compare myself to others and changing my mindset around periods of rejection. Starting circus at the age of 20, there have been times where I have felt way behind for my age and finding opportunities to build my experience but getting rejected because I don’t have enough experience can be frustrating. However rejection is part of the process and seeing it as an opportunity to develop and improve can help to see where you are and what you need to do to progress forward. The more people I get to know in the circus world, the more I find out that many people come from diverse backgrounds and have used this to aid them to where they are now. No two bodies are the same which means that we will all move in different ways. Learning to trust myself on my own circus journey and finding help within the community has helped massively!

What has been your favourite show to work on and why?
My favourite show to work on has to be Avanti Display’s ‘Hydromania’. The show required the dancers to be attached to a water barrel through a hose pipe running up our backs and split down our arms. There was so much going on, pyrotechnics, singing, light up drummers, not to mention water flying everywhere that it gave a really exciting atmosphere! We got to perform it twice for Bournemouth Arts by the Sea and Stoke on Trent city of culture bid and both times gave a completely different but amazing energies. It was definitely the most fun and most bizarre thing I’ve ever done!

What are you looking forward to working on when restrictions ease?
Before lockdown I started learning more about dementia getting involved with an arts cafe through age exchange. As this was cut short, I would like to go back to developing my knowledge and practice within different community settings to help make the arts more accessible to those who may not have previously got involved. During lockdown I spent more time being creative and really enjoyed exploring my choreographic skills so this is also something I am excited to look into more. Watch this space!

What have you missed the most over the past year?
Connecting and having contact with others! Taking classes / talking online is not the same, you can’t feel the energy of the room and it’s hard to connect through a screen. I have also missed travelling around to work in different places. I like to be out doing, exploring, experiencing things hands on and lockdown has made me realise how much time I spent out of the house pre covid. Freedom is something I perhaps took for granted and it’s something I’m really looking forward too again!

Education
BA(Hons) Dance with Aerial Performance

Skills
Silks, Cocoon, Hoop, Bungee assisted dance

Years in the industry
2 years

Nathalie Alison

Tell us about Our House Is On Fire. What aerial routines are you working on? Why do you feel this show is important?
I’m working towards a “Call to Action” scene on aerial hoop. With this scene being the focus on change, it feels very powerful to work with the young people and interpret this in our own way. This show is important as it gives young people focus, on a very real issue, and allows us to spread the word through to their families and friends, change starts at home.

Why do you enjoy working with young aerialists?
I enjoy the fact that they’re very enthusiastic and respectful. I have a passion with working with early years, my favourite age group is 8 – 13 year olds, they’re fearless but somehow also very aware of their bodies and limits.

What is your warmup and cooldown routine?
I like a high intensive warm up and a relaxing cool down. As an ex gymnast I enjoy pushing myself from the start!

How do you keep motivated to train?
I no longer force my body to do things it doesn’t want too, and I respect the days I feel unmotivated. Turning my training into an option has subconsciously kept me going and “motivated”.

What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Not to compare yourself with others and enjoy the process

How did you start working in the industry? What attracted you to the aerial and circus world?
Watching other professional circus artists

What was your first professional job within the industry?
RED SHOES for Upswing Aerial, Chinese pole

Most memorable moment on stage?
Getting my top caught on my hoop during a family show… I don’t think I’ll ever forget having to take my top off in front of hundreds of families!

What have you found to be the most challenging moments in your career?
2 years ago, I feel from the trapeze onto a hard floor, around 4 meters off the ground. Sadly, this put me out for a few months and I was unable to even lift my arm up for weeks! Getting though this was very tough but in a weird way, I’m glad it happened. It reminded me how amazing bodies are and how we can bounce back and push forward.

What has been your favourite show to work on and why?
TAROT with Feathers of Daedalus Circus. No 2 shows were the same, as we adapted each performance based on the tarot cards that were revalued in each show. It was really refreshing to feel like you was doing a new shop each day.

What are you looking forward to working on when restrictions ease?
Being able to do doubles aerial again

What have you missed the most over the past year?
Working on a cruise ship performing aerial

Education
NCCA Circus B-Tec / Cirko Vertigo Italy ( 1 year)

Skills
Chinese pole, static trapeze, aerial hoop, flying pole, acrobatics

Years in the industry
8 years professionally (started circus 12 years ago)