California-based dance company, BANDALOOP, weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and climbing technology to turn the dance floor on its side, they managed to turn dancing as you know it upside down and sideways.
Under the artistic direction of Amelia Rudolph, the group is re-imaging dance, their stage has been the side of buildings, bridges, cliffs and billboard around the world for more than twenty years.
Throughout the thrilling phenomenon of a BANDALOOP performance, there is a question that persists, and, for a dance enthusiast a gnawing puzzle that engages both the primal body memory and the mathematical intellect: what must that feel like, and how do the dancers locate and implement the physical technique that propels the choreography?
In 1989, choreographer Amelia Rudolph was clinging to a sheer granite wall in California’s Sierra Nevada when she wondered what it would look like to dance there. Soon after, Rudolph founded Bandaloop, a dance group that has performed on numerous rock walls, as well as Seattle’s Space Needle, skyscrapers in South Korea, and dozens of other sideways stages, sometimes for public audiences numbering in the tens of thousands.
BANDALOOP looks for opportunities to dance on structures that are themselves works of art. Every time the group performs they adjust the choreography to site-specific characteristics. They’ve already danced in more than 100 different sites around the world, including mountaintops in the Himalayas and Yosemite national park.
Bandaloop dancers on Mount Watkins (Yosemite Park), nearly 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Rudolph’s goal with the group has been to challenge preconceptions about modern dance. The performers make it look easy to fly off the wall, but their abdominal muscles are often screaming as they fight gravity to hold their bodies perpendicular to the face.