SD Fringe Festival: Echoes of Gallows Hill
In Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre's piece the curtain opens to reveal three hanged women. We are at Salem, Massachusetts, during the infamous witch trials of 1692. An African-American woman conceals a verboten book inside her bible (she may be Tituba, a slave and the first woman accused of witchery). White women in stiff Puritan garb study her movements. As if inspired by her freedom, each performs aerial acrobatics on a different apparatus: trapeze, rope, tissu (fabrics hanging from the ceiling), and lyra (ring or hoop). And each is graceful, sometimes breathtaking, especially since there's no net below, and the complex hangs, spirals, and sudden drops require uncommon strength, agility, and courage. A Must.