Beau & Aero at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Beau & Aero

Photo credit: Eric Gillet

Photo credit: Eric Gillet – shootthatklown.com

Academy at King Edward (8525 101 street), August 13, 17- 22


 

An interview with David Cantor and Amica Hunter.

Describe your show in five words.

Physical Comedy/Theatrical Circus/Dialog-Free (That was almost 6 words, but the hyphen saved us.)

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Beau & Aero is a physical comedy show, that explores the imagery of flight through a narrative-free hour of antics. The show uses slapstick, acrobatics, dance, mime and puppetry, along with a few props, like balloons and parachutes to craft a playful theatrical world.

Your show is 100% physical comedy, no dialogue – what got you into physical comedy? Why do you like it as an art form?

David – Well, I started my exploration into performance art through sideshow, juggling, and acrobatics…all very physically art forms. As I grew as a performer, I wanted to connect with people on a more emotional level from the stage. I started studying clown, as it was the nearest discipline to circus that would allow me to do that, and I fell in love. Our brand of physical comedy targets our own faults, which I believe helps me relate to each audience member. So many people strive to present themselves at “perfect” on stage, but we embrace our imperfections, and bare them for the world to see. In doing that, we find humor, but more importantly we connect everyone in the room on a deeply human level; we all have imperfections, and that’s wonderful.

Amica – I grew up doing an equestrian sport called vaulting, which is actually the origin of the modern circus. Basically, it is dance and gymnastics on the back of a moving horse. The circus ring was created to make the horses run in a circle, which facilitates the acrobatic feats. My favorite thing when I used to vault was performing in the renaissance fairs. There is zero capacity for dialog when you are navigating the back of a cantering horse, but we were able to tell stories with our bodies. From there, I did traditional theater, and I grew to love comedy. I was an enthusiastic improvisor, and enjoyed when scenes started out with a long stretch of simple physicality. I thought that movement humor was funnier than the heady dialog. The old theater adage “Show, don’t tell” really is true! And I’ve heard that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I also love that without language, we can play to pre-verbal kiddos, deaf folk, and people with all different primary languages! It has been wonderful getting to take our work to France and Germany.

Physical comedy connects to people on a different level than dialogue, and yours is an all ages show, so what type of audience member do you think this show is perfect for?

The show really is great for people of all ages. There is plenty of layered humor, silly tricks, and impressive spectacles, and it offers different things to people from every age demographic. There are sight gags that kids love, jokes about relationships, emotions, and self esteem that adults can relate to, and the vintage aesthetic and music that connects older folks to times gone by in a sweetly nostalgic way (and perhaps even make them feel young). So as far as who it’s perfect for, we’ll have to go with just about anyone who likes to laugh!

Can you tell us a bit more about what ‘vintage aviator themed’ means and how it manifests in Beau and Aero?

Well, just by looking at our costumes you can see that we are two dorky characters, decked out in old-fashioned aviator attire. We had this idea in our heads of a pilot and his sidekick who aspire to exploring the skies. So our show explores the imagery of flight. We began building the show by workshopping different things we could do with balloons, and from there we expanded to parachutes. Once we found these two foppish pilot characters, and their relationship to each other, the show really pulled itself together from there. Whether or not Beau and Aero have ever actually been in a plane is unclear, but they take their job seriously none the less (or at least Beau does).

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Just a friendly heads up – we can SEE you just as you can see us. We delight in having authentic interactions with our audiences, and shattering the 4th wall, so if you are texting in the back, we aren’t going to turn a blind eye, and if you forget to turn it off, and it rings, it might end up on stage with us 😉

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

We definitely want to give a shout out to our clown instructors Joe Diefenbacher, Dan Griffiths, and Natty Justiniano, for giving us training, confidence, room to grow, and basically best toolkit ever for creating shows. We want to give a shout out to our fellow Clown Conservatory student Windy Wynazz’s show Uncouth here at the Edmonton Fringe, and to our Portland-based buddies White Collar Crimes here with their show Perpetual Wednesday. Also to our parents for birthing us, and you, Jenna, for putting these words on your blog. We would like to thank your readers in advance, for coming to our show, and finally we would like to thank Bill Murray, because he just seems like a real cool person.

The 34th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 13 – 23. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca starting August 4.

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