Act Creation Lab (Fabric/Rope) – Intermediate – Week A
Week A: Mon, Aug. 1-Fri, Aug. 5. 9:00 AM – Noon. Location: FFP Studio 2. $300.
Pre-requisites: Ages 16+. Minimum 1 year of experience on fabric or rope and at least 2 sequences on either rope or fabric of about 1 minute that you are excited about and feel confident safely executing without the aid of a coach.
This immersion is for the aerialists who aspire to create acts that play in the minds of audience members long after you’ve left the stage. A series of cool tricks and fancy transitions spliced together to music won’t cut it. There needs to be more. But how do we make that switch from athlete to artist? It takes time, research, and a safe space to test and retest your theories.
Welcome to the Act Creation Lab. During this lab, you are both the scientist and the subject, and will go through experiments to help you build confidence and deepen your understanding of your creative process. Practically, we apply Viewpoint theory to set up games and assignments that get your creative juices flowing. Psychologically, we focus on the nature of creating. Why do we doubt ourselves, what happens when we feel uninspired, and what tools are there to keep us going?
By the end of the 5 days, you may create something people will remember for a lifetime.
Straps – Beginner – Week A only
Week A: Mon, Aug. 1-Fri, Aug. 5. 1:00-2:30 PM. Location: FFP Studio 2. $150.
Pre-requisites: Ages 18+. 3 bent arm inversions on any apparatus. 30 second straight-arm dead-hang on a vertical apparatus. At least one year of constant and consistent practice on any aerial apparatus
Going from the ground to the air and back again, we will look at the starting blocks of an aerial straps practice using aerial alignment. There will be explorations in basic partnering, shapes, and of course, spinning!
Fabric: Quarentine-Ography – Advanced – Week B only
Week B: Mon, Aug. 8-Fri, Aug. 12 . 1:00-2:30 PM. Location: FFP Studio 2. $150.
Pre-requisites: Ages 18+. At least two consecutive straight arm inversions, confidence with skin the cat, a constant and consistent aerial practice
For two years, Shannon was trapped in Montreal with nothing to do except invent for hours on end. This workshop is full of her favorite sequences including wild transitions and tricks. Each day is a new sequence and each sequence has opportunities to progress/regress, explore, and make your own!
Straps: Conditioning Practicum – Intermediate/Advanced – Week B only
Week B: Mon, Aug. 8-Fri, Aug. 12. 3:00-4:30 PM. Location: FFP Studio 2. $150.
Pre-requisites: Ages 18+. At least 1 year constant and consistent aerial practice
Inversions, meat hooks, skin the cats, flags, back balances, c-shaping, beats- this workshop has it ALL. Each day will be a different “exploration” of a common movement and we will examine a multitude of drills and skills (and maybe invent some new ones) to gain more overall awareness in your practice. Please note, if you are just starting out on your aerial journey, some of the drills and skills addressed may be way beyond your level. However, no matter where you are in your journey, the conditioning practicum will give you at least a theoretical understanding of how these skills work and how to work towards them!
Intro to Fabric Theory – Intermediate – Week B only
Week B: Mon, Aug. 8-Fri, Aug. 12. 5:30-7:00 PM. Location: FFP Studio 2. $150.
Pre-requisites: Ages 14+. Students must be comfortable inverting off of the ground (with either bent or straight arms).
Never get stuck again! This workshop breaks down the basic components of “fabric theory” to explain how different wraps and drops work in the air. Using sequences and puzzles, we will play with different and surprising entrances and exits to popular skills. Great for anyone who wants to understand WHY fabric works, build more vocabulary, or pick up new sequences quickly.
Shannon McKenna was never a dancer, never a gymnast, but one hell of a tree climber.
She earned her B.F.A. from NYU with a concentration in physical theater and decided the summer after college, without much idea of what it meant, to become a circus artist. She packed up her life in a suitcase and traveled the globe in search of the best coaches to teach her and put her work on any stage she could.
Her performance work has spanned from traditional shows in large arenas to intimate contemporary pieces in small black box theaters. She performs as a solo artist, a part of artistic duos, and ensembles. Career highlights being a magician’s assistant in Portugal, a post-food poisoning silks act in the German show WET, and hanging underneath a motorcycle on a tight wire with the Flying Espanas.
As a coach, Shannon is known for making aerial technique approachable and fun, and she is driven by the belief that artists at any stage in their aerial journey have a valuable creative capacity to share. She is widely sought after to teach workshops all over the world.
In 2018, Shannon launched The Artist Athlete Podcast which contains interviews with professionals in the circus industry. It is available on Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and iTunes. She currently lives in Montreal with her cats Puppy and Hervé.