For the last two weeks stilt performers from the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Slovakia and Mexico have gathered here at Arcosanti to deepen their sense of performance craft using stilts.

[photos by Erin O’Loughlin, text by Sean-Paul VonAncken]

They tirelessly trained and studied with teachers fusing stilts with an amazing variety of other performance crafts including acrobatics, butoh, contact improvisation, afro-brasilian samba, aerial dance, axis syllabus inspired movement and response singing.

All of these practices came together in spectacular fashion on Saturday night culminating in “The Equinox Legislation”, a genre bending social commentary and visual feast that wowed the onlookers with amazing feats of body and mind and multi-sensual articulation of our human condition through poetry, movement, strength, and skill.

[photo by Leah-Ann Walker]

The performers activated the space and the audience leading and mobilizing the crowd from place to place around site, following the narrative as it explored the architecture of our future-past city.

From rooftops, mesas, and within the vaults and ampitheater, the show grappled with notions of the commons, oppression, racial inequality, and the meaning and integrity of spoken words.

Arcosanti is so grateful to have had these amazing performers eat, work, and live alongside of us for the past several weeks. In this urban container, Global Stilt Congress becomes a productive and vital laboratory of creativity. We will miss them greatly until next time, and wish them well as they disperse back to the many far corners of the globe, new skills and perspectives in hand.

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