100 Colorado Creatives: Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance

Smith.nancy red.jpg
David Andrews
Nancy Smith as a red devil in "Theatre of the Vampires."
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Nancy Smith: Wow. That's a hard one. Alwin Nikolais. Prince. This is the one question that I just couldn't answer, so I'm giving you off-the-cuff answers after trying on lots of ideas.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

The writer Anne Carson. Her unconventional use of the page, metaphor, imagistic language and sharp turns in plot lines. It's like a dance in zero gravity. 

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Who am I to judge?

What's your day job?

Running my aerial dance company, Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

• Have our own building with two aerial studios (one could double as a "cabaret style" performance venue). The exterior would allow us to do site-specific wall-work on the building.
• Create an endowment to sustain the company over the long-term.
• Pay the dancers a living wage.
• Tour / travel.
• Commission artists to build interesting apparatus and structures for us to perform on.
• Commission other artists from other art forms to collaborate with us (visual, music, video, etc.).

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Make the venues more affordable for us to rent. Remove the seat tax. 

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

George Peters. Art Lande.

What's the rest of 2013 looking like for you?

Tons of projects that are all different and involve great collaborations:
Mapping (exploring genetics and interactive video technology / aerial dance / physical theater) at Atlas Black Box Theatre with Stalker Theatre from Australia as part of the fifteenth annual  International Aerial Dance Festival. 
Theatre of the Vampires. October 31, with musical guests (TBD) (tentative).
• November 2 collaboration with Boulder Ballet and Boulder Philharmonic on "Appalachian Spring." We're doing the aerial.
• Lots of performances on the portable outdoor rig / bringing our art to the people!
• Teaching at the Aerial Dance Festival and our new crop of pro training students in the Fall.

Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.

Do you have a suggestion for a future profile? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.

Location Info


Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Studio

3022 E. Sterling Circle, Boulder, CO

Category: General

Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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