TAMPA — The Aerial Dragons will present “Hypnotica,” running July 13-14, 7 p.m., in Jaeb Theater, at The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa.
Tickets start at $27.50. Call 813-229-7827 or visit strazcenter.org.
“Hypnotica: Theater of the Bizarre” will feature daring circus acrobats, fire eaters, glamorous dancers, and a few devilish clowns. Audiences also may witness aerialists performing as tigers, monkeys or mermaids.
Based in Tampa, Aerial Dragons is a fine art entertainment company specializing in aerial arts and circus entertainment. According to the company’s website, they strive to create “theatrical performances that mystify the senses and transport the viewers to a different world, while in the comfort of their seat.” Performers are said to bring charisma, strength, elegance, flexibility and fearlessness to every show. The troupe is made up of gymnasts, dancers, marathon runners, yoga teachers, and circus performers who all share a passion for aerial art.
Aerial Dragons has been entertaining audiences professionally for more than six years, bringing live shows to venues such as Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa, The Ritz Ybor, Florida State Fairgrounds, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Curtis Hixon Park, Walt Disney World and Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, among others. Past productions have included “Dream Noir,” “Into the Wild,” “The Veil of Illusion” and “Carpe Noctem.”
Jessica Watson and Kaley Eckersdorff co-founded Aerial Dragons.
A third-generation circus performer, Watson previously performed ground and aerial acts in the Sailor Circus, America’s oldest youth circus which is now part of the Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota. After graduating from high school, Watson spent many summers teaching the circus arts to children at camps across the United States.
Watson attended the University of Central Florida, majoring in theater. While there, she created two UCF Circus Spectacular productions to provide her with an avenue to tell stories through circus, dance and clowning.
After graduating from UCF, she returned to the Tampa Bay area. She served as a head instructor at Dance and Circus Arts of Tampa Bay before launching Aerial Dragons.
Eckersdorff earned a bachelor’s degree in arts at the University of South Florida. A trained aerialist, her passion for yoga led her to found Enchanted Souls Yoga, Aerial Dragons Studios and Circus Arts and Aerial Dragons Entertainment.
Aside from performing, the troupe behind Aerial Dragons has built a supportive community for all things circus related. Performers encourage others to try new things, take risks, build strength and have fun.