The AscenDance Project

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AscenDance Project is a new company founded in January of 2006 by German born performance artist and rock climber Isabel von Rittberg to create work that explores the aesthetics of climbing. Performing entirely without the use of ropes, their work exhibits strength and grace enhanced by the effects of gravity on the dancers and their ability to overcome it. Using a 24 ft long and 12 ft high climbing wall, AscenDance artists move through three dimensions, using time and space as inconsistent and unpredictable variables. AscenDance Project integrates the technical precision and strength of climbing with expressive movement and music to create a new kind of aerial performance on a vertical stage. Von Rittberg’s aspiration is to create a sense of detachment and lightness, to offer a completely new stage perspective and to appeal to a collective appreciation of rhythm and movement.

Photo courtesy of AscenDance Project

Photo courtesy of AscenDance Project

The group has given numerous performances in varied settings including the theatre and outdoor stages. Recent events include the San Francisco International Arts Festival, May/June 2008, the Outdoor Retailer Expo in July 2009, and the Boulder International Aerial Dance Festival, August 2009. For the San Francisco International Arts Festival, AscenDance Project presented Levitate, a show on Union Square free to the public. Performances ran from May 23 to June 7, 2008. From August 2-15 2009, AscenDance also participated in the 11th Annual Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder, Colorado. Isabel von Rittberg and Ryan Gaunt taught a 2-week repertory class as well as a beginning class. On Friday August 14 AscenDance Project performed at 8 PM and, to accomodate the overflow crowd, put on an unexpected second show at 9:30 PM at the Charlotte York Irey Theater of the Colorado University.

Photo courtesy of AscenDance Project

Photo courtesy of AscenDance Project

AscenDance Project presents:Beyond Gravity

First Home Season March 5, 6, 12 & 13 @ 8 PM March 14 @ 3 PM The Ashby Stage 1901 Ashby Ave, Berkeley, CA info@ascendanceproject.comshotgunplayers.org General Admission: $25 ($20 Sunday only), Students and Seniors: $20 510-225-8844 Kids under 12: $10, Tickets for sale now at ascendanceproject.com

Video by ascendanceproject from the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2008: