Love is in the air takes on new meaning before Valentine’s Day in Hilo.
A one-night aerial variety show titled “Love is in the Air” will make hearts beat a bit faster at 7 p.m. Friday at the Palace Theater.
“The theme of love was an obvious choice for us,” says co-producer Zoe Eisenberg. “Not only because the show is being held in February, but because we’re living in a time where we could all use a little more love and compassion.”
The 18-act variety show also speaks to the empowerment of women and encourages young girls to express themselves artistically, Eisenberg said.
“We just want to show girls that, ‘You can do it’” said Bella O’Toole, co-director, co-producer and Eisenberg’s performance partner.
They will perform an aerial dance duet during the show. The two have performed together so many times that “you develop sort of your own, nonverbal sort of language,” Eisenberg said.
The aerial dancers want that language to speak to their audience with encouragement.
“When girls and women have a goal,” O’Toole said, “you should just do it.”
That’s what the cast and crew of “Love is in the Air” have done. Each act is choreographed by the individual artists, or is modeled upon an admired artist’s work.
“We have actually 15 artists and 15 of them are women,” Eisenberg said.
Performers will represent countries of origin that include Indonesia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and Sweden.
The show features aerial comedy, duets and love dances seen through the eyes of friendship, intimacy, humor, sadness, sensuality and strength.
Victoria Roosenrot, a cast member in “‘Ulalena” on Maui, plans to debut her cupid “hair-hang routine” and aerial-dance performer Lilia Cangemi plans a performance as Venus in the multimedia fabric act called “Venus Rising.”
Produced by Hawaii Island’s Mirabilia Aerial Company, the 90-minute show includes dance choreography using lyra, rope, hammock, pole and straps.
Not lost on audience members will be the sheer strength and coordination required to be suspended in the air while dancing poetically.
“Dance is also hard, physical work,” Eisenberg said in a telephone interview. “But aerial just adds another dimension on top of that.”
“Zoe and I, we love producing shows with all females and we feel that it’s very important not to disregard men. We like men, too,” O’Toole said. “We just really like showing that women can do everything.”
The show displays “the concept of love in all of its forms” and is rated PG-13 for “occasional sensual self-expression.”
Audience members are told ahead of time there is no age limit, “but all parents should know there will be sensual, body-positive movement and creative expression.”
“I hope that they’re inspired. I hope that it reminds people to be a little more compassionate,” Eisenberg said.
One of the performers spends much of her year as a street performer in Europe. That gives her an edge when performing for an audience of ticket-holders, O’Toole said.
“The way she connects with the audience is just out of this world,” she said. “It’s incredible to watch her perform.”
Tickets are $25 at the door or at the Palace Theater box office with reserved seats available for $30.
A social-media intro gives a preview of the show at www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9oa_6EFO9g.
Email Jeff Hansel at firstname.lastname@example.org.