VIDEO: Aerial Butterflies dazzle neighborhood with curbside cirque performance

Before March stay-at-home orders, cirque performance group, Aerial Butterflies could be found at corporate parties, fundraising events, birthdays and festivals all across Long Beach.

Then, everything was canceled.

Entertainment companies such as Aerial Butterflies that rely on event-driven business have had to make major adjustments. Now, many are turning to digital means to try and generate revenue, in hopes they can hold out until public gathering restrictions are lifted. Besides pivoting towards online entertainment—dancers performing online or selling past, recorded performances—Aerial Butterflies is now offering curbside shows.

To kick-off the venture, owner Hallie Jane Culpepper threw an outdoor cirque event to celebrate her birthday in hopes that the performance would help spread the word. The dozen cirque entertainers who performed on Sunday, April 17, volunteered their time, thrilled that they could be out once again doing what they love most; together.

“It’s our joy, our medicine and our way of sharing with the world,” performer Saffron Van Rossem said. “So it’s really nice.”

Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Although unconcerned for the company right now—summer, normally festival season, has always been a slow period for the company—Culpepper hopes that stay-at-home orders will lift by September when their season would usually pick up. In the meantime, she hopes that people will seek out their entertainment services for socially distance safe birthdays or other drive-by events.

“We need to move, we need to see something cool, something beautiful, something safe” Culpepper said. “And this is safe.”

To learn more about the Aerial Butterflies including curbside and digital performances, you can check out the Aerial Butterflies website, here.

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Cheantay Jensen is an editorial intern who covers art and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post.
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