About Aeriosa Dance Society

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Aeriosa is a Vertical Dance company that merges choreography, environment and theatre with elements of rock climbing and contemporary performance art. We create dance in air on earth, in unexpected places, in unusual ways.

Aeriosa Dance Society Bio:

In 2001, Julia Taffe formed a collective with BC dancers Scott Buffett, Abby Watkins and Michael Flynn to create a vertical dance performance for the Scotiabank Dance Centre. In 2005, following choreographic commissions for the Banff Centre, Cirque du Soleil Headquarters and Taipei City Hall (2002-2003), Julia registered Aeriosa Dance Society as a not-for-profit, and in 2009, Aeriosa became a registered charity, providing public access to free and low-cost dance programming as well as specialized training in vertical dance for artists and technicians.

Aeriosa is highly regarded both locally and globally for unique performances celebrating the iconic features and geography of BC coastal mountains, forests and also Vancouver’s architectural landmarks – as well as our long-time collaborations with various Northwest Coast First Nations Dance Artists. Aeriosa is respected among global vertical dance peers for their technical contributions to the art-form, which include public presentations and publications that promote best practices for vertical dance rigging design and risk management.

Aeriosa has nurtured an interdisciplinary cross-cultural network of creative peers providing stimulating artistic exchanges and opportunities through co-productions and residencies with wide-ranging community partners. Long-time Aeriosa collaborators include Bob S7aplek Baker and Spakwus Slulem Squamish Dance Group, Butterflies In Spirit Indigenous Dance-Activists, Jordan Nobles (composer, Redshift Music), Lan Tung/Jonathan Bernard (Orchid Ensemble), Sammy Chien (Chimerik Arts) and HCMA Architecture + Design.

In 2011, Julia moved to the far west coast of Vancouver Island and began practicing dance in the small communities. This led to her practice of dancing with trees and eventually resulted in Aeriosa establishing the annual Tofino Tree Festival.

Aeriosa now has both an urban (Vancouver) and rural (Ucluelet/Tofino) home base, each equally important to the identity of the company and to the development of artistic practices in vertical dance. This allows a diverse audience to be exposed to this unique dance form. BC’s natural and cultural landscapes inspires a unique blend of art, sport, and environment that vitally influences Julia Taffe as a choreographer and fosters diversity in other BC artists as vertical dancers.

Aeriosa would not have developed in the way it has without BC’s natural landscape and culture and wouldn’t have produced the success story of Aeriosa as it has grown over the last two decades.

In 2019, Aeriosa presented the first Vancouver International Vertical Dance Summit, offering professional development workshops and seminars for dancers and technicians along with artist talks, film screenings, and free vertical dance site work performances.