The 2012 Philly Fringe festival is in full swing, with unique performances taking place throughout the River Wards.
One is taking place midair.
“WAMB (wind at my back),” directed by Northern Liberties resident Sarah Muehlbauer with her collective SnakeEatTail, features aerial acrobatics, video, sculpture and sound to express what she says is “an experience lived and felt.”
With a bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Muehlbauer fancies herself a performance artist, painter, yoga enthusiast and writer. These art forms, as well as the underlying theme of memories, come together to tell the stories in “WAMB.”
“It is a pretty spectacular visual production,” Muehlbauer, a Midwest native, said.
“WAMB” will show at the Broken Arrow Workshop at the Hatchatory, 2628 Martha St., this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15.
After packing up and moving to the city in 2008 and attending the Tyler School, Muehlbauer took a class at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. She said she was hooked.
“I was always interested in aerial arts, “ Muehlbauer said. “Aerial arts is the natural form of art and movement.”
One particular experience at the school, she said, sparked the idea for “WAMB.”
Her course instructor, Niff Nicholls, challenged students to use images to invoke past memories. Muehlbauer began to use her own recollections to create stories.
Nicholls became a mentor and an integral part of Muehlbauer’s work, which paved the way for WAMB.
Aspects of the performance, as well as some of Muehlbauer’s interest in yoga, are a result of her struggle with Crohn’s disease.
“WAMB,” she said, is all about experiences.
Along with Nicholls, Muehlbauer’s cast includes artists Rose Bonjo, Meg Skill, Jackie Zalewski and Peter Smith.
The band that creates WAMB’s aural experience, Gemini Wolf — members are Megan Cauley and Michael McDermott — has its own music label, earSnake, and has performed all over the world from New York to Berlin.
All elements of the performance considered, Muehlbauer has a very definitive goal.
“I want jaws to drop and to have them leave speechless,” she said.
WAMB’s Friday performance starts at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday has shows at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
For more information and tickets visit http://livearts-fringe.ticketleap.com/wamb.
Also check out www.livearts-fringe.org for a list of other performances.
Reporter Cindy Ferraino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org