From Chicago to Shanghai, Houston to Hong Kong, Aloft presents stunning circus spectacles on the cutting edge. Our unparalleled skill, creativity and daring will give your guests something to talk about for weeks. Armed with the best training, the most creative acts, professional custom costuming, and the comprehensive insurance, Aloft is a thrilling addition to clubs, circuses, theaters and special events. Let us astound you with a full length show or featured acts to accent any event.
"The creative contribution, professionalism and energy that the Aloft team delivered over long rehearsals and non-stop performances was nothing short of amazing!" -Julie Chappel, Willow Creek Church
We had 3 performers at our company appreciation event and they were wonderful. They arrived prior to the start to decide on the best place to set their stage so they would be seen by everyone. There were super nice and made set up a breeze! Everyone at our party was in awe of their skills and great performances. I would recommend for any event or party!! Thank you Aloft!
Shanya and the Alofties are great to work with. They take the time to understand how their segment fits into the overall performance or story being communicated and explore creative options. Each and every performance takes my breath away.
We hired the Aloft group to create a custom show for our audience of hundreds of employees and business partners in the Chicago Theatre. The show is a very early Saturday morning start.
The Aloft Team was easy and fun to work with. The script was exactly what we were hoping for and the performers were fearless. Shayna made sure the performance matched the look and theme of the rest of our event and branding. At the very last possible minute we had to change the entire order of the show to suit some technical issues revolving around sensitive camera equipment and a mixed reality demonstration. The Aloft Team didn't bat an eye. They responded like true professionals and made it all work.
The show itself dazzled and thrilled our audience.
Response from Aloft:
Thank you so much, Julie. We had a blast working with you. Creating a custom show that does just what the client hopes is one of my favorite things to do and I'm so glad we were able to deliver a product you were happy with!
Shayna and her team hit another one out of the park for me. With performers with Cirque du Soleil backgrounds, and high-level skill sets, I am always happy to have reason to book Aloft.
Aloft provided our church with an Illustrated sermon that was absolutely breathtaking.
Aloft is the coolest, most fantastic alternative performance group you're likely to find. They performed at the Sideshow Fringe Festival in Nashville, TN and we hope to invite them back again soon!
What to Expect
Aloft has thrilled spectators from all over with their style, sense of humor and daring. Our artists have won prestigious awards at circus festivals around the world. Whether flipping around a trapeze, hurtling up and down a rope or dangling from luscious silks, Aloft will amaze!
Below are just a few of the acts we can provide. Acts can be presented individually or we can create a full show for you. Aloft has 3 full length performances available and regularly create custom entertainment packages in collaboration with our clients.
Solo, Duo and Group Silks/Tissu
Solo, duo and group Rope
Solo, duo and group Spanish Web
Solo, duo and group lyra/aerial hoop
Solo, duo and group hammock/sling/net
Solo, duo and triple Static trapeze
Solo Swinging Trapeze
Solo Aerial Chains
Solo Aerial Anchor
Duo Aerial Frame
Harness Work/absailing, rappelling
Custom Act Creation
Acrobatic female duo
Female Mime Solo
Puppet Stilts duo
4 legged/Creature stilts
Acrobatic “flip around”
Aloft’s free-standing aerial rigs enable us to provide aerial performance almost anywhere! Great for outdoor festivals or indoor venues without structural rigging points.
Aloft is an internationally-renowned collective of circus artists dedicated to providing awe-inspiring and memorable experiences. Founded by Shayna Swanson in 2005, Aloft award-winning artists make innovative use of traditional aerial circus equipment such as trapeze, rope and fabric to showcase a variety of unique skills and talents. Every performer in the company is a highly trained, visionary professional who will leave any spectator breathless.
In addition to 3 full length shows that have been received with critical acclaim and glowing reviews, Aloft creates stunning custom entertainment that challenges, awes and excites all who view it. From aerial performances to strolling entertainment, Aloft can create and produce a personalized program based on your specific parameters and budget for a complete
Aloft has provided entertainment for a variety of clients, including Steve Wynn, Seneca Niagara Casino, Crobar, Absolute Vodka, Coors, Maxim Magazine and many more. Performers have worked with Pegasus Variete, Krystallpallast, Cirque de la Mer, New Vision Cirque, The Midnight Circus, Circus Smirkus, Chicago Lyric Opera, as well as participating in dance and
circus festivals around the world. As leaders in the field both locally and internationally, Aloft has trained members of the Aerial Angels, Ameba, Thodos Dance Chicago, Bindlestiff Family Circus, Cycropia Aerial Dance, The Cabriri, Circo Rose, and independent performers from all over the country.
All Aloft performers are insured. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, adaptability and friendliness, as well as our technical proficiency and creativity. We look forward to creating and working with you in the future!
"The creative contribution, professionalism and energy that the Aloft team delivered over long rehearsals and non-stop performances was nothing short of amazing! Shayna listened to and adopted our vision, creating stunning choreography. The complexity of Imagine Christmas required flexibility from the entire cast and crew. Aloft solved problems before I even knew there was an issue. The troupe was double and triple cast, everyone preformed at their peak with great attention to safety. It is an absolute joy to work with the Aloft team." -Julie Chappel--Willow Creek's Imagine Christmas Director
Additional Booking Notes
For aerial performance we prefer a min of 18 ft ceiling height, though we can provide acts in more intimate venues as well. Contact Aloft for a list of venues we've worked with in the past if you are looking for the perfect place for your aerial-enhanced event. We need a rigging point that can support at least 1 ton of dynamic weight. Aloft can provide a qualified rigger for any situation or work with the in-house rigger at your venue.
We also have a free-standing aerial rig that can set up anywhere, indoor or out. It's easy and fast to put up and take down.
No aerial capabilities? No problem! We provide many awesome ground based acts as well!
In addition to short, a la carte acts, we can provide full length shows!
El Circo Cheapo Cabaret:
Flexible in length (45-120 min) and rigging, El Circo Cheapo is our most popular show. Born of the recession, it is a show for our times. Part old vaudeville and part stunning contemporary circus, it has become a legendary variety show, with 3 years of sold out shows and a 7 city US tour under its sparkly belt. Performed by a rotating cast of performers from around the globe, the aerial and ground based displays are tied together by one of the most hilarious comedians working today.
"If you have a deep love of circuses but detest the sprawling 3-ring aspect of them, El Circo Cheapo is the ideal alternative!" --Chicago Decider/Onion AV Club
Dinner of our Discontent:
Dinner of our Discontent (75 min, 8 performers) combines intense aerial acts with with the heartfelt, passionate performances that the company is known for. Following five estranged sisters coping with the untimely death of their parents, "Dinner" is at once hilarious and heartbreaking. Making innovative use of traditional equipment (acts are seen on clotheslines, birdcages, chains and a dining room table) the acts seamlessly weave themselves into the story-line--the audience barely recognizes the transitions from ground to air. The strength and clarity of the performer's personalities reads as exuberantly as their physical performances.
"Veering from melancholy to hilarity out outright aggression, Swanson makes a time-honored dramatic situation her own by physicalizing grief and sibling rivalry."-The Chicago Tribune
The Circus Princess
The Circus Princess is a 20-40 min show with only 3 performers, making it a very economical option. It premiered to rave reviews at the Medora Musical in 2011. Featruing trapeze, hat manipulation, aerial rope, silks and physical comedy galore, the Circus Princess is a delightful romp of delight! Great for kids parties, cruises and anywhere a fun, fast family show is needed. You wont be able to wipe the smile off your face, and it also teaches a great lesson about girls, rivalry and friendship.
The Science of Heart
This 60 min show was specially created for the Innovators of America awards presentation in 2010. It follows a Sad Scientist, who can create any machine, but can't manufacture someone to love him. His Buffoon sidekick leads him on a journey to find passion and happiness in his work. This show is a great motivator for corporate events and features unusual apparatus, like an aerial horse structure and hair hanging! Let Aloft create a customized show for you!
Aloft can create one-of-a-kind shows or bring just a few acts (ground or aerial, solo or group) to spice up your event. Some of our past clients include Mori Seiki, Absolut, Izod/Indy 500, Deutchebank, Cirque Du Soleil and more! Please email us for more info.
|Shayna Swanson||Artistic Director|
|Angelique Grandone||Events Manager|
Techinical needs vary by act. We will work with you to assess the right right for any venue.
Last night proved that something more honest and hard working than a Chicago politician, more athletic than a deep dish pizza, and more entertaining than the Chicago Cubs and that seems to get less recognition than it truly deserves can come out of the much maligned city of Chicago.
El Circo Cheapo bills itself as the poor man's Cirque du Soleil, but it is in fact something more than that. Seven female acrobats and their Ringmaster Cameron Esposito put on a show that answered at least one question about Cirque du Soleil - that being, where do they find the next generation of brave young souls prepared to put their limbs on the line, around a rope and tied up in silk at 70 feet above ground for our entertainment?
They find them at Shayna Swanson's El Circo Cheapo!
Chicago-based performance group El Circo Cheapo have distilled the concept of circus down to its essence: “Powerful, dangerous, painful, hilarious and passionate” acts designed to saturate audiences with awe.
"Absolutely THRILLED with the performances during our NYE Imagination Celebration…fantastic Talent and true professionals…we look forward to many more...Please share our appreciation with the entire cast…"
"I can never thank you & your performers enough for making my party such a smashing success. The organization and technical side to the performances, the great space, encouragement from the other performers and especially your time, help & encouragement with my performance. I have a reputation for hosting creative parties among my friends & family and with the Aloft experience this one succeeded in surprising and entertaining everyone. My guests were enthralled & amazed with each performance and several have expressed an interest in having a similar party at Aloft."
“Shayna is a very talented aerialist / performer / teacher. I have seen a number of her company's performances - Aloft Aerial, and they are rivoting, innovative and breath-taking. I have taken classes with her and members of her company and they are excellent. I would highly recommend Shayna / Aloft Aerial as entertainment for events, fundraisers and would also recommend her as a teacher. Shayna definately thinks "outside the box" in many aspects of her career.”
“Hired Shayna sight unseen, took a risk, and she delivered a world class performance - Hiring her again this summer. Top high end performer!” December 27, 2008
“...and the gold medal goes to..... Shayna, Artistic Director at Aloft Aerial Performance. The most impressive and professional Aerial Group in the World. The spectrum of Aerial Performance from Aloft embraces the history of burlesque and finds the boundaries of aerial art in cutting edge dramatic execution. Take these artistic ideals and mix in our contemporary chaotic world and you'll start to unfold Aloft. Yes, Aloft can be playful at times but always visually exciting. I'm happy to work with Shayna's company and the unbelievable talent, each and every individual brings to the performance. They're world travelers with their work but they're based in Chicago. I endorse Shayna and her company Aloft Arerial Performance with all my heart. A great American company.”
“I have worked with Shayna on numerous events and we are always fabulous together! She is a wonderful entertainer, great to work with, creative, ethical and more. I look forward to doing many more shows with her.”
Powerhouse Shayna Swanson has the biggest pecs and the smallest ass of any chick you'll ever meet. Her rock n'roll approach to the graceful circus arts is refreshing, and she's happy to school you in trapeze, rope, silks, lyra (the big hoop), stilt dancing and more in her new space. )
Thank you so much for coming to Baltimore for our shows. We could not have done it without your aerial work. Your expertise and grace were a real plus and I look forward to another gig with you soon!