News Column

Dance troupe performs 'aerial ballet' for Sundial Bridge's 10th anniversary

June 21, 2014

By Joe Szydlowski, Redding Record Searchlight, Calif.

June 21--For Rachel and Eric Casequin, the Sundial Bridge brings back many memories.

They met the day before it opened 10 years ago, and were married underneath the bridge.

On Friday night, Rachel, 30, and Eric, 35, were making another memory at the bridge with their daughters Kira, 2, and Azalea, 5, at the Bandaloop vertical-dance performance on the Sundial Bridge. "Kira is really interested in Cirque du Soleil. We really wanted to inspire her because it's her dream," Rachel Casequin, 30, said Friday. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing."

The North State Symphony Orchestra provided the musical backdrop as the troupe's dancers, held up by ropes, whirled and flew across the surface. Their bright red-and-yellow costumes were a striking contrast to the spire's white surface, which was lighted with soft purple hues.

Thousands of spectators crowded the north end of the bridge, which was closed, to watch the performance.

"It's a big turnout, we couldn't find a seat because we came late," Rachel Casequin said.

That didn't stop Azalea from buzzing about with excitement, asking her mother when the show would begin.

Others noticed the massive audience.

"We're amazed at the turnout," said Karyn Plunk, 48, of Redding. "It's perfect weather."

The midday heat had subsided by twilight, when Bandaloop began performing. The troupe designed the choreography and lighting to match dusk, said Cristy Kidd, marketing and public relations manager at Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

She said certain areas were closed to the public around the bridge for the safety of the public and the dancers, whose ropes hung to the ground.

Shannon Sisk, 55, brought her daughter, granddaughter and niece after seeing Bandaloop on YouTube.

But, because up to 4,000 people were expected to show, she dropped off her car early in a nice spot at the Redding Civic Center. Her husband then drove them to the park before the performance.

She said they were looking forward to the "aerial ballet," though they also came to see full moons, Think Pink and other events at the bridge.

The bridge, designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, draws in onlookers of many stripes, Plunk said.

She and her friend, Laurie Engasser, 48, plan to take part in the Sundial Splash.

"We're a little nervous," Plunk said. "But we can check that off our bucket list."

The Bandaloop troupe will perform another show Saturday night at 8:44 p.m. The event is free, but seating is limited.


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Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)

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