New Victory Arts Break: South America – Create

Welcome to Week 2 of our South American exploration! In Week 1, we met Brenda Angiel and her neighbors (and puppies!), spent some time in the bright and diverse streets of Argentina and learned some perspective tricks to create and share. This week, let’s look closer at Brenda’s work as an aerial dancer, practice some basic weight sharing to prepare us to be professional acrobats and learn to tango!

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New Victory Arts Break: South America – Create

Artists in the Air

Last week, we got to meet Brenda Angiel and explore her neighborhood. This week, we’ll get to know Brenda and her company a little bit more. Join us as we take a closer look at their artistic process for creating aerial dance.

Grab your New Victory Notebook. Write down what you noticed:

  • What were some things the performers did to prepare for their performance?
  • Were there things you wish you could try?
  • Did anything remind you of times where you’ve worked together with family and friends?

Let’s sketch it out! Draw yourself flying through the air like an aerialist. Feel free to let your imagination run wild. Check out our step-by-step images below to see how we suspended our 2-D selves. What ways can you fly through the air (on paper)?

Steps to draw an aerialist

Grab a Partner and (don't) Hit the Floor

Aerialists sometimes create alone, sometimes they create as a full group and sometimes they create in pairs. For our next two activities, grab a friend or a family member and get ready to move!

First, before you do any physical activity, it’s important to warm up with some stretches! Check out this video from Karina, a kid who practices aerial arts or get movin’ with New Victory Arts Break: Just Move! Week from Spring 2020!

Weight Sharing is Caring

Now that you and your partner are nice and warm, follow along with Teaching Artist Hassiem Muhammad as he teaches three methods of weight sharing with a partner. Weight sharing is an integral part of acrobatics because you can help your partner balance and they can help you!

Once you and your partner have chosen a space where there is room to move around safely, try out the three methods of weight sharing that Hassiem just demonstrated:

  • Weight away from center
  • Weight towards center
  • Weight bearing

Now, grab your New Victory Notebook to sketch out these step-by-step weight sharing stances. Become super familiar with them and when you’re comfortable, try them out. Remember, always be safe!

A weight sharing diagram

Check out New Victory Arts Break: Acro Week from Spring 2020 to learn more helpful acro hints and skills!


Now, you remember Brenda Angiel’s home of Argentina. The country’s culture, particularly the tango, directly affects her work. This social dance was developed in the 1880’s along the Rio de la Plata—the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. In our 2011-12 Season, she and her company combined their aerial skills with the tango to create the breathtaking 8cho.

Learn the basics of tango but using the word, TANGO, itself!

A woman moving her body to the rhythm of the word TANGO

For a more professional look at this celebrated dance, check out this final round video of a tango competition in Buenos Aires.

You may have noticed how the competitors glided around the dance floor. Take a moment to visualize the path that their feet might have traced. Now, create your very own foot path!

Step One: Grab Your New Victory Notebook and sketch out your space, keeping in mind the objects that could get in the way.

Step Two: Imagine what your dance’s footpath would look like. Add it to your sketch, making the most intense tango patterns possible. Challenge your family members to make their own!

Here is an example from New Victory staff member Siobhan!

A tango footpath drawn in a notebook

Step Three: Get up and try to follow along with your footpath—can you keep up with your steps?

BONUS: Learn another dance from South America—the samba! Kick it with New Victory Teaching Artist Melle Phillips as she instructs us in the basics of this Brazilian dance, which she studied while traveling to Rio de Janeiro.

Until next time! Thanks for creating along with us for our Week 2 adventures. Come back for Week 3 to learn more about movement from our New Victory Teaching Artists!

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.