(Aerialists Alexis Baksi, Reece McCracken, Deanna Papineau, Jamie Nicholson and Anna Ward during rehearsal of Steampunk Circus at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, ON, on July 14, 2021. Photo above by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.)
Aerialist Deanna Papineau in collaboration with Border City Dance Company and Rockstar Music Hall has taken on a directing role in their exciting original production Steampunk Circus set to open this week. Part of Rockstar’s innovative drive-in style entertainment series on the outdoor stage in their parking lot, audiences will be thrilled with a magical theatrical showcase starring aerial circus artists, dancers, musicians, and singers. In a recent interview Deanna talked about her role in the show with Eyes On Windsor.
As Deanna told us, aerial performance has been blowing up for her and it’s something she is focusing most of her energy into, not only as a performer but as a teacher, coach, choreographer and director. With several credits under her belt, directing is something she plans to do a lot more of. Most of her gigs to date involved directing and choreography of entertainment that was part of larger events. Rockstar and Border City Dance Company will be putting the dancers and musical acts together for this show but Deanna will direct 100% of aerial theatrics.
“I’m choreographing and directing all the aerial stuff (that’s about half the show), says Deanna. “The aerialists in the show are my students and performers that work with me. We’ve been working hard on this show.” The aerialists performing are Anna Ward, Jamie Nicholson, Reece McCracken, and Alexis Baksi. “Some have performed before but very little so they’re learning a lot right now and they’re going to be great!”
The process of putting the routines for the show together starts with looking at each aerialists’ favourite moves. Deanna says, “they have favourite moves that they enjoy doing on the apparatuses, so I picked their favourite moves and put them together so it fits in with their music.”
Keeping with a Steampunk theme Deanna presented the aerialists with genres of music, albums and artists to pick from. She says, “they picked music that spoke to them and then we worked through the routine. Once we got their entire routine together we started working on character development and theatre. It’s not them just doing sequences in the air, it’s going to be very theatrical as well.”
Deanna has taken care of all the aerialists costuming for Steampunk Circus. She says, “I love costuming and when it comes to performance, I think it’s super important. I pay attention to every little detail. Right now it’s super fun dressing my students for this show. I will put little pieces together. For example cut up a shirt, make it a little different and add to it. I wish I could design fashion because I have so many ideas. Right now it’s been a challenge to find costumes because of the pandemic, nothing is really open. But I was lucky to have a lot of steampunk related costumes already, I had to buy a few things here and there and piece together the costuming. I definitely make sure every little detail of the costume is there.”
It seems Aerialist Deanna’s producing and directing role in the aerial portion of Steampunk Circus will come together flawlessly and thrill audiences. On a final note she says, “I’m so glad that Rockstar was doing the drive-in shows, it’s cool that they’re making things happen at this time of COVID. I’m really grateful to be involved and have a directing role in the Steampunk Circus show.”
Steampunk Circus is part of Rockstar Music Hall’s innovative live drive-in style entertainment series attraction. People simply pick a time and purchase tickets in advance. They then pull into the parking lot at Rockstar Music Hall, park in front of the outdoor stage, tune into a radio station that will broadcast the show soundtrack and enjoy the entertainment from the safety of their vehicles.
Steampunk Circus opens this week with performances on July 16, 17 and 18. Tickets can be purchased at https://rockstarplatinum.com/shows.php