Can You See Me Flying? Memoir of an Aerial Dance Pioneer
by Terry Sendgraff
Terry Sendgraff has been a prominent figure in the Bay Area dance community since 1975. She consistently developed innovative and exciting new ways to dance and was the first to discover the movement vocabulary possible when integrating low flying trapezes with movement improvisation. Terry’s career as a performer, choreographer, and master teacher spanned five decades. Her early experimental and improvisational performances blended spontaneity and creativity. In “Year of Sundays,” Terry performed for 52 consecutive Sundays. She also founded and directed Fly By Nite, a women’s trapeze troupe; the Motivity Company; Women Walking Tall, a women’s stilt dancing project, and the Motivity Aerial Dancers. Her work was featured as part of the National Aerial Dance Festival in Colorado, the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, and Women Who Fly in San Francisco.
Terry has influenced several generations of dancers who now include aerial choreography in a variety of dance genres. She is recognized nationally as a pioneer of the form now known as aerial dance. She is credited with the introduction of the single point trapeze that expanded aerial movement possibilities. In Terry’s quest to “dance my own dance,” she has mentored hundreds of students toward that same goal. Her uniqueness and personal style have impacted all those who have worked with her.
In her newly published memoir, Can You See Me Flying? Memoir of an Aerial Dance Pioneer, Terry recounts the twists and turns of her life and career. Combining gymnastics, dance, and improvisation, Terry created performance art on trapezes, bungees, slings, stilts, a bicycle, and a child’s bed. Through her innovative teaching, performing, and choreography, Terry broadened the definition of dance.
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