Asheville’s Libravado Sisters Aerial Dance Ensemble
Asheville’s Libravado Sisters Aerial Dance Ensemble are a daring, witty and vivacious bunch. The buoyant trio burst onto the aerial scene in October 2008 and has been lighting up festivals and private functions throughout the country on a regular basis since then. They were a huge success at Asheville Fringe Festival, the Faces of Asheville, and Chinese New Year, and are now booking shows for a hot summer season.
Their practice studio, located in the artsy River Arts District, reveals trapeze, silks and lyra hanging from the ceiling as the three girls bounce and flit through the space like weightless fairies. They show me how they use the silks by hopping up, bare feet, and climbing all the way to the top and then dropping dramatically to a few feet above ground. My questions are answered from swinging trapezes in sexy Russian accents.
“We are the Libravado Sisters! We come all the way from Bilibino, in the Bilibinsky region of Russia,” says animated Zamitenova Libravado in a vivacious Russian accent. “Can fly through air! Will travel and make laughter!”
The aerial dance performance group consists of Sami’Te (Zamitenova Libravado), Anna (Annabella Libravado) and Ambra (Ambrastasia Libravado). They use a variety of aerial props, from trapeze, double trapeze, and silks, to lyra – a large metal aerial hoop covered in fabric. Their show far surpasses aerial stunts; it is energetic, theatrical and stunning, some would say death defying.
Though the Libravado sisters as an aerial troupe are a new Asheville emergence, these three playful performers aren’t new to performance art or Asheville. They bring years of training to the table in bellydance, yoga, burlesque, theater, gymnastics, and fire performance. Their shows fuse their love of all the arts and are lively, character-driven, humorous and theatrical. Their basic show is a 20 minute show featuring single and doubles acts, but they offer a wide variety of shows from fun and energetic to slow and sensual.
“We do everything from 20 minutes to over an hour, from birthday party and corporate events, to festivals and private events,” says Ambrastasia. “We can suspend from a ten foot ceiling or a fifty foot structure, and we can be fun and energetic, or slow and sensual. It all depends on the event.”
Ambra, specializing in sling, lyra and doubles trapeze, has been dancing since she was a child and joined the Florida State Flying High Circus in 1995. She was trained as an aerial artist in California, taught aerials for years, and has performed all over the country and world, including Asia. In 2001 she joined the Surreal Sirkus in Asheville, and now she performs her special flavor of aerial burlesque with the area’s burlesque troupe, Seduction Side Show.
Sami’Te is a yoga and bellydance instructor with a studio in West Asheville. She is also a member of the Uni-Fire Fire Troupe. She started flying through the air in 2004 and became serious about aerial dance in 2007. Since then she’s performed all over the world. She now specializes in single point trapeze, doubles trapeze, aerial silks, and sling, and is thinking about teaching aerial in Asheville.
“I’m definitely thinking about teaching aerial arts classes,” says Sami’Te. “After years of dance, aerial arts gives me a space to challenge myself, grow and face really big fears. Aerial arts helps make me strong, literally, and helps me be a strong assertive woman in the community. I would love to pass that on to others. Once you’ve faced your fears and dropped 30 feet in 3 seconds, you pretty much feel like you can do anything.”
Anna comes from a gymnastics background, is bellydance trained, and has traveled internationally lighting up audiences with her fire poi performances. She began aerial dance only a year and a half ago, but performs like a seasoned pro, especially on the sling and aerial silks.
“It’s a great way to improve your fitness, self confidence and balance. It’s a wonderful form of self expression,” says Anna. “I love that we put so much humor into our shows. We really add a lot of elements that make our performances unique.”
The Libravado sisters are open for booking at festivals, parties, music shows, weddings, corporate events, birthday parties and more. Their next performance will be a benefit show on Saturday, May 16th at Forsythia Hall in Asheville with Special guest musicians Sirius B.
For more information and booking, contact SamiTe at 828-273-9528, or visit the Libravadosister.com. SamiTe can also be found online at SamiTeRocks.com.