Biography

Katherine Hutchinson is an aerial artist with a background in classical ballet. In 2012,after earning a BFA in Dance Performance at Towson University, she moved to Oakland, California to deepen her study of aerial dance. Here she trains, performs and teaches her own unique style of air ballet.

 

To continue the evolution of live performance art styles, Katherine collaborates with a wide range of artists. In 2017, Katherine performed alongside the opera artists of Ars Minerva in their premiere of La Circe. She also worked with Jaron Aviv Hollander to create Circus Veritas featuring the Sacred Order of the Burning Pants; a blend of circus, theatre and improv. In 2014, Katherine and Keely Beyries-Powers created an aerial partnership called EnWraptured. Together they choreographed and performed aerial duets at Tourettes Without Regrets, Vespertine Circus, and other art shows around the bay area. In one project, they worked with photographer and land artist, Jean-Paul Bourdier to create Body Unbound featuring surreal photos pulled from the bizarre landscape of the Salt Flats in Utah.

 

In the last 5 years Katherine has choreographed and performed over 15 original solos. Her work is a combination of ballet technique, research and a desire to defy the current concepts of human agility. Her recent work, EmBody, All of the Accused, and Cleopatra involved extensive research into the lives of historical figures and other artists who share her vision of creating emotionally driven art. The imagery and poetry she finds while researching these topics provides the inspiration for the movement quality and style.


Katherine shares this style with her students in choreography workshops and classes around the bay area and beyond. In 2013, she started teaching aerial classes at Athletic Playground. By 2014 she was teaching in four different circus schools in Oakland. Two years later, Katherine became the head coach of the youth troupe Circus Gilly at Kinetic Arts Center. After five years of perfecting her style, Katherine has become Oakland’s Air Ballerina and owner of Air Ballet™. 

To learn more about Katherine's unique style check out her Air Ballet website.

2010 - present
2010 - present

Teaching Philosophy

When people ask me what my ballet training was like, I have a myriad of responses. “It was hard.” “I was obsessed.” “It really helped me.” “I knew I was never going to ‘make it’.” But most of all, “it kind of messed me up.”

While the motto at Towson University's Dance Department is "Dance for a lifetime", the stigma about a sell-by-date for performers still prevails. If the work doesn’t get you, the emotional labor will. I felt I was never skinny enough, never bendy enough, never perfect enough.

 

That’s why my experience of discovering aerial dance was one of delight and wonder. After 15 years of trying to lift myself off the floor with my toes, I could finally use my strength to explore a new plane. Aerial dance allows us to defy gravity and interact with the body in a completely new way. In many circus disciplines the emphasis is on what the body can do, not what the body looks like.

 

When teaching, I aspire to instill a sense of curiosity and genuine interest in the body and the movement. I give corrections in a way that allows the student to imagine how it feels, rather than how it looks in the mirror. I want my students to marvel at their own strength, creativity and grace. By devoting class time to both technique and artistry I invite the students to cultivate their own style.