Courtesy Bmore Media – Mara Neimanis leads the way up a few flights of creaky steps in an aging building at 120 North Ave. in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Pushing open double doors, she enters a spacious studio made moody by exposed brick walls and dark wood floors. Huge windows on one side of the room let in natural light, which shines on an enormous metal structure that looks like an oversized, boxy ladder and dangles from the soaring ceiling. Entwined in the metal structure, 47-year-old Neimanis alternately climbs, hangs, and flies through the air—while acting out a theatrical performance.
It’s here that the globetrotting aerialist-slash-actress hones this hybrid art form that she created, a blend of high-flying circus arts and theater called, appropriately enough, In-Flight Theater. Though Neimanis has taught her craft in places as far-flung as Israel, Latvia, Canada and Costa Rica, Baltimore is where she’s decided to put down her roots for now and, quite literally, take off.
Neimanis has rented space in the Load of Fun Studiofor the past five years. There she holds classes on her gravity-defying
feats and practices routines for her aerial shows, which she performs at festivals and regional stages. She will be performing at the Baltimore Theatre Project Nov. 1-11 and at her own studios in December.
“I’m just doing theater in a different and new way,” Neimanis says. “One of the nicest things about being in the aerial community in Baltimore is that I don’t have a lot of competition. “
What Neimanis has found here is enough support to advance her unorthodox career. Solid opportunities to practice her innovative form of theater, studio space to accommodate her art form, and the welcome collaboration of local artists have enticed her to stay and fed her interest in sharing aerial theater with the public.
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