POSTED Tue. Nov 17, 2015

Creative Culture

Twisting Away in an Inverse Universe

In the original tale of Alice in Wonderland, one girl’s sense of reality is turned upside down, her life thrown into the air. In Inverse Universe, an aerial and visual arts production featured in the Faux/Real festival this weekend, Alice’s doppelganger Jade is literally up in the air, suspended by hoops, chains, fabrics, and trapezes.

“It is a loose interpretation of the Alice in Wonderland narrative,” says the play’s co-producer, aerialist Alex White. “Jade is a similar girl who falls through space and time, decides to go down a rabbit hole and ends up going through five different lands or words that are each depicted through a combination of aerial arts and technology.”

White runs the Crescent City Aerial Arts, a local aerial and fitness studio. Her partner in the show, professional installation artist Dara Johnston, runs the Future Kids Society, which describes itself as a “collaborative group of artists, musicians, scientists, computer hackers, and aliens dedicated to enabling humans a more astronomical life experience.”

Johnston, who started Future Kids around seven years ago, is known for creating huge art installations for the likes of Krewe Du Vieux. “She mixes science and art, so a lot of her art is interactive, you can play with it,” explains her collaborator White.

The musical score for Inverse Universe was composed and recorded by Markus Davis of experimental R&B pop act, Naughty Palace.

“We had wanted to push this fun, light theme of fantasy for children, and his music couldn’t have been more perfect. As soon as I heard Markus’ music I was thinking of aerial routines in my head,” says White.

“There are some songs that he took from his self-titled album like, “I Wanna Love You Right”, which he tweaked and remixed a little for our show. But the rest of the show’s score he made from scratch. The entire score is pre-recorded but then Markus is going to very much be a part of the show, by controlling the music he recorded but also, as the scenes change, he will give little three-minute mini-concerts.”

Davis himself explains further: “Each scene has its own environment, whether it’s space, deep sea, a volcano world or a beach. It reminds me of playing an old [Nintendo] game, which makes sense coming from the brain of Dara Quick. We wrote tunes for each world, then the performers created aerial effects after the tunes were created. It was interesting to work this way because the tunes had to be finished before they could even start choreography!”

The show’s striking visual backdrop consists solely of video projections and video mapping (which turn objects into display surfaces for digital video projections). Most of the projections feature original illustrations and animations from Memphis, Tennessee muralist BirdCap, whose colorful cartoonish work can be seen on streets throughout the world from New Orleans to Korea.

“BirdCap was a friend of mine and was interested in doing something outside the box,” says White. “We sent the first video projections to him and he added all these weird creatures to them. Then we’d send those wild creatures to Markus Davis to inspire his music. In that way, Inverse Universe is the epitome of artistic collaboration, while at the same time everyone involved had autonomy to put their original stamp on it.”

The show also promises an array of equally compelling and colorful costumes to relate the show’s psychedelic themes. “In the final scene we all come together, where Jane is transformed physically. She’s at first wearing all white, which is sort of a mix of demure and escaping from a mental institution,” laughs White.

“But then towards the end she’s become more a part of this other new world — our world — and to reflect that we do a costume change so that she’s in this ridiculously glittery rainbow pinafore. Through these various visuals and aerial presentations it becomes clear that this is the story of a woman who decides to do something different and as a result is transformed because of it.”

White ads, “We came up with that theme because at Crescent City Aerial Arts one of our goals is to show that everyone can do aerial, everyone can try it and do it, and in the end they will see the world from a different perspective.”

Inverse Universe is Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 8pm, with a pre-show of fire dancers and other cirque performers beginning at 7pm, all at The Old Iron Works, 612 Piety St. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for children 13 and under._

Image courtesy of Inverse Universe.

POSTED Jul 18, 2019

Creative Culture

August in New Orleans

August in New Orleans

New Orleans may be known as a party town, but locals work as hard here as they do in any city. Take a break from the routine with…....

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Dec 14, 2018


Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Hey, the weather outside is kind of frightful! About as frightful as it gets down here anyways (also, note that next week temperatures will be back in the…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED May 10, 2017

Creative Culture

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

On May 12 the New Orleans Museum of Art will fling open its doors for Masquerade: Late Night at NOMA, a costume party replete with float builders, mask-makers,…....

POSTED Dec 23, 2016


Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Happy holidays, y’all. We hope you find plenty to occupy you during this busy Christmas weekend, but if you find yourself having a small, quiet moment, or just…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook