Vertical dance and circus drama: Tangle peers beneath Surface Tension in FringeArts Festival

Photo by Michael Ermilio, featuring Deena Weisberg and Meredith Rosenthal.

Who are you really—at home, in the office, 20 feet in the air? As part of the 2016 FringeArts Festival, the acrobats of Tangle Movement Arts ask how far we see beneath the surface of daily interactions. A Tinder date turns into a rocky relationship in an acrobatic dance that reaches the ceiling. A young professional works out which face to show the world via a journey on aerial silks. And an advice columnist scrambles into the air to hide her own personal crisis. In the new circus-theater show Surface Tension, Tangle’s aerial dancers explore life’s hidden currents, and push through the forces that pull us together.

Surface Tension’s six-woman cast uses trapeze and aerial silks to dive into a world of fixed points and sudden changes, merging circus arts with theater, dance, and innovative storytelling. FringeArts Festival favorites since 2011, Tangle will bring this new work to Neighborhood House in Old City on Wednesday September 14 through Saturday September 17th, with shows at 8pm on Wednesday through Friday, and 3pm and 8pm on Saturday.                                                       

“Surface Tension’s unique mix of dance, theater, and aerial acrobatics creates a contemporary circus style that’s perfect for the FringeArts Festival,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “This show is about how to trust another person when you only see what they’ve shown on the surface. Our characters are plunged into a world of unexpected connections and uncertain partnerships– and they traverse aerial silks, rope, and trapeze to create new patterns in their lives.”

Surface Tension premieres as part of the 2016 Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, at Neighborhood House in Old City (20 N. American Street) on September 14-17. Tickets ($10-20) are available online at

Tangle Movement Arts is a circus arts company with a contemporary twist, whose performances mix traditional circus like trapeze and acrobatics with dance, theater, and live music to tell a multi-dimensional story. Tangle’s work is devised collaboratively by its all-female ensemble, and reflects individuals of diverse identities, with an emphasis on queer and female experience. Philadelphia Weekly says Tangle “blends circus-style acrobatics with a smart theatrical spin.”


Tangle presents Surface Tension—innovative circus-theater.
Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 8pm ($10 preview), Thursday, Sept. 15 at 8pm, Friday, Sept. 16 at 8pm, Saturday, Sept. 17 at 3pm and 8pm.
Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia PA, 19106.
Tickets: $10-20 (discounts for artists, students, seniors, and groups).
Purchase online at Contact for discount information.