Friday, 14 November 2014

NCCA Roadshow and Rigging for Aerial Performance course 2014

It's been a busy week for networking and skillsharing on circus arts and aerial performance in Edinburgh! The wonderful Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith has been hosting two great events this week: the National Centre for Circus Arts Roadshow and a course on Rigging for Aerial Performance by Bryan Donaldson from High Performance. As always, you can click on any of the pictures below to embiggen.

National Centre for Circus Arts Roadshow

First of all, on Tuesday 11 November representatives from the National Centre for Circus Arts in London (previously known as Circus Space) came up to Edinburgh for a roadshow to discuss how circus can be further developed in Scotland. As well as getting a clearer picture of the significant number of diverse projects and companies across the country, it was also a fantastic opportunity to network with other people in the industry both in Scotland and across the UK. For me personally, the afternoon session on rigging was especially useful, as we discussed the challenges of working in different venues with differing specifications and infrastructure when touring as well as the more mundane aspects of rigging such as insurance, risk assessments and methods statements. I was so engrossed in the various sessions that I forgot to take any photos, but it was an excellent day.

Rigging for Aerial Performance course

On 12 and 13 November I attended the two day Rigging for Aerial Performance course run by Bryan Donaldson from High Performance, a specialist performance rigging company based in London. Whilst I was already aware of a lot of what we covered through my rope access and previous rigging experience, it was very interesting to see how some of the theory and practice in performance rigging differs from rope access, particularly in areas such as calculating safe working loads and dynamic factors for aerial performance. I also got to learn about performance rigging specialist areas such as the use of truss and how to splice steel wire rope for a temporary termination using a Flemish eye splice, which was fascinating.

As well as theory and the legal aspects of rigging, we had practical sessions in knot-tying as well as rigging a pulley system for lifting performers safely (known in the industry as 'man riding' applications, which had some participants in giggles) and the use of a load cell to test the impact of dynamic movement on loading. In addition to this, we also covered some snatch rescues from descent using the kinds of harnesses and equipment predominantly used in the industry, which meant that there are some significant differences between these rescue techniques and those used in industrial rope access rescue.

Photo credit: All or Nothing ADT

Photo credit: All or Nothing ADT
Photo credit: All or Nothing ADT

It's been a great week where I've learnt a lot and networked with some really great people. Now I'm looking forward to putting some of the things I've learnt into practice!

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