Corporate events are usually centered around making money for the company. Due to that, most presenters at these events need to be high-energy and very entertaining. Aerialists fit that bill perfectly. Aerialists are different from stunt performers. They do not use safety gear and often rely on complex tricks to catch themselves when falling instead of using nets, harnesses, or equipment similar to what professional stunt performers would use. The aerialists who perform for corporate events are often hired by companies who wish to produce a spectacular show that the audience will talk about long after the event has ended. For this reason, you may see several different types of aerialists at one performance, including:
A harpoon aerialist is the most traditional form of an aerialist. Harpoon artists are visible within the air by being attached to nothing more than an overhead bar they hang from with their hands or legs. A harpoon artist does not have any visible support system during performances, so it appears that they are magically suspended in mid-air. These acts start small and, as the show progresses, they climb higher and higher into the air. That creates suspense for the audience because they are unsure how high up the artist will climb or when their safety harness will finally be seen.
Aerial Hammock Aerialist
An aerial hammock artist is a type of aerial performer who uses a nylon web hammock attached to ropes to perform tricks and flips. Like a harpoon artist, an aerial hammock artist climbs ladder-like apparatuses or swings from side to side within their instrument to create suspense. The use of nylon webs makes it easier for these artists to hold poses when inverted because, when compared with silk fabrics, it has its shape much better when subject to weight.
A silk aerialist is the most common form of aerial performer today. A silk artist typically uses a fabric made out of silk tightly wrapped around their body to perform tricks much like a trapeze artist would. Silks are very versatile pieces of equipment because they can be used for everything from simple swings to flips and rotations, all the way to exact poses while hanging inverted. Each of these tricks usually ends with the performer actively managing tension, which demonstrates control over themselves and their apparatus at all times.
A trampoline artist may appear similar to a performer who works on traditional rigging, but trampolines are used for entirely different types of tricks. Trampoline artists jump on a trampoline to perform tricks that appear as though they're defying gravity. Substantial leaps, flips, and twists create the illusion that these performers are defying physics. Like silk aerialists, white canvas backdrops may be used to enhance this illusion by creating the appearance of space (or emptiness).
Corde Lisse Aerialist
Corde lisse aerialists do what their name suggests; they work on corde lisse apparatuses. These acts are easily recognized because they usually use two very long pieces of fabric which extend horizontally across the stage area. At each end (and sometimes at midpoint) of this piece of fabric is a loop called a "Spanish web" (or "hammock"). Corde lisse artists maneuver themselves on and around these webs to create visually impressive stunts. They combine poses on the Spanish web with aerial apparatus manipulation, such as swinging on ropes or moving on trapeze swings. Like silk or trampoline acts, corde lisse acts tend to be more focused on acrobatics than utilizing equipment for suspension.