Founder Alicia Taylor details the power of her production and how cirque art and heavy music go hand-in-hand.
Ahead of their mainstage performance at Knotfest Los Angeles, Alicia Taylor of Cherry Bombs sat in for an exchange with KNOTFEST.com’s own Whitney Moore to discuss the collective’s creative and affinity for their brand of perilous performance art.
For those still unfamiliar, as architect of the Cherry Bombs troupe, Taylor explains the kind of macabre-lean of a variety show that exists at the core of the brand. An amalgam of gravity-defying aerial art, stilt-walking, fire art, angle-grinding and succinct, specialized choreography come together in a dystopian cirque that is more Mad Max than P.T. Barnum.
Aside from the obvious elements of danger that exist in such a technically tedious performance, the soundtrack is another component to Cherry Bombs that has found the troupe connecting with the heavy music contingent. While bellowing flames or plunging to a near-catastrophic free fall with only silks to suspend them, anthems of the culture like “We’re In This Together” from Nine Inch Nails, “Du Hast” from Rammstein and “Holy Roller” Spiritbox (a song Taylor says is her current favorite to perform to) showcase crew’s authentic embrace of the heavy.
Detailing her lifelong nexus to dance, Taylor shared that the inception of Cherry Bombs was less about filling a void but rather expanding on the existing space of performance art. Acknowledging that while there are plenty of troupes that have a similar heavy music slant, there was a sense of spectacle missing that Taylor felt she could bring to the table. Combing her choreographic expertise with her passion for volume – 2013 marked the beginning of Cherry Bombs and Taylor hasn’t slowed since.
Differentiating themselves from the world of burlesque, Taylor does well in explaining how Cherry Bombs exist in a space that doesn’t place such a high emphasize on the art of the tease. In combining the world of heavy culture with the pageantry of the various elements of cirque, the payoff doesn’t need to place a premium on a reveal – though it is hard to deny the allure of such a visually engaging production.
Summarizing the experience of Cherry Bombs as a feast for the eyes, Taylor confides that kind of subversive nature of fire dancing and being suspended some 50-feet in the air lends itself well to the sensibilities of heavy music. The parallels among the counter cultures are obvious if not under-served – likely why Cherry Bombs continue on such a trajectory.
Without revealing too much about what fans can expect from their forthcoming Knotfest LA appearance, Taylor did reveal that there were some surprises in store for fans – such that warranted some additional clearances and a double-check of their insurance policy.
Earning a spot on of the biggest stages of the year, all eyes will be on Los Angeles for KNOTFEST LA come November 5th and for Cherry Bombs – the fire has been lit.
Check the complete interview with Alicia Taylor of Cherry Bombs and KNOTFEST.com’s Whitney Moore below.