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Acrobalance is an acrobatic art that combines elements of adagio and hand balancing.
Adagio consists of partner lifts, usually performed by a man and a woman, where the male lifts his female partner in many different poses and positions. Many forms of adagio also incorporate throws and tosses; the male usually throws the female into somersaults, layouts, and other acrobatic maneuvers. Many styles of dance incorporate some form of adagio (as dance lifts), including ballet (in pas de deux), jazz, and lyrical. Ice skaters also perform lifts that belong to the adagio art. Whenever a person lifts another up in different artistic poses, or performs tosses where the bottom mounter catches the top mounter again, it is considered adagio.
Hand balancing is the performance of acrobatic body shape changing movements, or stationary poses, or both, while balanced on and supported entirely by one's hands or arms. It is performed by acro dancers, circus performers, gymnasts, and sports acrobats. Hand balancing may be performed by partners or individuals. In partner hand balancing, a strong bottom mounter supports the top mounter in handstands, planches and other acrobatic poses. In solo handbalancing, a single artist performs handstands, one-hand stands, planches and other equilbristic maneuvers, usually on top of pommels, blocks or other apparatuses.
Acrobalance is the combination of the two athletic art forms: adagio lifts combined with strong-man hand balancing and partner acrobatics, such as double planches and partner handstands. Formats include male/female duo, trio, female/female, and other variations.
A performer on the ground doing the lifting and supporting in an acrobalance formation is often called the base, while a performer being lifted or tossed can be referred to as the flyer (or flier).
Acrobalance acts require a high degree of care, coordination, proprioceptive awareness, and mutual trust from the performers in order to avoid injury.
Acrobalance acts are often set to music and performed as part of circuses. Acrobalance performances can now also be seen on a wide variety of shows such as street performances, incorporated into children's theater and as part of modern dance performances.