Aerial ballet over river might not fly

Posted: June 16, 2013

Planners of a Sunday performance featuring aerial dancers swinging from the Strawberry Mansion Bridge were scrambling Friday to rescue the show from a city shutdown.

Alie Vidich, artistic director of Alie and the Brigade, said she though she had obtained the necessary official permissions for the show, including a permit from the Parks and Recreation Department.

But as Vidich prepared for a dress rehearsal late Friday afternoon, Philadelphia police, including the Marine Unit, showed up to stop the performers, she said.

She had been contacted earlier in the day by a city official raising questions about the planned performance and another scheduled for the following Sunday.

The city and police concerns involved safety and insurance, which Vidich said she thought she had addressed.

Evan Hoffman, who would perform with Vidich above the Schuylkill, said the duo had been choreographing and practicing every week since October, when they underwent a week of training in San Francisco.

Vidich raised more than $12,000 for her "Invisible River" project, and sold $150 picnic dinners for the otherwise free performances.

Hoffman said he was hoping to work out a deal with the city "so we don't waste eight months of work."

A video of the project can be viewed at:

Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, or, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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