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Aerial Group to Perform at Salmonfest

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Photo Courtesy of Quixotic
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Salmonfest is a three-day music festival that occurs the first weekend of August at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. This year, the festival will showcase an artist who grew up in Homer. Mica Thomas helps produce lighting for an aerial performance group from Kansas City, Missouri named Quixotic.

When speaking of Quixotic, Thomas describes it as creating an experience.

“It’s a mixture of dance and aerial and music. It’s kind of where you’d go to watch a performing arts piece mixed with a concert, and how you merge all those things together to create spectacle and broaden the imagination,” Thomas said.

Thomas and his business partner, Anthony Magliano, are the producers of Quixotic. Magliano is the founder and artistic director of the group, whereas Thomas mostly focuses on the lighting aspects of the show.

This year, Quixotic is one of four headliners for the Kenai’s annual Salmonfest. Jim Stearns, the director and producer of Salmonfest, says that this year has one of the strongest lineups the festival has had.

“Indigo Girls are the top act, although Trampled by Turtles is a very, very close second. They’ve been on a mediocre rise since they were here [at Salmonfest] three years ago. We have Quixotic, which is an interesting story. One of the main people in Quixotic was raised in Homer, and they’re based in Kansas City now, and they travel all over the world. They’re an incredible act,” Stearns said.

Although Thomas is the only member of the group from Alaska, this is not Quixotic's first performance in the state. Quixotic did an Alaska tour two years ago, performing in Fairbanks, Anchorage and at the Mariner Theater in Homer.

Thomas says that getting the entire group and all its equipment to Alaska requires a lot of work, so they can only bring a few members of the cast and crew along. They even had to ship their own portable aerial truss all the way from Kansas City to make this performance happen.

Thomas says they are bringing some great aerial performers, live music from percussionist Simon Huntly, and violinist Shane Borth, and some light to accompany the darkness of the midnight show.

“We’re doing lots of fire performances, as well, within the show we’re bringing to Salmonfest. So we wanted to make sure that we could work with kind of having darkness around to help make all the fire performance shine a little brighter,” Thomas said.

The fire acts will be integrated into the performance, alongside aerial performers and dancers. Behind them, there will be a canvas screen on which Thomas will produce the light shows during the performance.

Quixotic is comparable to the famous Cirque du Soleil, with which they have collaborated in the past. Thomas says that he’s looking forward to sharing the Quixotic experience with fellow Alaskans.

“I mean, I’m excited for the whole festival. I’ve never been able to go to the festival before and I’ve been hearing about it for years and years and years, and so I’m really excited to just go check out the whole experience as a whole,” Thomas said.

Quixotic will perform at midnight Aug. 6 during the festival, and its performance is scheduled to go until 2 a.m. Aug. 7.

Quixotic is also providing aerial classes in Homer on Aug. 9-13, in the mat room at the high school. You can find more information about how to sign up for the classes by calling the Homer Council on the Arts at 907-235-4288, and by visiting the council's website at www.homerart.org.