by Susie Williams: friend, frequent collaborator and fan of Lisa

lisa lyra

Around here at Aerial Arts NYC we sure miss Lisa Natoli a lot.

In addition to being an inspiring teacher, Lisa is also a driven creator known for her offbeat style and challenging choreography. Since March, Lisa has been on a sort of walkabout – checking out the different aerial communities; teaching, training and performing; and (I hope) spreading her particular brand of circus across the country.

Lisa doesn’t have any set date to return to NYC, but you can rest assured that if she is planning on teaching or performing anywhere near us, AANYC will let you know!

In the meantime, I caught up with Lisa via email for a little chat about what’s what. The following is an edited excerpt of our very professional conversation.


Susie Williams: Lisa, where have you been so far?

Lisa Natoli: I have been teaching in Denver, St. Louis, Boulder, Kansas City and Phoenix. I am heading to Detroit after this.

SW: Anything unusual or remarkable about the aerial spaces in those towns?

LN: I find architecture inspiring. Some cities I don’t always vibe with the physical space. A few are in old churches and have pets running around – I like that. I usually have to sit on the floor and stare at the rope for a few days till I warm up to what the space can offer.

SW: Can you talk to me about what you’ve been working on as a performer?

LN: I took a little break from performing but I did perform in New Orleans at Cafe Istanbul. It is run by a really great man that is a true artist and advocate for people making work. It is challenging to find available space and fitting times to train so I haven’t been training as much as I would like. But I am re-working one of my rope cabaret pieces and working it into a more conceptual piece. I also want to re-do SUBTLETIES (ed. note: performed last winter at Big Sky Works in Brooklyn) and I have this image of an elephant in the room that is just an elephant.

SW: I’ve always been so intrigued by your inspirations and influences. I’ve learned about so many great artists from you. What art is inspiring you right now?

LN: I have been listening to Popol Vuh’s song Train Through Time.

SW: As some of us know, you are an excellent cook. So, I have to ask – have you had any particularly wonderful meals or drinks?

LN: Crawfish boudin balls. And an amazing Bloody Mary in New Orleans.

SW: Last but not least, can you tell us what you miss about NYC?

LN: Public transit and free available space. My students.


Read more about Lisa and her whereabouts on her website www.lisasbrightideas.com.

By Circus Susie