Tangle's aerial dance in Points of LightTangle Movement Arts presents ‘Points of Light’: Flying femmes get lit: Tangle’s acrobats perform with strength and agility. Lee Thompson’s stoicism and power dazzle, even when taking to the silks blindfolded (yes, blindfolded) for climbs, inversions, and fast drops. Meredith Rosenthal offers levity in a flirty, funky trapeze routine set to bossanova-esque brass music. Even Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith delivers a simple yet moving trapeze performance while carrying the added weight of an ‘extra passenger’: Smith is seven months pregnant. … Tangle Movement Arts has the stage presence to achieve poignant emotional depth while flipping through the air.article

POINTS OF LIGHT (Tangle Movements Arts) / Eri Yoneda for Phindie, April 11, 2017. “Feminine, powerful, innovative… Philadelphia’s favorite circus art troupe Tangle Movement Arts was back in Old City’s Neighborhood House on April 7 and 8. Ever-changing and always in search for new ways to broaden possibilities as artists, the all-woman company presented a new show, POINTS OF LIGHT.”article

Tangle's aerial dance in Points of LightThings to do in Philadelphia: Points of Light Michael Harrington for the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 10, 2017. The amazing all-female aerial dance company, long a Fringe favorite, use trapeze and silks to tell stories of women’s struggles in their newest show, Points of Light.article

Tangle sees the ‘light’ in new aerial show / Larry Nichols for Philadelphia Gay News, April 6, 2017. “We bring our signature aerial storytelling to every new work that Tangle produces,” Smith said about this show’s focus. “But right now it’s a political time when we feel it’s especially important to raise the voices of women, particularly queer women. This show reflects that, with a dozen fresh stories of challenge and triumph told in the kinetic language of circus arts.”article

Weekend pick: Points of Light Philadelphia Weekly Calendar, April 5, 2017. Stringing together trapeze aerial skills with a thread of hope, a new collection of circus-theater from Philly’s premier innovative movement artists. These intimate portrayals offer support and persistence with a contemporary twist.article

Tangle Movement Arts has ‘Points of Light’ in a troubled time for women / Alaina Mabaso for Broad Street Review, March 27, 2017. If this season has you searching for work devised by and celebrating women (or if you just want some first-class, original acrobatic tales), the latest premiere from Tangle Movement Arts has your ticket. … Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith calls the new show a boundary-pushing experience in circus arts, offering “fresh stories to support and sustain.” The performance will represent women who travel blindfolded, survive underground, and, of course, scale new heights.article

Points of Light was also an arts pick with Uwishunu’s weekend and dance editors.

Kick off fall with the Go West! Craft Fest / Madeline Presland for Metro Philly, September 29, 2016. “Tinycircus is our little traveling show. It’s fun to go from Tangle’s formal shows to something that is so spontaneous and casual. During Fringe, we do two full length circus acts– they’re theatrical productions with storylines. tinycircus is a way for us to work on the sillier things.”article

Surface Tension2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Surface Tension’ at Tangle Movement Arts / Tim Dunleavy for DCMetroTheaterArts, September 16, 2016. Striking aerial work… worth catching for the virtuoso athleticism and the intriguing way it’s presented…. The women of Tangle are almost constantly in motion, rising and descending on silks or spinning clockwise in a virtually endless loop. It’s quite impressive, and occasionally heart-stopping; the audience gasped at one point when a performer hung to a trapeze only by her feet.article

Review: Surface Tension by Tangle Movement Arts / Eri Yoneda for Phindie, September 16, 2016. Tangle Movement Arts is back again with a thrilling Fringe Festival performance… Each performer in the all-female troupe is outstandingly expressive in her role; the acrobatics on aerial silks and trapezes are thrilling and dreamy.article

Fringe Performers Keep It Moving / Larry Nichols for Philly Gay News, September 15, 2016. Another Fringe favorite brings together intense physicality with personal storytelling. Through an acrobatic duet between two women, Tangle Movement Arts’ new show, “Surface Tension,” tells the story of a Tinder date that turns into a rocky relationship.article

Must-See Fringe Festival Dance Shows In Philly This September / Christopher Munden for Uwishunu, September 7, 2016. Tangle Movement Arts presents a gravity-defying show that explores common issues in daily life through spoken word, aerial skills, trapeze and partner dancing.article

Fringe at 20 Profile: Lauren Rile Smith / FringeArts Blog, September 6, 2016. The first Fringe show I saw was in 2008… I was curious about this multidisciplinary ensemble-generated devised-theater thing– what was it like? I was just beginning the slow pivot in my life that eventually transformed me into a trapeze artist and ensemble-based circus-theater producer. The taste of freedom and magic potential I got from that Fringe show has inspired me ever since.interview

Surface TensionStarting from Scratch / Lisa Kraus for thINKingDANCE, September 5, 2016. Smartly presented… there was certainly a mysterious psychological tension between the two airborne performers, one on conventional trapeze and the other twining in and out of two fluid strands of purple fabricarticle

Mike Durkin’s Annual Fringetastic Fringe Picks for the Fringe! / Mike Durkin for Phindie, August 30, 2016. It’s really stellar aerial work, best in the city in my opinion. Lots of great exploration of story and aerial work. Really inspiring.article

Tangle's tinycircus trapeze featured on poster for Go West! Craft Fest by Sarah Ryan

Tangle’s tinycircus trapeze featured on poster for Go West! Craft Fest by Sarah Ryan

Surface Tension was also a Fringe pick with Uwishunu’s LGBT editors, West Philly Local, MyPhillyAlive, Newsworks, Azuka Theatre, CircusNYC, and Philadelphia danceJOURNAL.

Day in the life of: Feminist circus performers, Tangle Movement Arts / Paige Cooperstein for Philly Gay News, May 19, 2016. “You can see a lot of queer circus artists performing heterosexual roles,” Rile Smith said. “There is value in those stories, but it’s great to have more than one. These diverse types of relationships and different icons of female strength become the muses that always get us going.”article

The Art of Aerial Dance: CBS Philly’s Vittoria Woodill interviewed Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith and founding member Lee Thompson on Tangle’s history, feminist take on circus arts, and aerial classes– plus a video peek at Tangle’s performance RetroAct! Watch on their site or here:



Tangle performs RetroActRETROACT (Tangle): 60-second review / Eri Yoneda for Phindie, March 19, 2016. Yet another thrilling and charming performance by Tangle Movement Arts, [RetroAct] shows outstanding techniques of circus art on a hoop, a trapeze, or aerial silks. But the performance is not only about technique– the performers shake the viewer’s heart through expressive dances that reveal individual character and share raw and real emotions. Exciting and charming… [Tangle] takes our breath away through dynamic acrobatics.article

Review: ‘RetroAct’ at Tangle Movement Arts in Philadelphia / Peter Danelski for DCMetroTheaterArts, March 18, 2016. Dazzling moments of theatricality… as much as the company wows with aerial feats, conveying a story is never too far behind. “This Time Around,” tells the story of a relationship in all its awkward, joyous and blurry dimensions. While performers traverse stage and air, the narrative remains clear. “Rosie the Riveter” utilizes poignant humor to deconstruct the idea of feminism and the feminine body. It is clear that Tangle Movement Arts’ brand of theatre, dance, and aerial work in concert is far more than the sum total of its parts.article

RetroAct-ElephantWith Retroact, Tangle Remixes Its Repertoire / Hugh Wilikofsky for FringeArts Blog, March 14, 2016. A victory lap for this accomplished company, a look back at some of the work that has made them a Philadelphia favorite in such a short time. … Taking its name from the possibilities that arise when things get complicated, Tangle has produced ten full length shows (five of which enjoyed successful runs as part of the last five Fringe Festivals) and numerous pop-up projects along the way, each highlighting women’s strength and queer stories while rendering complex, oft-unspoken ideas into remarkable physical feats.article

Fringe favorite Tangle Movement Arts celebrates five years with ‘RetroAct’ / Alaina Mabaso for Broad Street Review, March 14, 2016. RetroAct will utilize the whole Christ Church Neighborhood House stage like few groups can, with artists occupying the floor, ceiling, and everywhere in between. The show, featuring an all-women cast of 10, is a dance/theater mix including spoken word, acrobatics, and airborne arts like trapeze and aerial silks.article

Feminist trapeze group to ‘detangle’ traditional ideas about circus acts / Jenny DeHuff for Metro Philadelphia, March 9, 2016. “I think that especially in a world of media in which relationships between women-– passionate, platonic or antagonistic-– frequently are rooted in stereotypes or erased altogether, it felt really relevant to display multiple types of relationships between women on stage,” said Smith. “We love to come to the literal metaphor of people lifting their own weight or lifting the weight of others. We derive endless satisfaction getting bodies to do what they can do-– spinning upside down 20 feet in the air. That sense of magical realism drives Tangle’s performances over and over.”article

RetroAct in rehearsal at Neighborhood House

RetroAct in rehearsal at Neighborhood House

Tangle Movement Arts Presents Dynamic New Cirus-Theater Show / City Suburban News, March 9, 2016. RetroAct is a circus-theater remix of the most exciting moments from Tangle’s five years of aerial dance theater. RetroAct’s ten-woman clast mixes traditional circus arts, like trapeze and acrobatics, with dance, theater, and spoken word, to explore female strength, identity, and relationships between women. article

Aerial dance company Tangle to perform circus-theater show / Sinead Cummings for PhillyVoice, March 8, 2016. The show will include dance, storytelling and aerial acrobatics to create a circus-theater spectacle. The acrobats in “RetroAct” will perform pieces that tell the story of a dreamer waking and dressing for work 20 feet in the air and the drama of two women working through frustration and flirtation in a dance that will take them to the ceiling. Expect drag, balancing acts and dance duets as well.article

Tangle Movement Arts presents a dynamic new aerial dance show / The Dance Journal, February 25, 2016. “RetroAct dives into the past, present, and future of Tangle’s aerial dance theater,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “We’re proud of five years of Philadelphia-based aerial storytelling, highlighting diverse examples of female strength, and connections between women. Tangle aims to push the boundaries of what you expect to see in a circus show.”article

RetroAct was also an arts pick with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ticket to Entertainment, Philadelphia Gay News, CircusNYC, Uwishunu,, Philadelphia Weekly, and Philadelphia Magazine.

Lauren Rile Smith featured on the Imagine Otherwise podcastImagine Otherwise: Podcast Episode 5 / hosted by Cathy Hannabach, March 9, 2016. Tangle’s founder Lauren Rile Smith was interviewed on Imagine Otherwise, a podcast that explores the interweaving of art, activism, and academia. Check out their conversation about the creation of Tangle Movement Arts, artists with day jobs, Philadelphia stories, the delicious challenges of collaboration, the joy of having a body, and why contemporary circus is a perfect platform for telling feminist stories. ♦ listen or download for free

If You Can Move, You Can Fly / Olivia O’Donnell for Au’loni Magazine, October 30, 2015. “Tangle was founded to use the contemporary circus genre to tell stories of our lives in a more intimately relatable way. Circus arts allows us to physically explore metaphors about human connection, strength or what happens when someone lets you down– literally!”article

TGG-ermilio3Tangle Movement Arts: Storytelling Flying High / Gregory King for Philadelphia danceJOURNAL, October 8, 2015. Subtle yet unrestrained… Tangle redefines artistic expression through a physically compelling art form. TMA worked to re-calibrate the conversation around the meaning of dance and what it means to be a dancer as they hung, wrapped, swung, inverted, and flipped from each apparatus. “The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct” explored complex relationships in what could have been seen as simple situations. They met as strangers, disputed as neighbors, and made up as friends. These artists tackled issues such as gender and sexuality using a highly physical art form, all the while swinging upside down, high above the ground.article

Flying High with Tangle Movement Arts / Amanda Chudnow for LiveGoodFast, September 22, 2015. “The day before our show, we transform Philadelphia Soundstages’ raw space into a theater, bringing in all the lighting and seating. It’s a privilege and pleasure to work in such a flexible space, but it requires lots of extra energy– we don’t fit into most normal theater spaces!”interview

The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct / Hannah Lorenzo for Philly Is Dancing, September 12, 2015. Their story was recognizable, illustrating the intricacies of sharing space with others, and on a more general level, relationships. I watched the audience relate to the joys and frustrations of cohabitation, such as dealing with friends who never pull their own weight, losing your things and yourself in “shared space,” and even the perils of falling in love.article

TGG-Ermilio2The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct (Tangle Movement Arts) / Eri Yoneda for Phindie, September 11, 2015. Highly trained and expressive performers introduce viewers to girls’ life, relationships, and strength through their acrobatic and astonishing circus arts. Dazzling and passionate: two bodies stretch out and twine like beautiful arabesque patterns. They spin to express excitements, stretch to communicate with each other, and float in the air to dream. The performance is much more than acrobatics or a dance, it shows audiences what artists can express through their body.article

The Girl's Guide to Neighborly Conduct photographed by Freedom G Photography for G Philly

The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct photographed by Freedom G Photography for G Philly

PHOTOS: Thrilling Shots of All-Female Tangle Movement Arts at Fringe Festival / Tara Lessard for G Philly, September 11, 2015. Thrilling shots of all-female Tangle Movement Arts at Fringe Festival! The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct explores questions of the environment, relationships, and urban space. We captured pictures from last evening’s aerial performance.slideshow

Hill native’s ‘Neighborly Conduct’ at Fringe Festival / Len Lear for Chestnut Hill Local, September 11, 2015. “The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct” investigates life’s unspoken rules, female strength, and what it means to live in a community. Tangle’s innovative acrobats swing from trapezes, cartwheel across the dinner table and lift each other out of trouble in this new show.article

Weekly Entertainment Guide – Fall Festivals, Fringe & Fine Art / Robin Bloom for, September 9, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts, the all-female circus arts company, returns to the Fringe Festival with The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct, exploring how to greet strangers, when to take out the recycling, and what it means to find home. The seven person cast swings from trapezes and cartwheels across the dinner table, merging circus arts, dance and theater.article

TGG-ermilio1Tangle Movement Arts’ New Show Tackles Dealing with Roommates and Neighbors — with Circus Arts / Kristen Gillette for Geekadelphia, September 8, 2015. Our show is about what happens when strangers suddenly get close. It creates relationships charged with awkwardness and possibility–for anger, for romance, for rearranging lives. We stitch these relatable moments into the surreal world of Tangle’s circus-theater, with a house made out of aerial silks and relationships that include the literal support of a trapeze duetarticle

Dance companies bring it down home for Fringe performances / Larry Nichols for Philadelphia Gay News, September 3, 2015. Tangle, a seven-woman circus company that uses aerial maneuvers in its performances, will stage “The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct,” which explores what it means to find home in the culturally diverse landscape of Philadelphia. “The show tells the story of two Philadelphia rowhouses, starting with a group of six roommates that have been housemates for many years. When a new neighbor moves in next door, some fights break out, some romance breaks out and some arguments about how to sort recycling happen. We were really interested in exploring the idea of being neighbors with people who have different customs or different assumptions about how to interact politely or organize a kitchen.”article

Tangle Movement Arts Tackles Romance, Conflict, Urban Space and Recycling in The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct / Sheena Howard for G Philly, September 1, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts is known for its edgy performances, sparking discussion around gender roles and challenging societal rules and expectations around love, relationships and identity. Patrons will walk away with a little lesson on recycling, too. … The performance delves into the politics of negotiating space, confronting domestic arrangements and sharing the urban space of a block.article

Tangle featured on the cover of Philadelphia Weekly

Tangle featured on the cover of Philadelphia Weekly

Will the Fringe Festival again be “the most amazingly transcendent stage performance ever?” / Stephen H. Segal for Philadelphia Weekly, September 1, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts’ “The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct,” a high-flying trapeze romance at Philadelphia Soundstages that blends circus-style acrobatics with a smart theatrical spin on next-door-neighbor social etiquette.article and cover story

A guide to sharing space / Grace Maiorano for Temple News, September 1, 2015. On stage, trapezes and lyras coexist with couches and recycling bins to portray the familiar confrontations that surface when a group of individuals reside under one roof. The story is comprised of assorted residential issues, like clashing personalities, budding romance and arguing over who should take out the trash.article

Welcome to the neighborhood: Tangle Movement Arts explores city living at Fringe Fest / Aubrey Nagel for Philly Voice, September 1, 2015. While not everyone has been a trapeze artist, many have had a lousy roommate… Tangle Movement Arts tells the story of six longtime housemates whose domestic bubble is burst by the sudden appearance of a new next-door neighbor. Conflicts and romances soon ensue and a delicate balance must be re-established. Physically as well as within the story, ‘Neighborly Conduct’ juxtaposes the learned clockwork of a bustling household with the calmness, and sometimes loneliness, of living alone.article

It’s Fringe Festival time — and here’s the theater I want to see / Howard Shapiro for, August 28, 2015. A new neighbor moves into the rowhouse next door, and six housemates vie for attention… with trapeze duets, among other circus moves. This show from Tangle Movement Arts mixes dance, theater and circus acts to consider how to behave in such a situation-– suspended rope, gymnast rings and all.article

A Flying Kite guide to the Fringe Festival / Alaina Mabaso for Flying Kite Media, August 27, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts is a company doing some really interesting work around town: This all-female circus/acrobat troupe devises performances built around the feminine and queer experience. They’re premiering The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct, which uses a “kinetic cityscape” of ropes and silks to fathom life’s unspoken rules and expectations.article

Crash course on the 2015 Fringe Festival / Julie Zeglen for the Fishtown Star, August 25, 2015. Tangle’s ac­robats build homes, re­cre­ate fam­ily, and give neigh­borly ad­vice in a new show mer­ging circus arts, dance, and theat­er.article

The Girl’s Guide to Neighborhood Conduct was also a Fringe pick with uwishunu.

Scratch-Night-Ermilio Scratching The Surface – Green Light for the 2015 Philly Fringe Festival / Gregory King for Philadelphia danceJournal, August 26, 2015. The aerial arts troupe of Tangle Movement Arts demonstrated their stunning aerial display of strength, creativity and imagination.article

FringeArts Scratch Night On August 24 Is Pretty Darn Queer / Bryan Buttler for G Philly, August 18, 2015. Come see a roster of Philly’s most talented artists perform new material from shows they are working on in this fast-paced sampling of contemporary theater, dance, performance art, and everything in between.article

Tangle’s Scratch Night performance at FringeArts was also an arts pick with the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine.

From Emily Cohen's slideshow of "Intersections" for

From Emily Cohen’s slideshow of “Intersections” for

Tangled up on cue, acrobats present performance in Clark Park as part of Philly series / Emily Cohen for, June 8, 2015. The crowd surrounded the simple apparatus, seated on blankets filled with friends, family, and dinner as the performers started their show. Disguised as shoppers from Clark Park’s popular farmers market, one by one the women of Tangle Movement Arts began their high flying routines. They drew “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd as they tangled with swings, silks and ropes.article and photos

Intersections: Free Circus-Theater / Philadelphia Weekly Arts Calendar, June 2, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts’ pop-up circus has its acrobats pose as ordinary park-goers before breaking out into performance, climbing ropes and swinging from trapezes. The show, “Intersections,” is a celebration of the chance meetings that happen in public spaces.article

Tangle Movement Arts to present new aerial show this Thursday in Clark Park / West Philly Local, May 28, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts, a West Philly-based acrobatics company known to many by their Tiny Circus performances at Go West! Craft Fest at The Woodlands and other venues, is bringing an all-new, free and family-friendly show, Intersections, to Clark Park on Thursday, June 4. Intersections celebrates the broad communities that gather in the park and the dynamics of daily life. The acrobats will be disguised as normal visitors to the Clark Park Farmers Market, from vegetable shoppers to playground-visiting children to commuters on their way home.article

Performance in Public Spaces / PhillyFunGuide editorial, May 21, 2015. Tangle’s acrobats climb ropes and swing from trapezes, disguised as ordinary vegetable shoppers, families at the playground, and commuters on their way home. “Intersections” celebrates Clark Park as a hub for the diverse communities of West Philadelphia, and explores the chance meetings that happen in our public spaces. article

Intersections was also highlighted as a weekend pick by WHYY’s Robin Bloom, Uwishunu, Phindie, and’s Things to Do.

Tangle's tinycircus on Philadelphia Weekly's instagram

Tangle’s tinycircus instagrammed by Philadelphia Weekly

Tangle’s Spring 2015 tinycircus was a weekend pick for the West Philly Local, PhillyVoice, and Philadelphia Weekly on Instagram.

What It Looks Like To Fall In Love On A Trapeze / Hannah Lorenzo for Philly Is Dancing, March 14, 2015. The trapeze was a tool to tell a charming love story, but the affection between the dancers is what emanated, and what caused some of the guests to leap up into a standing ovation at the end of this number. It was the most delightful love story I’ve ever seen danced. … I remain thoroughly intrigued by Tangle Movement Arts as an aerial dance troupe. They are original, bold and brave as a group, made up of strong, confident, enticing individuals.article

Climbing to New Heights of Feminism / Suzi Nash for Philadelphia Gay News, March 12, 2015. Though Tangle dazzles with its talented roster of women—flying high and showing feats of strength and agility—at heart, Tangle is about telling stories. “Tell It Slant tells several stories from a female and queer perspective, using the sideways language or ‘slant’ of aerial acrobatics. The show has everything from the intensely personal memoir of a woman trying to conceive, to a romance in which two women meet and fall in love 16 feet above the ground. One of my favorites is a high-energy piece that condenses all of the flirtation and drama of a West Philly dance house party into five minutes with six women on one rope!”article

Flying and Fleeting / Lynn Matluck Brooks for thINKingDANCE, March 17, 2015. The precarity of the movement, its slippages and awkward balances, and Nicolazzo’s investment in her performance made the trapeze a meaningful vehicle for the story the dance told. … The solo aerialists had more opportunity to show their blending of strength and flexibility, resulting in moments of arc, twirl, stretch, and inverted beauty that were lovely to behold, if fleeting.article

Instagram #micro-review / Philadelphia City Paper on Instagram, March 13, 2015. We checked out #TangleMovementArts new show “Tell it Slant” today, and it is an incredibly impressive performance.photograph

Weekend Roundup / Mel Stevens for Philadelphia Magazine, March 13, 2015. Nine female aerial artists paint a story about friendship and the drama that comes with it.article

Tell It Slant in Metro PhiladelphiaThings to do in Philly / Matthew Dinaro for Metro Philly, March 11, 2015. “Seven women dance up and down a rope at a crowded party packed with friendship and drama.” So begins the teaser for the Tangle Movement Arts’ latest show, a hybrid of theater and acrobatics they term “aerial cabaret.” The title comes from Emily Dickinson’s advice, “Tell all the truth, but tell it slant,” or in this case, on a trapeze—same basic idea.article

West Philly circus artists explore female relationships from the trapeze / Nicole Contosta for the Weekly Press, March 11, 2015. Like Dickinson’s poem, Tangle’s sidewise language of circus takes a distinctive approach to story telling.article

Philadelphia Weekly Arts Calendar / March 10, 2015. Spinning tales of female strength and relationships, Tell It Slant combines circus acrobatics with theater and dance for a feminist cabaret staged in the air. During the performance, dancers move up and down ropes and engage in free-floating duets, all while suspended by silks high above the audience.article

‘Tell It Slant’ combines circus with theater / Aubrey Nagle for PhillyVoice, March 9, 2015. “Tell It Slant” is a feminist cabaret which explores the themes of female strength, identity and friendship, with its many mutations. Certainly a subject as complex as femininity requires particularly dextrous storytelling.article

‘Tell It Slant’ with innovative aerial stories / Gregory King for Broad Street Review, March 9, 2015. “From a moving memoir of a woman struggling to become pregnant to a lighthearted romance, the stories explored in this production are part biographical, part fictitious, and part historical,” Smith says. Ranging from deeply emotional to lighthearted, these stories will be told using the exciting vehicle of aerial acrobatics and dance theatre.article

Tangle’s Tell It Slant Blends Aerial Acrobatics With Theater / Deni Kasrel for Uwishunu, March 9, 2014. The acts are daring and dramatic. Scenarios include seven women dancing up and down a rope at a crowded party, two friends tossing each other into the air, and a scorned woman who goes on a wild trapeze ride to exact revenge on the world.article

Tell It Slant will Explore Relationships Between Women (15 Feet in the Air!) / Hannah Lorenzo for Philly Is Dancing, March 8, 2015. The union of these diverse artists has produced a unique performance that is rich in circus arts and dance theater, and brings elements of gymnastics and ballet to the stage as well. Tell It Slant promises to be a one-of-a-kind performance, packed with talent, creativity, ambition and emotion.article

No Elephants in This Circus: Lauren Rile Smith talks about Tangle Movement Arts’ circus-theater cabaret TELL IT SLANT / Christopher Munden for Phindie, March 6, 2015. “TELL IT SLANT is a mosaic of human stories told in the surreal, sideways language of aerial acrobatics, ranging from very personal memoirs to broader portraits of our communities. One vignette uses six high-energy aerial dances performed simultaneously to dramatize the urban experience of of people whose lives run in parallel, with only rare moments of intersection.”article

Tangle presents all-new aerial dance: Tell It Slant / Steven Weisz for the DanceJournal, February 24, 2015. In Tell It Slant, a dreamer finds herself in an intimate duet with aerial silks and two best friends toss each other into the air. Guest artists Megan Gendell and Lauren Feldman, internationally performing duo trapeze artists from the celebrated New England Center for Circus Arts, debut a dramatic new act which explores trust and freedom between two people in dynamic motion. Artist Julia Wilson’s fiber art sculptures transform the theater of Christ Church Neighborhood House.article

Tell It Slant was also highlighted as an arts/culture pick with The Philadelphia Inquirer,,, Philadelphia News, and G Philly.

Nice and Fresh gains popularity in Northwest Philly / Alania Mabaso for, February 3, 2015. Tangle Movement Arts presented two pieces: “Unwind/Rewind” and “Touch”. They included strong, sensuous and contemplative movement in dance and various aerial arts from the three daring and accomplished acrobats.article

Tangle’s performance with Nice & Fresh was also highlighted as a weekend pick by Philadelphia City Paper, Phindie, and

"Loop" photographed by Philly Is Dancing

“Loop” photographed by Alberto Lorenzo and Philly Is Dancing

See Tangle Movement Arts’ “LOOP” this weekend in Philly! / Hannah Lorenzo for Philly Is Dancing, September 18, 2014. “While the word “trapeze” might bring to mind the traveling circus, this is no circus act. LOOP goes far beyond aerial tricks and vertical entertainment; it tells a story and evokes emotion, exploring decision, indecision, wandering, and belonging. You’ll find yourself smiling, engaging and empathizing with the dancers as they journey through the choreography.”article

Weekly Entertainment Guide / Robin Bloom for, September 17, 2014. “Trapeze, aerial rope maneuvers, and partner acrobatics are used to tell the stories of several women. The complex movements through rope, net, and air represent the connections with others that may empower or constrain while making a difficult choice, as the performers are supported, raised up, held back, or left hanging.”article

Swat alum flies high / Anna Mischel for the Phoenix, September 18, 2014. “Imagine eight women swinging from ropes, flying from silk to silk, weaving in and out, suspending in midair, then spiraling back down, defying gravity and captivating you with the sheer power of their movement. … The story gracefully manifests itself through the women’s ability to knot and unknot themselves from the entanglement of ropes and swings.”article

Tangle rehearsing "Loop." Photo by Jenny Kerrigan and the Temple News.

“Loop” in rehearsal, photographed by Jenny Kerrigan and the Temple News.

Artists take to the aerial bar for dance / Stephanie Rocha and Emily Rolen for the Temple News, September 16, 2014. “Loop,” Tangle’s newest show, reveals the importance of community and diversity among women. The show emphasizes those feminine relationships and follows two separate storylines of women chasing independence and personal growth. Rile Smith said each woman in Loop brings her own personality to the aerial bar. article

Hill native gets high in Tangle at Fringe Festival / Len Lear for Chestnut Hill Local, September 11, 2014. “A solitary wanderer is confronted by strangers before she can escape to her next high-flying adventure. In a parallel world, a close-knit trio of entertainers relies on each other to move in unison through the air until one suddenly quits, tired of living life in perfect sync. Tangle’s innovative aerial storytelling is staged among sculptural set pieces by artist Julia Wilson. Her woven set pieces are inspired by old-growth forests, the tensile strength of rope, and geometric patterns.”article

Tangle in Inquirer17Days: Regional art picks / Michael Harrington for the Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 2014. “The all-female acrobatic troupe Tangle Movement Arts performs its aerial dance piece Loop in a Neighborhood Fringe show at Philadelphia Soundstages.”article

Gay Guide to the 2014 FringeArts Festival Josh Middleton for G Philly, September 5, 2014. “Pluck one strand of a web, and the whole net reverberates, transforming lives and reshaping connections. In this dynamic circus-theater show, Philly queer circus theater Tangle’s acrobats swing, climb, and weave through suspended loops and strands of rope to embrace—and sometimes to escape—the knots of human relationships.” article

The fringiest of the Philly Fringe Festival / Howard Shapiro for, September 3, 2014. “The eight women of the locally-based aerial dance company called Tangle Movement Arts get tangled, literally, through suspended loops of rope, in what they say is their way of exploring human relationships.”article

Your guide to Neighborhood Fringe Festival performances / Allie Volpe for, September 2, 2014. “Circus-theater comes to life at Philadelphia Soundstages (1600 N. 5th St.) during Tangle Movement Arts’ interdisciplinary performance ‘Loop.’ A story of human relationships is told through dance, theater and acrobatics.”article

Merilyn Jackson’s FringeArts Picks / Merilyn Jackson for the DanceJournal, September 1, 2014. “Flying females! Tangle has been unhinging at the Fringe since 2011. With the world premiere of Loop, they hope to keep you in theirs.”article

Aerial dance and acrobatics in Philly FringeArts / Steven Weisz for the DanceJournal, August 26, 2014. “Loop explores the choice to grab hold of–or give up on– community,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “Connections with other people both empower and constrain you when you’re making a choice–in ways that aren’t always obvious. We wanted to use aerial dance and acrobatic partnering to explore that dynamic. The women in these stories are literally supported, raised up, held back–or left hanging.”article

Lew’s Picks for FringeArts 2014 / Lew Whittington for the DanceJournal, August 19, 2014. “The women’s collective Tangle has continues to stake its air space in Philly with Loop, Tangle Movement Arts’ over, under, sideways, down perspectives on what they call ‘knots of relationships.’ Don’t look down!”article

Our Guide to the Fringe Festival Rachel Garman for Campus Philly, August 1, 2014. “Loop” examines human connections through the movements of suspended performance. Pairing the delight and wonder of the circus with the narrative of theater, this performance is sure to inspire.article

Tangle’s 2014 FringeArts performance Loop was also a Fringe Pick with the West Philly Local, Phillesbian, and

Tinder & Ash and Tangle Movement Arts / Brian Schaefer for the New York Times, July 31, 2014. “The Hot! Festival, which has been exploring LGBT themes, identity and sexuality for the past month, concludes with two ensembles that use traditional circus arts to grapple with social and interpersonal dynamics. Tinder & Ash employs trapeze and handstands to dissect vulnerability and interdependence while Tangle Movement Arts turns a series of hanging loops into a stand-in for examining precarious relationships.”article

Flying High: Body Movement as Art / Sheryl Kay for Curve Magazine, July 23, 2014. “With acrobat swings, climbs, and weaves through suspended loops and strands of rope, the artists will perform ‘Loop’, a mesmerizing show that explores repetition and difference, unexpected doppelgangers, relationships between strong women, the ties that bind, and choices that may change in an instant.”article

Weekly Entertainment Guide / Robin Bloom for WHYY/Newsworks, May 31, 2014. “Art imitates life in Tangle Movement Arts’ Passages…. The West Philly based acrobatic urban circus theater company celebrates the diverse lives of people passing through 30th Street Station and explores the dynamics of daily life in the city as the all-female ensemble of aerial acrobats climbs ropes and swings from trapezes to live music in character as commuters, tourists, people-watchers, and errand-runners.”article

Things To Do Philly / Allie Volpe for, May 31, 2014. “For an acrobatic treat: [In] Tangle Movement Arts’ “Passages”, performers will dress up like commuters and tourists at the station who climb ropes and trapezes.”article

Tangle Movement Arts: Feminism in Action Greta Iverson produced a brief documentary about Tangle’s Timelines. Watch at her site or below:

Tangle Movement Arts explores fantasies and fears of time in new full-length show / Naila Francis for The Intelligencer, April 2, 2014. The gesture is one of the briefest elegance. With her feet still on the floor, Lee Ane Thompson leans into the length of silk, arms arching with a fleeting delicacy above her head. Then, in almost an instant, she is upside down, pulling her body weight up and over the fabric before she stretches into an inversion, one knee bent, then comes to rest, with her legs crossed, in the vee of her aerial hammock.article, slideshow, and video (also below)


Tangle Movement Arts Brings New Circus Arts Show to Christ Church / Josh McIlvain for the FringeArts blog, March 31, 2014. Timeline’s big finale is a love letter to science-fiction tropes. In creating it, we talked a lot about movement styles for different people and times: if the 1950s secretaries have very purposeful, direct gestures, maybe the people of the future are fluid and indirect by contrast, and they would consider, for example, a handshake to be the height of rudeness. We got to explore a lot of swinging, spinning, sliding movements for the people of the future, including my personal favorite, a brand-new aerial apparatus made of multiple loops suspended from the ceiling.interview

Aerial performance group explores time travel in new show / Larry Nichols for Philadelphia Gay News, March 28, 2014. “The highlight of our show is a queer time-travel fantasy about a 1950s secretary who daydreams of the distant future,” Smith said. “She ends up escaping to the future where people connect in radically different ways… We’re putting a diversity of gender presentations, relationships, sizes and shapes on stage in a way that is sometimes unusual for dance or theater.”article

TangleCityPaperSpring concerts, festivals and events that shouldn’t be missed / Julie Zeglen for Philadelphia City Paper, March 27, 2014. Check out Tangle on the cover of the Spring Preview issue! Be sure to catch aerial circus artists Tangle Movement Arts’ (hey, they’re on the cover!) gravity-defying “Timelines.”article

Weekly Entertainment Guide / Robin Bloom for WHYY/, March 28, 2014. For one weekend only Tangle Movement Arts presents their new full-length dance, acrobatics, and circus arts show “Timelines” at the Christ Church Neighborhood House. Suspended in time, swinging from a pendulum, and rising into the air, the all-female, nine member troupe brings past, present, and future to life in vertical and horizontal space.article

Tangle in rehearsal, photo by Michael ErmilioRehearsal Photo / Josh McIlvain for the FringeArts blog. One in a series of behind-the-scenes photographs from Philadelphia dance and theater works. March 18, 2013, Funicular Station: Caitlin Donaghy and Lee Ane Thompson at early rehearsal for Timelines (Tangle Movement Arts).photo

Tangle Movement Arts, An Aerial Performance Group, Presents Its Latest Full-Length Show / Jillian Wilson for uwishunu, March 25, 2014. The unique show is set to wow audiences from Thursday, April 3 to Saturday, April 5 with sky-high aerial trapeze and acrobatics paired with theater, spoken word and dance.article

Philly Queer Media marries arts and activism / Shaun Brady for Metro Philadelphia, March 13 2014. “All of these artists, activists and scholars use the stage in different ways,” says founder and director Cathy Hannabach, “but are all interested in the way that live performance can be used to interrogate gender, sexuality, racial and class politics.” This year’s series includes a circus performance by Tangle Movement Arts.article

7 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week / Josh Middleton for G Philly, March 18 2014. The long-awaited, long-running Philly Queer Media Activism series kicks off this week in venues across Philadelphia. Events to look out for throughout the run: Tangle Movement Arts’ nine-woman queer circus “Timelines,” a work that “emphasizes female strength and queer visibility” through a “a highly kinetic meditation on female bodies in time.”article

Spring Arts Preview: A dozen dances for spring / Merilyn Jackson for The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 24 2014. Philadelphia is uniquely placed on the American dance scene because of the sheer quantity and quality of our local dance companies. Here’s an even dozen, and I’m betting they all come up roses…. Timelines is a kinetic meditation on female bodies in time.article

Timelines was also highlighted as an arts/culture pick by WXPN’s The KeyUwishunu, West Philly Local, G Philly, and Philly PR Girl.

Spring Arts Preview: tinycircus at Go West! Craft Fest / Julia West for Metro Philadelphia, March 13 2014. We love a good West Philly-style craft fair that takes place in a giant cemetery. Unlike other fests, here you’ll find acrobats– in addition to all the handmade and vintage wares, local food and live music.article

Tonight I watch a mantis-limbed woman… / Patricia Graham for thINKingDANCE, Sept. 6 2013. The aerial work lends itself to imagery and weightlessness beyond the reach of earthbound dancers…. After rising to the swing, she pauses for a moment, then gestures with one foot–the type of gesture we are accustomed to seeing a dancer, not a trapeze artist, perform. Working on the trapeze, she projects a lucid understanding of how the aerial and dance theater worlds exist seamlessly. It is enjoyable to see Tangle take on the challenge of interdisciplinary work, with their strong sense of self and community…. Tangle creates new worlds of relationships through their experimental work.article

On the Fringe: Tangle’s Break/Drift/Resist / Julie Zeglen for Philadelphia City Paper, Sept. 7 2013. It reminded of Cirque de Soleil, but on a relatable level; these artists aren’t fantastical (other than in their upper body strength) or elaborately costumed, but storytellers of everyday scenes. Their mode of storytelling just so happens to involve propelling themselves through the air via only their own momentum on a rope or twirling down a stretch of cloth while sustaining their entire body weight with one ankle wrapped loosely above like it’s no big deal. … No matter the speed of the spins and falls, though, the artists managed to come across as graceful and deliberate in their actions.article

Philadelphia Fringe Festival Picks / Andrew Clark for Edge Philadelphia, Sept. 10 2013. I was in luck when I attended the thrilling “Break/Drift/Resist” by Tangle Movement Arts. The all-woman interdisciplinary troupe use ropes and props to create dramatic interactions amongst them. […] Even when overwhelming, the aerial dance routines that this company has created for this show were stunning and truly something that you would be hard pressed to find in Philadelphia at any other time other than the Fringe Festival.article

Social Acrobatics Turn Physical in Tangle’s Break/Drift/Resist / Interview with Maya Beale for the FringeArts Blog, Sept. 4 2013. “For this show, we put together aerial equipment in innovative ways, to generate new types of movement. Our stage of circus equipment is a novel, surreal landscape aiming to mirror the interactions of everyday life, a dense forest of trapeze and ropes for our characters to navigate. At times the aerial equipment is an obstacle to fight past, and at other times it is the path to traverse.”article

Dance, Dance, Otherwise We Are Lost / Preview rehearsal reviewed by Bryan Buttler for PhillyGayCalendar, Sept. 3 2013. Of note was a silks routine performed by a member of the troupe where she weaved herself into a dreamcatcher-like shape. There was a clear and palpable tenderness and respect amongst the all-female troupe as they moved through challenging rope routines and choreography. The performance can best be summarized by another quote from Pina Bausch: “To understand what I am saying, you have to believe that dance is something other than technique. We forget where the movements come from. They are born from life.”article

Out performers push the envelope for Philly Fringe / Larry Nichols for the Philadelphia Gay News, Sept. 5 2013. “I think that the element of risk definitely lends an extra dimension for the audience in our performances, and we play with that element of suspense. That sense of having ventured into an unknown space will resonate with audience members on an emotional level, we hope,” said Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “We’re telling a story about people going out on a limb in their own lives.”article

Tangle Movement Arts offers twist on conflict / Joseph Myers for the South Philly Review, Sept. 5 2013. “We always look to touch on elements of human interaction and are building around conflict as this show’s theme,” said Deena Weisberg. “I’m something of an antagonistic presence. I try to impede the action and help patrons to see the ripple effects of community interaction.”article

FringeArts Picks from Edge Philadelphia / Lewis Whittington for Edge Philadelphia, Sept. 6 2013. Unexpected visual elements and fearless personal narrative fuel the troupe’s aerial choreography.article

Tangle’s 2013 FringeArts performance Break/Drift/Resist was also a Fringe Pick with Newsworks,’s Art Attack, Phillesbian, and G Philly.

PR Radio Station Theater Reviews / T.S. Hawkins for The PR Review, May 17 2013. Mesmerizing to the core, Invert! highlights female empowerment one twist and turn after another. [Tangle] lures the audience with intricate shapes and emotional authenticity… Missing Invert! is missing out on groundbreaking arts and culture.article

Flips, kicks, and gender bending / Julia West for Metro Philadelphia, May 13 2013. For those who believe circus arts to be just a bunch of spinning and dangling from ropes, your expectations will not only be “upended,” as Smith says, they will be shattered.article

Invert!, feminist-inspired circus and aerial arts show at the Rotunda May 16-18 / Annamarya Scaccia for West Philly Local, May 13 2013. West Philly’s Tangle Movement Arts is back with an all-new, full-length aerial dance show, Invert!, that’s sure to excite and inspire.article

Doing The Invert: Tangle Movement Arts Brings Their Style Of Circus To The Rotunda / Josh McIlvain for the FringeArts blog, May 9 2013. Tangle Movement Arts has been creating a distinctive brand of circus-dance-theater for the past few years now, and from May 16 to 18, they will be taking over The Sanctuary at the Rotunda with their new show Invert!interview

tinycircus at Go West! / West Philly Local, Sept. 30 2012. Tangle Movement Arts was back with their “tinycircus” at the Go West! Craft Fest yesterday at The Woodlands Cemetery. This saucy performance on the silks was a particular hit with the kids in attendance.article and photos

Critical Mass: You Don’t Say / Samantha Melamed for Philadelphia City Paper, Sept. 15, 2012. If Hazel should invite you to her next dinner party, you may want to pass. There’s a lot of tension, ex-girlfriend drama and hurt feelings — plus everyone else will be way better than you at aerial acrobatics. Tangle cleverly interweaves this silent drama with feats of flexibility, strength and skill performed on trapeze, rope, aerial silk and other props. Aside from the sheer terror/awe of watching the pregnant Deena Weisberg take gracefully to the trapeze and self-mocking girls-at-a-dinner-party sound pieces, the fun is watching relationships resolve (and then dissolve) as the women swing through the air and then, often as not, leave one another hanging.article

“You Don’t Say!”: Rile Smith ’08 Takes Circus Arts to Philly Fringe / Cecilia Paasche for the Swarthmore Daily Gazette, Sept. 13, 2012. Tangle’s innovative approach allows eight women, each with her own unique background, shape, size, and personality to perform a narrative with movement, dance, and aerial acrobatics that are as raw as they are beautiful. Part circus, part dance, and part theatrics, the company blurs the lines dividing traditional performance genres to create an interdisciplinary hybrid with its own movement vocabulary.article and interview

Five Live Arts-Fringe Shows That Will Move You / Bonnie MacAllister for Flying Kite Media, Sept. 5, 2012. Surrealism is on the menu as seven women gather for a dinner party through aerial acrobatics, unique since one of the acrobats is seven months pregnant. Chairs and tables become animated in the air through an elevated dialogue of flirting and friendly angst. … This company tells a story in silks and syllables, giving new meaning to rising action.article

LGBT artists and themes abound in Philly Fringe / Larry Nichols for the Philadelphia Gay News, Sept. 6, 2012. “We started out knowing that we wanted this to be about a network of human relationships, and that we wanted to do aerial choreography that included a lot of duet and partner work and weight-sharing, exploring the intimacy and trust of getting into somebody else’s hands and allowing them to suspend you in the air,” Smith said.article

Tangle’s You Don’t Say brings vertical dance and drama to 2012 Fringe Festival / Steven Weisz for Philadelphia danceJournal, Aug. 4, 2012. “We’re really proud of You Don’t Say’s innovative mix of dance, theater, and aerial acrobatics– a contemporary circus style that’s perfect for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “Our show is about the energy and connections between a group of female friends. It’s exciting to showcase female strength and relationships with the literal, physical support we provide one another as aerial acrobats.”article

You Don’t Say was also a Philly Fringe Pick for The Philadelphia Inquirer, uwishunu, and The Phoenix.

Art sustains an Elkins Park jewel / Karen Rile for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jul. 22, 2012. Tangle’s new work has been influenced by the estate’s architectural and domestic setting. During the demo, Sarah Nicolazzo dances midair on a trapeze with a wooden dining room chair. A humble coffee table becomes a vehicle for handstands in an ensemble segment. In an acrobatic routine using aerial rope, Sarah ascends toward the ceiling fresco, twists, and is suddenly upside down. Then she drops precipitously, only to be caught midair by the rope. A toddler in the audience roars in astonished joy, and the audience bursts into applause.articlepdf

Tangle’s circus-theater meets science fiction in Half-life / Steven Weisz for Philadelphia danceJournal, May 15, 2012. “We are motivated to push the boundaries of what you expect to see in a circus show,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “We named this new work Half-life in reference to the decay of radioactive matter. We wanted to explore what happens when established structures—buildings, mechanical bodies, even a network of friendships among people—break down over time, and what new life can emerge from the ruins. In this show, we travel into the apocalypse—and survive!” article

TinyCircus not a sign of the forthcoming clownpocalypse / Leah Etling for RentCafe Philadelphia, April 2012. Tangle Movement Arts provides the talent— they do lots of cool Cirque du Soleil kinda stuff and they do it very well. … It’s fun, informal, hip, and you get to look at young, attractive, exceptionally flexible people doing their things.article

"Half-life" photographed by Bill Hebert

“Half-life” photographed by Bill Hebert

An “Open House” for Up-and-Comers / Peter Price for thINKingDANCE, Jan. 17, 2012. The show ended with Tangle Movement Arts’ crowd pleasing Half-life, a display of aerial skills created collaboratively by Tangle’s cast of eight.articlepdf

The Critical Circus / Karen Rile for the Penn Gazette, Jan./Feb. 2012. It’s an anti-striptease, a circus act that subverts the visual tradition of women’s bodies in burlesque. … “Acrobatics is a radical way to feel free and strong in your own body; we want everyone to know they have that chance,” says Smith, whose goal is to entertain and educate.articlepdf

Woodshop Films produced a brief documentary about our 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festival show, Ampersand, as part of their Art Phag (Art in Philadelphia) series:

Tangle acrobats mix realism and whimsy with “Ampersand” / Lewis Whittington for EDGE Philadelphia, September 2011. Tangle explores role diversity and gender identity as part of their choreographic template. … The troupe also uses humor, live music, and text to make it more than feats of daring.articlepdf

ON THE FRINGE: Ampersand / Meg Augustin for Philadelphia City Paper, September 2011. Tangle’s Ampersand is more than just a trapeze act. These women are acrobats, actresses, mimes, songstresses and directors — all bringing a separate story to the stage, stories set to a fantastic soundtrack…. There is a wisdom and elegance here, showing us that circus arts are much more than girls on ponies.article

Ampersand blends circus with story / Amanda Rossetti for The Temple News, September 2011. Ampersand weaves traditional circus moves with a strong narrative. … “For me, aerials are about strangeness and impossibility,” said Sarah Nicolazzo, a Tangle founding member. “I think there’s something really utopian about an art that’s all about pushing the boundaries of what bodies naturally do, how they move, how they relate to gravity and each other.”article

Ampersand swings at Philly Fringe / Nathan Lerner for Montgomery News, September 2011. Tangle’s innovative piece involves an amalgam of traditional circus arts, such as trapeze, acrobatics and aerial rope, with narrative concerning the themes of memory and belonging in an urban milieu. … Smith recalled, “I chose the name ‘Tangle’ for our acrobatic performance company because we are all about the possibilities that arise when things get complicated.”articlepdf

One ring and a tree: The tiny circus at Clark Park / West Philly Local, August 2011. The tiny circus came to Clark Park this morning. Performers from the movement arts group Tangle strung a trapeze, hoop and long pieces of fabric called “silks” from a large tree between the bowl and playground and entertained dozens of people young and old.articlepdf