Jaw-Dropping Feats of Acrobatics

​Read this review of the 2018 Moisture Festival by New Guard member, Anya S.!


The first thing I noticed upon my arrival to the Moisture Festival at Hale’s Palladium was the long line that wound out the door. I knew the show was “family-friendly” (I was at a matinee, after all), but had interpreted the term more loosely, in a there-may-be-swearing-bring-kids-at-your-own-risk sort of way. But the number of young kids in line with their parents surprised me.

Once inside, I chose a seat in the middle left, behind a couple that was easily over six feet (if you’re short like me and want to get good seats, make sure to get there early, as the front fills up quickly), and watched all the little children swarm to the best seats in the house−the area right in front of the stage−where they could see everything.

That message of “kids are our main audience” seemed to be repeated throughout the show. A couple of the acts drew on childish humor, since this was a matinee, though I’m guessing the acts and performers would be more teen and adult focused during the night show. However, this meant that even though the performances were, as a whole, funny, some of the jokes fell flat or were only well-received by the kids. This was quickly remedied by the jaw-dropping feats of acrobatics and graceful aerial stunts, acts that appealed to everyone, no matter the age.

Since there were so many amazing performances, I’m just going to touch on my favorites (in order of appearance):

Bill Robison: Although this was one of the acts that was child-oriented, it was so adorable that you had to love it. Where else in Seattle could you see a man who could speak about “Stunt Teddy”−a stuffed bear who performed death-defying feats, such as being shot out of a cannon−and its abilities with a straight face? Robison was completely serious about Stunt Teddy’s ability to deliver, and deliver it did, to the delight of the entire audience. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a teddy bear escape from a padlock and chain in under a minute.

Godfrey Daniels: Daniels’ act centered around the “magic” he did with a balloon--such as throwing it up in the air; running backstage, through the audience, and back up to the stage; and then catching the balloon before it hit the ground. Although my words don’t do this act justice, it was easily one of the best in the show. Daniels’ act will continue to appear until the festival’s end, so, if you can, make sure to snag tickets on a day that he’s performing!

Brittany Walsh: Walsh, or “AcroBritt”, as she is known onstage, has set a world record in acrobatic archery, and was probably one of the more famous performers in the show. While balancing on her hands on two small wood blocks raised about three feet in the air, she contorted herself into insanely difficult positions, many of which did not seem humanly possible. Her act culminated in her shooting a bow at a target−seems pretty normal, right? Except she did it with her feet. While balancing on her hands. And upside down.

Famiglia Gentile: A whole family of acrobats, they premiered a new act where the parents lay on their backs and lifted the kids on their feet, where the children flipped, spun, and generally had a blast. The best part, acrobatically, was when the kids were thrown from their fathers’ feet to their mothers’, but, emotionally, it was when the two-year-old, the baby of the family, joined the family onstage and the audience’s hearts collectively melted.

When the emcee announced it was time for the last act, there was a collective groan of, “Nooooo” from kids and adults alike−a groan I found myself joining in on. The acts and festival were amazing, and I saw so many exceptional performers−far too many to all list here. Additionally, the best aspect of the show is its rotating cast of performers and acts, which allows you to never see the same show twice. I’ll definitely be going again (this time to a later show) and hope to be as wowed as I was the first time.

All photos by Cornicello Photography

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