Michelle Loewenstein
2 minute read
1 Mar 2014
12:00 pm

On the fly

Michelle Loewenstein

The pair glide perfectly in sync above the crowd.

REHEARSING: Aerial straps artists Martin Alvez and Beth Williams perfect their skills.
Pictures: Tracy Lee Stark.

Their act is mesmerising, and the audience seems spellbound by the love story they tell through their intricate and graceful movements.

Aerial straps artists Martin Alvez and Beth Williams make their performance look effortless, but behind the beauty of their display is a lot of hard work. The pair usually gets up at about 10am and then they spend a few hours in the gym. Sleeping until 10am may sound like a luxury, but they are currently part of the Madame Zingara After Forever Tour. The show usually ends after midnight, and they are also required to rehearse every day.

“We do a bit of cardio. I then do flexibility training, while Martin focuses on strength training,” Williams says of their daily workout routine.

Brazilian-born Alvez started gymnastics when he was seven years old. He trained and won awards in various disciplines of the sport before deciding to dedicate himself to circus art and aerial straps. Williams, who is from the UK, is a ballet dancer who then earned acclaim as an acrobatic pole dancer. This led to an interest in other aerial art forms, and she then trained as an aerial artist.

In order to keep their bodies in optimum shape for the show, both performers have to follow a high protein diet.

“I avoid fried foods and junk food. Depending on what country we go to, it’s often difficult to find healthy food shops,” says Alvez.

“I also try to drink a lot of water.”

For Williams, this is a bit more tricky as she is a vegetarian.

“It’s a bit hard. But I supplement that part of my diet with protein shakes,” Williams says.

When asked what advice they’d give to the average person about fitness, both agree that finding something that doesn’t feel like hard slog is the key to staying motivated.

“Find something that you find fun and that you enjoy. There are so many options out there that you’re sure to find that,” says Alvez.