Theater and Dance graduates of IUP wind up in interesting careers, and Beth “Contessa” Hinderliter (IUP Theater ’02) has built a career of cirque performance, especially aerial silk work, over the past decade. Hinderliter shared her talents with theater and dance students in a master class over the weekend of January 31 and February 1, 2014, in Waller Hall’s main theater space.
Above: Guest artist Beth “Contessa” Hinderliter (IUP Theater ’02) coaching
theater major Lyssie Garrison in the performance of aerial silks cirque
Hinderliter, who goes by the professional name “Contessa” remarked, “It wasn't until after I graduated and got out into the world that I realized what great facilities I had at IUP.” She works in the New York area, and her principal rehearsal and training space is a small fraction of the space available in IUP’s Performing Arts Center.
Contessa has traveled all over the world as a cirque performer, and says that every day she uses what she learned in her broad and intensive degree. She says that she learned a lot about being creative and applying a rigorous work ethic. This weekend, she is giving our students a rigorous workout of their own, and new tools to put in their personal performer’s “tool box.”
“Of course it takes years of practice to really develop and use these techniques,” Contessa said, “and I hope some of these students get a spark lit from my master class, and decide this is worth pursuing.”
Department of Theater and Dance