â€œThe AntiGravity Experience is a journey for me and for anyone willing to join in. Along the way, I have had the good fortune to make some exciting discoveries and inventions, which I love sharing.â€
- Christopher Harrison, Founder, AntiGravity
ANTIGRAVITYÂ® PERFORMANCE COMPANY: When Christopher Harrison founded AntiGravity in 1991, it was as America's First Gymnastics/Dance Performance Company, providing a place for champion gymnasts to go after competition. Their movement style was all about jumping up and flipping to defy gravity. They explored every means possible utilizing trampolines, vaulting boards and springy shoes.
The ANTIGRAVITYÂ® BOOTS TEAM: In 1998 Harrison discovered a new, unknown invention created by a German inventor named Wolfgang Bock called Powerskips. Together they worked to re-design his great invention for a new use, flipping. The AntiGravity Boots Team required high-level gymnastics specialists to execute safely, the team quickly became part of pop culture. The movement vocabulary Harrison created was all jumping and flipping. Wolfgang invented the device, he invented the use. In the mid nineties while playing within the boundaries where gravity and antigravity converge Harrison discovered that they could utilize suspension to fly higher.
THE HARRISON ANTIGRAVITYÂ® HAMMOCK: After traveling to the tropics for a performance with Team AntiGravity Harrison was inspired by a gazebo of eight hammocks. He and his team began playing on them, exploring movement. Two months later, they were rehearsing at the Metropolitan Opera House as acrobats for Franco Zeferilliâ€™s production of Turandot. In an adjoining theatrical production at Lincoln Center a piece of fabric was being used like a rope to climb; a soft Spanish Web of sorts and Harrison was captivated. Inspired, he bought a piece of fabric to hang in at the gym to try it out. Harrison and his fellow Team AntiGravity athletes were not aerialists at that time and didnâ€™t know the first thing about climbing. The fabric they bought was all-wrong. After a challenging hour or so of trying to figure out how to climb it rope style, Harrison recalled the tropical playtime experience on the gazebo and rigged the other end to the top to form a hammock. He jumped up into it and got the visceral physicist inside him to start experimenting. Enveloped inside, Harrison immediately felt at home and within moments a movement vocabulary emerged; the Harrison AntiGravity Hammock was born and the roots of a new aerial art form and aerial yoga were planted. The year was 1999. Initially he created moves that took place high up in the air looped off of one point. He had the company immediately incorporate it successfully into their shows. The apparatus and the movement vocabulary continued to grow and expand with many incarnations. Harrison discovered that the apparatus allowed people to move freely in all directions of space, including upside down and that the benefits of this were immense. It allowed Team AntiGravity to heal their backs from compression tweaks. He put one in his home off of two points and began adapting moves that used both the hammock and the floor. Moves from yoga, pilates and calesthenics enhanced the aerial art moves. By lowering it to the same height as a gymnastics uneven bar and a ballet-barre he was able to incorporate many more elements. The benefits his own body were so great that Harrison decided to introduce the two-point, lower version as a company warm-up at his new training and rehearsal studio, The AntiGravity Skyloft in Midtown Manhattan. Inspired by the new foray into the air, Harrison purchased motors and pulleys and began designing other original apparatus for their studio. AntiGravity expanded to become Americaâ€™s Premier Aerial Performance Company as they literally found new wings. It was there that Harrison invented a dancing bungee system, the aerial chandelier, the aerial cube and other devices for the body to navigate through the air --- and, together with his team, the movement vocabularies for them.
ANTIGRAVITYÂ® FITNESS & THE BIRTH OF A GENRE: Great ideas easily gather momentum. With the notoriety of our performances AntiGravityâ€™s wings grew and everyone wanted to join in the fun. Some Team AntiGravity performers as well as people who auditioned for his company began utilizing the techniques Harrison had developed as aerial trainers around the city and Harrison was getting pressure to expand it beyond The AntiGravity Skyloft Rehearsal space. Before Harrison chose to share it with the public he codified all the moves and modified the apparatus yet again in order to make certain the technique was safe and accessible to a wide population. He took inventory of the moves as a hybrid form and determined that yoga was the best way to share this with the most people. Harrison's yoga practice of eleven years informed the class format and gave him the ability to include healing philosophy within it. He had the AntiGravity Yoga program approved by AFAA, the governing body for physical fitness in the U.S. and launched it for the public in 2007 through an international fitness chain. The Suspension Fitness and Aerial Yoga Genres were born. As a Broadway Aerial Designer who developed safety standards for aerial arts on the Broadway stage and as the person to introduce the first approved aerial yoga technique to the world, Harrison's safety record is impeccable. AntiGravity is respected worldwide in both the Entertainment and Fitness sectors. He takes pride in this and in anyone who is inspired enough by his work to enter into this exciting new genre. As the Founder of Aerial Yoga and Suspension Fitness Christopher Harrison is proud to proclaim that Love is in the Air and the sky is the limit!