BINGO – SPORTSBALL
Dara Minkin has set out to try and do the impossible: write a book instructing in some of the basic shapes, wraps, and transitions in aerial acrobatics. How do you take a physical movements and describe them in a book? Minkin does what she can and finds a great deal of success in Proximal. Minkin has broken down a series of movements and skills in a progression from beginner to more advanced with the hopes that the reader will be able to understand the theory behind aerial arts (specifically fabric apparatuses) to know exactly what is happening in the air rather than simply memorize a series of moves.
The photographs that Minkin has included are helpful. There are enough stills of her flowing through each progression that the written instructions become clearer. There aren’t so many, that I had to flip through multiple pages for one sequence. The language (if you take the time to really read and internalize the introduction chapter) is clear and detailed. There is some very technical language that is used through out, but the introduction and appendix are helpful in explaining most of what would be considered new vocabulary.
Where Proximal falters in is its organization. Most of the pages in nearly every chapter are set up with two columns except for the introduction, the first chapter. In that chapter there is an odd assortment of single and double column pages with far too many pop outs of diagrams. The sudden shifts in page organization made following the correct flow challenging. Additionally, some chapters referenced positions and progressions in later chapters which called into question the entire flow of the book.
My final complaint is that there is no indication of what to do next. The entire book is instructed in a sling or hammock, and Minkin mentions that the skills taught in Proximal are directly applicable to silks. Some adjustments would have to be made though that are never mentioned. I think Proximal would have benefitted from a chapter with next steps: adjustments needed to head to the silks as well as a dissection of common or popular sequences on silks indicating where and how the skills taught in Proximal show up.