At E11even, dancing aerialists hampus and Milena share more than just the spotlight.
Every week, in the middle of the night and in midair, Hampus Jansson and Milena Straczynski reenact their love story.
It’s 3:33 on a Saturday night (or a Sunday morn- ing, depending on how you want to look at it) at E11even when the music goes from untz-untz to Cirque du Soleil. The abrupt change is unnoticed by the tables of partygoers who’ve already racked up multiple bottles and are just getting their night started at Miami’s only 24/7 showclub—that is, until a lingerie-clad beauty climbs onto the platform with the slickness of Catwoman.
Before anyone has a chance to even think about whisking her away, a blond and blue-eyed knight arrives in a lot less than shining armor and grabs hold of her thighs as she erotically rises into the air and goes into a full split, now dangling some 30 feet above the stage, suspended only by a thin wire. This isn’t your wildest fantasy playing itself out (though it might as well be); it’s the acro- batic spectacle that takes place at E11even in the middle of the night, Thursday through Saturday.
“It’s live, so anything can happen,” says Milena Straczynski, the aerial beauty. “We are sur- rounded by people who are in total party mode.”
Prior to joining Straczynski onstage and in holy matrimony (the two got married six months ago), Hampus Jansson toured with Cirque du Soleil for five years (including in Michael Jackson ONE) before landing in Miami for a pop-up show called Orchid. It was there that the couple met. “It was love at first flight,” says Straczynski. “We had to figure out how to stay together.”
That required Jansson to teach Straczynski how to fly, and later to learn her burlesque ways, in order for them to fuse the two together in an act that has the aerialists sensually (yet tastefully) peel- ing away layers of each other’s clothing in midair while bending their bodies in unimaginable ways. It’s a routine that E11even theatrics director and 15-year Cirque veteran Dan Rowland couldn’t resist when the club opened two years ago, conve- niently keeping Straczynski and Jansson “floating” in Miami and playing out their acrobatic love story week after week. Says Straczynski of Jansson, “He takes me higher than I’ve ever gone.” 29 NE 11th St., Miami, 305-829-2911
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY WORLDREDEYE.COM