Aerial Rigging for Madhur Milan

Gaurang Swarge of Natura Adventure Crew reminisces working on Nritarutya’s production “Madhur Milan” at Mumbai. Excerpts…
Gaurang Swarge - Director, Natura Adventure Crew Photo Courtesy: Philippe Deseck
Gaurang Swarge – Director, Natura Adventure Crew
Photo Courtesy: Philippe Deseck

We were approached by Artistic Director, Mayuri Upadhya for multiple aerial entries and exits for their upcoming production Madhur Milan.
This event will be known to us for the host of challenges that were thrown at us from different angles, along with the memory of the beautiful magnum opus that was presented on stage by Mayuri Upadhya.

Foremost among these challenges being, the location, set designs and dimensions kept changing constantly till last minute, making very difficult to get the ground plan and trussing plan locked for us to plan in advance.

We were already scheduled to fly to Kolkata on 16th early morning (2:45AM) for another event, before this event got confirmed. Fortunately, this event was scheduled to finish by 11PM on 15th night, which effectively meant we had to unrig everything in record time and make a run for the airport an hour away. Sending another team to Kolkata was not an option.We were also doing another event in Kathmandu form 16th to 18th for which the equipment had already gone and our team was already spread thin.

Mayuri Updhya discusses some aerial movements
Mayuri Updhya discusses some aerial movements
A rigging in process
A rigging in process








Venue was the Ambani matriarch’s home and not something which was designed for events or productions, which brought its own problems along. We could not work in the nights, there was hardly any space for stage, set, platforms and trussing. It was a monumental effort to get everything exactly in place and in time.

Due to these and various technical glitches, things were constantly delayed while rehearsing and setting up. plus there was an added stress of getting everything right for such a august audience.







All of these challenges paled in comparison to what was thrown to us on the morning of the

event. It rained. It rained heavily as if it was the middle of the monsoons. It rained for 3 straight hours.

No one was ready for the rains, it was the middle of February, rains are not heard off, for that time of the year. Rains put spanner into everything. Our team especially Dilip, Shyam and Snehal were quick to act and quickly covered our motors and all the electrical connections at the slightest onset of drizzle. Others were not as lucky –  lights were filled with water, stage was wet and filled with water, decor was soaked and things started falling off.

Since everything was soaked power couldn’t be turned on for lights or sound or our motors. Finally, the production team got into action and at about 1:30 p.m when the rains subsided and clouds parted, they started drying everything with heat guns and blow dryers. They literally blow dried each and every moving head before turning on the power.

By the time everything was set, we had no time for rehearsals and went straight into the show.

It was all exhilarating to say the least.

Technically speaking, rigging was fairly straightforward for us compared to the last production.

One of the requirements for this production was all the entries would happen from top, which effectively meant we needed platforms/launchpads for Artists to enter from above the stage.


Accordingly our rigging plan had platforms (tarafa) hanging from the truss grid for the Aerial entries to happen from the top.

Finally we setup 3 bridle systems, one bridle system in the center had rotor motor on it for the rotating movements of the artists. and the other 2 were on stage left and stage right for the up and down movement .

Rotor Motor is Natura’s proprietary in-house developed motor, capable of 0-100 RPM per minute and handle loads up to 500kg.

In spite of all the difficulties and problems we came across, we managed to pull off an amazing show.


IMG_1707 aIMG_9993 (10)








India’s first and only aerial rigging company, Natura rigs people & props to fly and offers aerial acts. It also provides adventure setup for conferences and adventure events.


  • Ramya Setty

    1st March 2014 at 3:13 pm Reply

    Wow!!! Complications and last minute changes and the way it was handled! Im sure its a lot more effort that was put in than the words expressed here! Good one…

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