While surveying a poolside party scene one night, choreographer Mesha Kussman got the inspiration for Aqualillies, a synchronized swimming performance group with the playful flair of old Hollywood.
Kussman, who hails from New York City’s downtown theatre scene (she studied experimental theatre and conceptualized dance), recognized that L.A. was more of an event-sitting audience (think fashion shows and red carpet) and that the pool was an opportunity for a different take on entertainment. “The pool is a central place, why not turn it into a stage?” says Kussman. “Anything underwater is captivating.”
Aqualillies, which launched last spring, is an ice breaker; it’s atmospheric and takes the party to the next level, according to Kussman.
Aqualillies performs at private or corporate parties, celebrity and award season events. They’ve also done shows for the Açaí liquor Veev, the Supper Club, and at the Biltmore Hotel.
For booking, Kussman recommends getting in touch at least six weeks in advance. Show pricing is $2,500 and up depending on size of the production and number of performers. Here are some options:
- “The Ripple” six-person show (four swimmers, two dancers, home or small pool)
- “The Plunge” 10-person, six swim, three dancers
- “The Grande Escape” 12-person, six swimmers and six dancers
Mermaids average $750 each, but price varies upon number of mermaids.
This month, on April 22, Aqualilies will perform at the Roosevelt Hotel for the first Turner Classic Movies’ Film Festival, where they’ll perform for synchronized swimming film legend Esther Williams, herself. Aqualillies will even sport some designs from Esther Williams’ swim line. “We’ll be wearing the same suit, but in red, that she wore in the film, Neptune’s Daughter, which screens after we perform.” Tickets can be purchased on TCMFF’s website.
“I think L.A. is one of the most exciting cities in the world,” says Kussman. “The crowds are hungry for something new and something they’ll remember.”
Undoubtedly, Aqualillies will be an experience easily remembered by Angelenos.
Photos by Shannon Cottrell, Aviva Knox, and Beautiful Day Photography