Dancer in wheelchair soars in aerial duo

The Air Between Us sees Chloe Loftus and Rodney Bell tipping and spinning around each other as the dancers are hoisted into the sky.

"All I can do is get up there and move, take risks and dance knowing that I'm in good health and surrounded by good things," Bell told AAP.

The award-winning performer acquired a disability 31 years ago, and these days he views his wheelchair as an extension of his body.

The show is staged outdoors with the duo hanging from ropes attached to buildings, trusses or even trees using a rigging system developed by Loftus' partner Tym Miller-White.

All three are dependent on each other both in terms of the show's artistry, and also aerial safety.

"There's such trust in the way we work together as a threesome, it feels really liberating that we can fully say yes to just being as big and bold as we can go," Loftus said.

Bell and Loftus dance at heights of up to 11 metres, dictated by the weather and surrounding structures.

The Air Between Us was developed through improvisation and evolves with each performance, having toured New Zealand.

The Sydney Festival is its first international airing, with free performances outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in late January.

Bell may be familiar to Australian contemporary dance fans since show Meremere toured Australia in 2022.

He has done aerial work before, including at the launch of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but this is the first time he's developed a specific dance for the air.

The performer says it's a deeper and more meaningful experience than merely a physical spectacle.

Bell uses his everyday wheelchair for the dance, but makes adjustments to the wheels and upholstery if required.

For him, upside-down aerial exploits with Loftus are also a chance to stretch out his spine and organs, which are usually compressed by his wheelchair.

"When I come down, because I have one lung, I always feel like I've got a good shift of air up there," he said.

Both dancers are keen to see where their collaboration will take them next.

"We're working in such a unique way, the level of communication that we have, both verbally and through our bodies is so rich, there's a deep love," Bell said.

The Air Between Us is on for three nights from January 20.