What Cecil B. DeMille once said about flying trapeze artists “the daredevil performers who slap death in the face” rings true when you watch trapeze artists soar and somersault nearly 46 feet in the air.
First it was the triple – the Holy Grail that every trapeze flyer sought to achieve and so few would ever master. Then it was the quadruple – finally accomplished more than 100 years after the invention of the flying trapeze. Now, in the 21st World Christmas Circus in Stuttgart, Germany, Korean flyer Han Ho Song has made circus history by turning FIVE mid-air back somersaults – the believed impossible quintuple – on no less than 25 occasions.
The impossible on the high flying trapeze — five somersaults from fly bar to catcher, remains technically impossible. You may prefer to embrace what just occurred in Germany as a formidable advance in the spirit of trapeze art.
“It’s an impressive acrobatic feat… but not “classical” trapeze in any sense. The “flyer” hangs from a third performer who then flings the “flyer” up into the air…giving the “flyer” additional momentum unachievable by a solo performer”.
These acts are a combination of timing, confidence, trust and dedication.
“It’s an incredibly difficult act to do,” says artistic director of National Circus of Pyongyang, North Korea).” “Even just jumping, it takes courage to do that.” A flying act is built on trust — but first, each artist needs individual strength and training.
Imagine saving someone while swinging by your legs, upside down on a bar, while your partner is diving toward you at high speed. “I just know he will catch me. This is for sure.”
“Their life literally is in each other’s hands, so if they don’t trust each other, we have a big problem says the Director.
The trust they’ve developed comes from talking to each other a lot whether they’re on the ground or “up there” says the star performer. “We always speak. We have fun, share jokes. Sometimes if I have a good song, I give it to him and we’re singing together, even when we’re up there.”
“We have a lot of people around us all the time, but when we’re up there, it’s only us,” “I like this moment. Nobody can touch us.”
Watch the incredible video: