The tight wire involves the art of maintaining balance. A contestant will walk along a tensioned wire between two points, either using a balancing tool (umbrella, fan, balance pole, etc.) or "freehand," using only one’s body to maintain balance. This act will fall either into one of two categories: dance/movement or object manipulation.
The fire knives act involves manipulation of objects on fire. These objects will usually have one or more bundles of wicking, which are soaked in fuel and ignited. The contestants will either perform juggling or baton twirling with the objects. Additionally, there is an affinity between fire dancing and rhythmic gymnastics and this will usually be performed to music.
This act involves a large titanium cube that is spun and tossed in a dazzling display of coordination and skill, with the contestant performing gymnastic techniques around, within and through the cube.
This is one of the most traditional circus classics involving the tradition of rope climbing. This act encompasses a mix of strength, beauty and flexibility. The contestant will climb to the ceiling held only by a firm grip on the rope.
This act is also known as the human catapult. It is a fixed swing that will launch a contestant to distances over 60 feet. This is very similar to what stunt men use in explosion scenes for film and television.
Wheel of Death
This act involves a large rotating apparatus on which performers carry out synchronized acrobatic stunts. The "wheel" is actually a large beam with hooped tracks at either end, within which the contestants can stand. The apparatus rotates as the performers run around on either the inside or outside of the hoops. Contestants will also do balancing type stunts when the wheel is stationary.
This traditional bungee act is taken high above ground while the contestant uses the trapeze and bungee cord to dazzle the crowd and float from move to move.
In this act, the performer climbs up a piece of suspended fabric, usually 20-35 feet high. The contestant will then use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing and spiral his body in and out of various positions. Aerial acts, such as this one, are a display of athleticism and flexibility.
A hammock is arranged and hung from the stage to create a basket to contain the performer. The hammock shows a silhouette of his figure as he creates a beautiful aerial dance for the audience.
Performers in this act will use three large poles to climb, twist, flip and turn, displaying strength and tremendous focus. A traditional part of the circus, this act is fast paced, full of energy and incorporated into the cirque styles of today.
This act involves a performer, or "flyer," who grabs the trapeze bar and jumps off a high platform, or pedestal board, so gravity creates a swing. The performer will then often release the bar and be caught by another performer, the "catcher," who hangs by his knees on another trapeze or cradle, which can be either stationary or also swinging.
This act takes place within a giant wheel controlled solely by the performer’s ability to physically manipulate and command the imposing structure. This is a test of physical strength and dexterity combined with exquisite showmanship to create a very industrial-cirque performance.