Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 26, 2012

Flying Wallendas at the Circus

Wallenda Highwire Acrobats
Alex, Trevor, Tino, Aurelia

Imagine the excitement of watching
The Flying Wallendas, a world-class highwire acrobatic troupe, perform in person!

We sat right at ringside! The single-ring circus was under a traditional big top circus tent on the grounds of the Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Indiana.

The site was once winter quarters for circus personnel. Their museum includes many historical displays and artifacts of great interest.

Aurelia Wallenda on the Cloud Swing

The Flying Wallendas troupe is headed by Tino Wallenda, 61, the grandson of tightrope patriarch Karl Wallenda. Tino is the uncle of Nik who tightroped across Niagara’s thundering Horseshoe Falls in June. (See Wallenda Tightropes Over Niagara Falls for story, video, pictures.)

In the lineup on the wire that began the highwire act are Tino’s son Alex, Alex’s friend Trevor McNabb, Tino, and Tino’s daughter Aurelia (left to right in the first picture; click to enlarge). Alex’s girlfriend Claire on the left tower aids funambulists as they step on or off the tightrope.

Tino’s daughter Aurelia led off with a heart-stopping Cloud Swing act. She performed various acrobatic stunts on a rope swing high in the air. The crowd gasped when, standing on the swinging rope, she dived out toward the spectators. A loop around her ankle arrested her fall as shown in the picture at right.

Here is a 5-minute YouTube video of Aurelia’s Cloud Swing act from Dec 2009 that is similar to what we saw.

The Safety Net

 
The highwire acts were on a taut cable 25 ft above ground with no nets or safety harnesses. The consequences of falling were a strong incentive for careful balancing.

Here is the net the clowns held in case of a fall. Thankfully, nobody fell.

In the next picture, Alex and Trevor are yoked together with a bar on which Tino stood as they walk across the tightwire. In the middle they stopped for Tino to do a headstand.

Tino Wallenda’s Headstand


 
Next Tino rode a bicycle across the wire with his daughter Aurelia on his shoulders.

Aurelia rides Tino’s shoulders as he pedals across tightwire


 
Finally, Aurelia sat on a chair balanced on a bar yoking her brother Alex and father Tino as they pedaled bicycles across the tightwire. It was breathtaking.

Bicyclists Alex & Tino ride Aurelia on a chair across the tightrope

Tino Wallenda & the Bible-Science Guy chat following the circus

 
The Wallendas did not do their famous and very difficult 3-level pyramids. But it was a tremendously impressive performance nevertheless. To see these acts in person only yards away was especially thrilling. It was an amazingly brilliant performance by world-class tightrope athletes. We thoroughly enjoyed their show!

(Circus photos by photographer Majesty Pelletier of Majestic Photography.)

Here is a 10-minute YouTube video of The Flying Wallendas performing at Monte Carlo’s 28th International Circus Festival in January 2004. It includes some of the acts we saw as well as the 7-person 3-level pyramid.


 
Here is the 2-minute YouTube video trailer for The Show Must Go On, a 2012 documentary on The Flying Wallendas.


 
Tino Wallenda’s Testimony
The Wallendas are a Christian family. Here is a 30-minute video of Tino Wallenda giving his testimony of faith in Christ at Celebrate Church in Sioux Falls, SD in 2009. He includes some Wallenda family history and demonstrates tightrope walking. It’s well worth watching.

The article He Found Me from Decision Magazine (published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) records Tino’s testimony of his journey to faith in Christ. He said, “It wasn’t personal testimony, however, that made an impact on my life. The thing that brought me to an understanding of the reality of God was the Word of God.”

Beginning in 1978, Tino has testified of his faith in Christ in numerous churches, prisons, and on television shows around the country, usually including a highwire demonstration.

“My faith is very much a part of me and hopefully it shows,” Wallenda said. “It’s a great encouragement to me and I realize the talents and abilities I have are a gift from God.” (From the article Local performer inducted into Circus Ring of Fame.)

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the 4 Wallenda prequels on Nik Wallenda’s historic walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope:
1. Wallenda Tightropes Over Niagara Falls with video and picture links
2. Wallenda’s Witness at Niagara with video and picture links
3. Wallenda, Niagara, & Noah’s Flood with video
4. Wallenda, Niagara, & the Age of the Earth with video

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Thursday July 26, 2012 A.D.

Read my July 2012 newspaper column:
Friday the 13th

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delighteth in his way. (Psalms 37:23)

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