Hand Vaulting


In the performing arts, the circus is a discipline that makes you experience in the most powerful way what I can call: the violent taste of reality.

They are artists – yes.
They are very high level athletes – yes.
They are people who risk failure in live performance – yes.
This risk can be major – yes.

There is no re-shooting when it fails.
When it fails, the spectators are there.
And all the spectators know – feel – understand these risks that are taken right in front of them.

In the most impressive achievements, of course, there is vaulting.

The hand vaulting is the same thing as the traditional vaulting but without added material.
The material is the artists themselves: they carry, they send, they receive their comrades.

Here is a group of young artists from Mongolia, particularly impressive in this exercise :

If you watched, you saw the few misses – and even the big miss.

Seen on a screen, it doesn’t come across too well – you’d think they were a bit of a dud. Seriously?

That’s right – in any other context, these misses don’t pass. Amateur stuff, come back when you’re a pro.

This discipline of hand acrobatics being particularly physical, inevitably leads to more frequent failures than for other disciplines such as juggling for example.

This makes it, in my opinion, particularly valuable.
Because there, I repeat, anyone can feel that real life is much more impressive and exciting than the simple quiet role of the spectator hidden in his bed with his peanuts who finds everything lame and pathetic.

The same: a little more difficult – a little more experienced:

As for this troupe of Ethiopian artists – but look at this: they have managed to give a purity to the movements of their choreography that is absolutely thrilling.
And… they used movements that are totally unexpected for hand aerobatics.
Incredible is the only word I can think of for them.

Troupe Africa – Ethiopia

In the circus setting, in the circus enclosure – the possibility of failure is an essential element for the spectator. This time, he is really afraid. He is, in that sense, really in the game.
And when “it” fails but nothing was serious, he does not blame the artists. He is relieved. He enjoys the second try even more and then drowns the performers in applause and cheers.

Not to accept this dimension of the circus – which must be seen in real life and experienced in real life – is to understand nothing at all about this art.

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2 Thoughts

  1. Wow, they were all good, in different degrees. I agree with you, the first group needs more experience but I loved how they all were so watchful of each other and when the”big fall” happened, they just did it again, Bravo to them. The Ethiopian group was mesmerizing. Such talent, I accept them all as talented as there is not enough money in the world for me to ever try anything like this, even when I was young lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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