November 12 1859, Jules Leotard Performs The First Flying Trapeze Act

LeotardHuman skills were held in high regard in the 1800’s with the popularity of the circus. Jules Leotard developed the flying trapeze act to feed this trend. He debuted the act in 1859 in Paris France.

Leotard developed the flying trapeze act at his father’s house in Toulouse France. His father owned a pool and he set of the trapeze over the pool. The pool was used a safety precaution. Leotard was actually a teenager when he first started to work on his trapeze act, an act that survives in circuses and other types of entertainment to this day.

The trapeze act has a set of swings that are set high above the ground; the seat of the swing is a bar. One swing is set exactly opposite the other. There are two or more people in the act. One launches himself off the platform with his hands on the bar and then the other with his legs folded over the bar at the knee. The second catches the first as he lets go of his bar and flies through the air. There are usually a set of different aerial tricks associated with this act. The flying trapeze act has been performed with and without a safety net below depending on the skill of the artist.

The Flying trapeze act was first performed at The Cirque Napoleon. Jules Leotard developed the garment that bears his last name. The leotard is a tight fitting piece of clothing that shows off a muscular body.

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