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Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Acrobatics is represented in ancient Egyptian and Etruscan murals by leapers and vaulters.

The earliest work devoted to acrobatics is Arcangelo Tuccaro's Trois dialogues de l'exercice de sauter et voltiger en l'air (1599).

A double salto mortale, (a death defying leap) was first performed by the English acrobat named Tomkinson in 1840.

An English acrobat named Cottrelly invented the Icarian games in 1850 in which performers are tossed, balanced and caught by the feet of their partners on specially constructed cushions.

French acrobat Jules Leotard performed the first circus trapeze act at the Cirque Napoleon in Paris on November 12, 1859, wearing the famous costume later named after him.

An acrobatic lady with the stage name Zazal became the first “human cannonball” when she was blasted out of stage cannon at London’s Amphitheatre in 1877.

Having broken away from the Ottoman Empire, the newly independent country of Albania was looking for a leader and one name that was floated was Halim Eddine, a nephew of the Turkish Sultan. German circus acrobat Otto Witte was a dead ringer for Eddine and happened to be traveling through the Balkans with a circus group at the time, so a scheme was launched. He claimed that he presented himself to the nearest outpost of Albanian troops where on August 13, 1913 he was quickly hailed as their leader. Over the next five days, Witte said that he enjoyed a harem and declared war on Montenegro before his ruse was discovered and he and his circus buddies slipped out of town in the dark of night.

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