Search This Blog

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Jules Léotard

Jules Léotard (1838–1870) abandoned his law studies to become a trapeze artist, In 1857 he presented the first ever Trapeze act in his birth town of Toulouse, France. In order to ensure his safety, Léotard used mattresses stuffed with hay.

Léotard won almost immediate success during a performance in Cirque Napoleon in Paris on November 12, 1859 when for the first time he swung from one trapeze to the other. The act was called “La Course aux Trapèze” and it lasted for 12 minutes.

George Leybourne wrote the song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" in celebration of Jules Leotard after an engagement at the Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square, London.

Léotard wore a tight-fitting bodysuit made of wool so that he could have freedom of movement. He called the garment a maillot, which is a general French word for different types of tight-fitting shirts or sports shirts.

An image of Jules Léotard in the garment that bears his name

The famous costume was later named a leotard in his honor and are today commonly worn by male dancers (particularly for ballet) and gymnasts of both sexes.

Léotard died aged only 28, ironically from from typhus or cholera rather than from a fall.

Each competition leotard worn by the Team USA gymnasts at the 2016 Olympics was worth up to $1200 and featured about 5000 Swarovski crystals.

Sources Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999,

No comments:

Post a Comment