If you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend a Cirque du Soleil performance, there’s a pretty good chance your jaw dropped at some point during the show. There’s just something about acrobats that always leaves us amazed.
There’s a relatively new device many acrobats are now using called the Cyr (pronounced “seer”) wheel, which was first introduced at a Parisian festival in 2003.
It looks like a hula hoop, except instead of plastic, the ring is made of aluminum or steel; moving it with their bodies, the acrobats perform a stunning series of spins, somersaults, and pirouettes, looking like Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” come to life.
To see what it looks like, check out the clip below, starring the award-winning French-Canadian acrobat Angelica Bongiovonni.
She started out as a trapeze artist when she was just 7 years old, but a back injury led her to abandon the trapeze in favor of the Cyr wheel, which is better for her back and helps strengthen her core.
She makes it look so easy, but it’s definitely an acquired skill, one that came with its fair share of bruises and falls. But she persevered and is now one of the world’s most acclaimed “Cyr wheelists.”
“There are a lot of people who start it and realize that it takes a long time to get the spinning down,” she said in a 2013 interview.
There’s a point where you start to understand the motion of the wheel, and from that point on, everything goes super fast.
Watch her stunning performance during “Cirque Eloize: Cirkopolis” at New York’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, and share if she’s just convinced you this is something you need to learn!