Trapezes and cannonballs: Famous circus feats

Many moons ago – the 19th and 20th centuries to be exact – circus performers were some the world’s most popular celebrities… So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that cities would shut down completely when the circus came to town. Those were traditional circuses – now, picture a circus with a modern twist – a magical animal-free water circus performed over a 14-meter diameter pool of water! Decked in dazzling lights and water features, SPLASH The Water Circus showcases spectacular circus acts, synchronised swimming and extreme stunts that will leave your family gasping.

In celebration of its South African debut, we take a look at three of history’s most daring circus stunts ever performed. Let’s dive in as we go back into time.

1. Jules Léotard —”The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze”

He’s known as the first man in history to attempt a flying trapeze act – an act he first mastered in his father’s gymnasium after giving up his studies to become a lawyer. In 1859, Jules unveiled his high-flying stunt at the Cirque Napoleon in Paris before taking it to London, where he stunned audiences with his death-defying somersault trapezes. By the 1860s, his daring stunts earned him a song “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.” Tragically, his life was cut short by smallpox whilst performing in Spain.

2. Zazel —”The Human Cannonball”

In 1877, a 16-year-old daredevil by the name of Rosa ‘Zazel’ Richter took flight in the Royal Aquarium in London as the world’s first human cannonball. Already an accomplished tightrope and aerial acrobat, word of her extraordinary stunt quickly drew crowds of up to 15,000 people sparking the interest of various circus owners. Not long after, she joined the tour with P.T. Barnum’s circus in the United States, where she became injured and forced to retire.

3. Lillian Leitzel —”The Queen of Aerial Gymnasts”

In the early 20th century, the German-born aerialist Lillian Leitzel enthralled crowds with an act that had her hanging from Roman rings over 15 metres above the ground – with no safety net to break her fall. Her spellbinding performances captured audiences and earned her international fame. Sadly, in 1931 her career was ended when a piece of metal caused her rigging to break.

Over the years, many have followed in the footsteps of these brave circus masters but nothing comes close to the spectacular display of talent in SPLASH!

SPLASH OUT and treat your family to an unforgettable day with SPLASH! The Water Circus at The Globe at Silverstar Casino. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

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