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Tightrope Classes by Man on Wire

One of my favorite documentaries from 2008 is Oscar-winning MAN ON WIRE which recounted Philippe Petit’s daring tightrope walk one morning in 1974 across the World Trade Center’s twin towers to the astonishment of the world. Last week at Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM) in Brooklyn Mr. Petit, who still practices walking on a wire three hours a day, taught 18 lucky people selected from around the country how to tightrope walk in a two-day workshop. This sounds like an extraordinary experience.

After a brief warm-up session, the participants will go through exercises aimed at developing symmetry in the flesh. They will be made aware of the center of gravity hidden in all things, and by manipulating props they will feel their own center.

You have no idea how difficult it is for most people to walk on a line drawn on the floor! It is amazing how climbing on a chair may reveal lack of physical coordination, and how easy it is to correct it after being told which is your equilibrium foot! Balancing a broom on your chin is not that challenging if you are shown precisely how to hold the stick and where to set your eyes!