Slacklining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing, tensioned between two anchors. Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking. Slacklines differ from tightwires and tightropes in the type of material used and the amount of tension applied during use. Slacklines are tensioned less than tightropes or tightwires in order to create a dynamic line which will stretch and bounce like a long and narrow trampoline. Tension can be adjusted to suit the user, different webbing may be used in various circumstances. Urbanlining or urban slacklining combines all the different styles of slacklining, it is practiced for example in city parks and on the streets. Most urban slackliners prefer wide 2-inch lines for tricklining on the streets, but some may use narrow lines for longline purposes or for waterlining. See the other sections of slackline styles below. One type of urbanlining is timelining, where one tries to stay on a slackline for as long as possible without falling down.
This takes tremendous concentration and focus of will, is a great endurance training for postural muscles. Another type of urbanlining is streetlining, which combines street workout power moves with the slackline's dynamic, bouncy feeling. Main focus are static handstands, super splits — hands and feet together, front lever, back lever, one arm handstand and other interesting extreme moves that are evolving in street workout culture. Tricklining has become the most common form of slacklining because of the easy setup of 2-inch slackline kits. Tricklining is done low to the ground but can be done on highlines as well. A great number of tricks can be done on the line, because the sport is new, there is plenty of room for new tricks; some of the basic tricks done today are walking, walking backwards, drop knee and jumping onto the slackline to start walking, bounce walking. Some intermediate tricks include: Buddha sit, sitting down, lying down, cross-legged knee drop, surfing forward, surfing sideways, jump turns, or "180s."
Some of the advanced tricks are: jumps, tree plants, jumping from line-to-line, 360s, butt bounces, chest bounces. With advancements in webbing technology & tensioning systems, the limits for what can be done on a slackline are being pushed constantly, it is not uncommon to see expert slackliners incorporating flips and twists into slackline trick combinations. Highlining is slacklining at elevation above the water. Many slackliners consider highlining to be the pinnacle of the sport. Highlines are set up in locations that have been used or are still used for Tyrolean traverse; when rigging highlines, experienced slackers take measures to ensure that solid and equalized anchors are used to secure the line into position. Modern highline rigging entails a mainline of webbing, backup webbing, either climbing rope or amsteel rope for redundancy. However, many highlines are rigged with a mainline and backup only if the highline is low tension, or rigged with high quality webbing like Type 18 or MKII Spider Silk.
It is common to pad all areas of the rigging which might come in contact with abrasive surfaces. To ensure safety, most highliners wear a climbing harness or swami belt with a leash attached to the slackline itself. Leash-less, or "free-solo" slacklining – a term loosely taken from rockclimbing – is not unheard of, with proponents such as Dean Potter and Andy Lewis. Slackline yoga takes traditional yoga moves them to the slackline, it has been described as "distilling the art of yogic concentration". To balance on a 1-inch piece of webbing tensioned between two trees is not easy, doing yoga poses on it is more challenging; the practice develops focus, dynamic balance, breath, core integration and confidence. Using standing postures, sitting postures, arm balances, kneeling postures and unique vinyasa, a skilled slackline yogi is able to create a flowing yoga practice without falling from the line. Slackline yoga has been covered in Yoga Journal and Climbing Magazine. Rodeo slacklining is the art and practice of cultivating balance on a piece of rope or webbing draped slack between two anchor points about 15 to 30 feet apart and 2 to 3 feet off the ground in the center.
This type of "slack" slackline provides a wide array of opportunities for both swinging and static maneuvers. A rodeo line has no tension in it, while tightropes are tensioned; this slackness in the rope or webbing allows it to swing at large amplitudes and adds a different dynamic. This form of slacklining first came into popularity in 1999, through a group of students from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, it was first written about on a website called the "Vultures Peak Center for Freestyle and Rodeo Slackline Research" in 2004. The article "Old Revolution — New Recognition - 3-10-04" describes these early developments in detail. Windlining is a practice of slacklining performed in windy conditions. Depending on the intensity of the wind, it can be difficult to remain on the line without being blown off; the sensation one experiences is like flying as the slacker must angle his body and arms in an aerodynamic manner to maintain balance. While rope walking has been around in one manner or another for thousands of years, the origins of modern-day slacklining is attributed to a young rock climber named Adam Grosowsky from southern Illinois i
Acrobatics is the performance of extraordinary human feats of balance and motor coordination. It can be found in many of the performing arts, sporting events, martial arts. Acrobatics is most associated with activities that make extensive use of gymnastic elements, such as acro dance and gymnastics, but many other athletic activities — such as ballet and diving — may employ acrobatics. Although acrobatics is most associated with human body performance, it may apply to other types of performance, such as aerobatics. Acrobatic traditions are found in many cultures, there is evidence that the earliest such traditions occurred thousands of years ago. For example, Minoan art from c. 2000 BC contains depictions of acrobatic feats on the backs of bulls. Ancient Greeks practiced acrobatics, the noble court displays of the European Middle Ages would include acrobatic performances that included juggling. In China, acrobatics have been a part of the culture since the Western Han Dynasty. Acrobatics were part of village harvest festivals.
During the Tang Dynasty, acrobatics saw much the same sort of development as European acrobatics saw during the Middle Ages, with court displays during the 7th through 10th century dominating the practice. Acrobatics continues to be an important part of modern Chinese variety art. Though the term applied to tightrope walking, in the 19th century, a form of performance art including circus acts began to use the term as well. In the late 19th century and other acrobatic and gymnastic activities became competitive sport in Europe. Acrobatics has served as a subject for fine art. Examples of this are paintings such as Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando by Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which depicts two German acrobatic sisters, Pablo Picasso's 1905 Acrobat and Young Harlequin, Acrobats in a Paris suburb by Viktor Vasnetsov. An aerialist is an acrobat who performs in the air, on a suspended apparatus such as a trapeze, cloud swing, aerial cradle, aerial pole, aerial silk, or aerial hoop. Acrobatic gymnastics Contortion List of acrobatic activities
The diabolo is a juggling or circus prop consisting of an axle and two cups or discs derived from the Chinese yo-yo. This object is spun using a string attached to two hand sticks. A large variety of tricks are possible with the diabolo, including tosses, various types of interaction with the sticks and various parts of the user's body. Multiple diabolos can be spun on a single string. Like the Western yo-yo, it maintains its spinning motion through a rotating effect based on conservation of angular momentum. Chinese archaeologists theorize. In the Hemudu Excavation, wooden tops were excavated. In order to extend the spinning time of the tops, whips were used to spin the top; this released a sound, evolved into the term "Kongzhu". It was speculated that the Chinese poet Cao Zhi in the Three Kingdoms period had composed the poem "Rhapsody of Diabolos 《空竹赋》", making it the first record of Diabolo in Chinese history; the authenticity of the poem "Rhapsody of Diabolos 《空竹赋》" however required further research and evidence of proof.
By the Tang dynasty, the Chinese Diabolo became widespread as a form of toy. However the Chinese scholar Wu Shengda 吳盛達, who lived in Taiwan, argued that records of Chinese Diabolo only appeared during late Ming dynasty Wanli period, with its details well recorded in the book Dijing Jingwulue, referring to Diabolos as "Kong Zhong". Chinese yo-yos have a longer axle with discs on either end, while the diabolo has a short axle and larger, round cups on either end. Diabolos are come in different sizes and weights. There are many names in the Chinese language for the Chinese yo-yo: simplified Chinese: 扯铃; as was the sheng. This noisy rattle consists of two hollow cylinders of metal, wood, or bamboo, joined together in the middle by a cross-piece; each of the cylinders is pierced by a hole in opposite directions. The rope loops around the crossbeam. By holding this rattle in the air, moving it with speed, a rapid current of air is established in each of the portions of the cylinder, a snoring is heard, similar to that produced by the German spinning top.
The diabolo was part of a presentation of Chinese culture edited by stenographer Jean-Baptiste Joseph Breton in 1811-2. The toy's popularity waned throughout the 19th century. In 1812 the diabolo "was all the rage"; some consider the toy dangerous. The term "diabolo" was coined by French engineer Gustave Phillippart, who developed the modern diabolo in the early twentieth century, although credit has been given to Charles Burgess Fry or Fry and Phillippart; the term is derived the name from the Greek dia bolo meaning "across throw". "In Greek, the term'diaballo' means to throw across. It comes from a combination of'dia' meaning across or through, and'bolla' or originally'ballo' which means to throw..." The Greek word "diabolos", from which many modern languages' words for "devil" derive, is unrelated. The term "loriot" was used in England, as well as "rocket-ball". Confusion about the provenance of the name may have arisen from the earlier name "the devil on two sticks", although nowadays this also refers to another circus-based skill toy, the devil stick.
"In time'diabolo' was retained for the spinning version of the Chinese stick toy while the hitting version of the stick toy was rendered into English as the Devil Stick.""Phillipart claimed Diabolo to be his invention. In reality, he had improved a Napoleonic toy, which in turn had originated long ago in China." However, Charles Parker gained the U. S. license for the term diabolo in 1906, the excessive fad for the toy lasted until 1910, hurt by a glut of unsold poor quality off-brand versions, the toy was removed from the Parker Brothers catalogue, a rare occurrence. Another estimate for the fad is 1910 to 1915, while the big fad in Paris is mentioned in Nature in 1893; the Wright brothers became enamored with the toy during a lull in a trip to France they had taken to market their Wright Flyer III airplane. A diabolo is described as, "a d
Fire breathing is the act of making a plume or stream of fire by creating a precise mist of fuel from the mouth over an open flame. Regardless of the precautions taken, it is always a dangerous activity, but the proper technique and the correct fuel reduces the risk of injury or death. Fire breathing is performed by both non-professionals. Professional fire breathers incorporate the fire performance skill within a show where other fire skills are performed; the element of danger in performing fire breathing and other fire skills enhances the entertainment spectacle for many audience members. The vast majority of professional fire-breathers are apprenticed by a seasoned professional and it is recommended that teaching oneself be avoided due to the extreme risks. Most people who are taught fire breathing and eating skills are seasoned performers in their own right and are taught under the condition that the skills not be passed on until they become a recognised fire performer. All recorded incidents of serious injury by fire breathing involve untrained individuals while under the influence of alcohol.
Using an incorrect fuel is a strong contributing factor. Performing with fire has many inherent risks to the health and safety of the practitioners. Fire breathing has a wider range of risks due to the required technique to create the effect. Having an spotting trained safety assistant with an appropriate fire blanket and fire extinguisher is an appropriate best practice when fire breathing and is a mandatory clause in most insurance policies for professional fire breathers. To increase safety, fire breathers must avoid combustible fuels such as alcohol, spirit-based fuels, most petrochemicals, instead using safer combustibles with a higher flash point. Due to its safe flash point, paraffin, or purified lamp oil, is the preferred fuel for fire breathing. Although corn starch has been cited as a non-toxic fuel, the hazards of inhalation increase the potential risk of lung infections. Fuels that are considered dangerous include: Ethanol can be absorbed into the blood stream without drinking, thus attempting fire breathing with ethanol can cause intoxication.
Methanol can cause blindness or neurological disorders. Low flash point fuels like naphtha and propane can create a condensed vapor build-up in the oral cavity leading to internal combustion, damaging the mouth or lungs. Naphtha is quite carcinogenic, performance careers built on using it entail a high risk of mouth cancer. Common fuels like gasoline and kerosene contain carcinogenic additives or refining by-products, such as sulfurated compounds, or benzenes, they are far easier to ignite and a seasoned fire breather would be at serious risk of injury using these fuels for breathing There is a risk of self ignition while performing fire breathing. Enhanced risk comes from the use of lower flash point fuels, inappropriate fabrics in clothing, wearing other flammable items or products, poor technique and performance in unsuitable locations; when fire breathing with the wrong fuel, or when an improper technique is used, fire breathing can increase the risk of: Death Severe burns Fire breather's pneumonia, a distinct type of lipid pneumonia Acute respiratory distress Oral and dental problems Fuel poisoning Dry cough Headache, drunken ill feeling abdominal pains and diarrhea nausea and vomiting Dry tongue and cotton mouth Loss of taste Dry skin and topical heat burns Cancer of the mouth or throat from petrochemical exposure Fire breathing has been utilized in many bands of varying genres as an eye-catching spectacle.
Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss would include fire-breathing in the band's live shows. The MC Bat Commander, lead singer of the California comedy rock/New Wave/ska band The Aquabats, would breathe fire to start off the band's shows during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Mike Odd, the vocalist for the shock rock/horror metal band Rosemary's Billygoat, included fire breathing in the band's many outlandish stunts, alongside other forms of small-scale pyrotechnics; the world record for the number of people fire breathing was set on 23 April 2009 by 293 students in the Dutch city of Maastricht as part of the Ragweek charity event. In August 2007 the record for the biggest fire breathing pass was set at the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada; the world record for the highest flame is 8.05 m, set by Antonio Restivo at a warehouse in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on 11 January 2011. The most consecutive fire flames blown by one mouthful of fuel is 387, achieved by Tobias Buschick in Neuenbürg, Germany, on 1 August 2015.
The most flames blown in one minute is 189 and was achieved by Zhu Jiangao on the set of CCTV - Guinness World Records Special in Jiangyin, China on 9 January 2015. Fire eating Fire performance Fart lighting How to Blow Fire: 4 Steps - wikiHow North American Fire Arts Association Fire Breathing and Fire Eating FAQ by Juggling Information Service, 1996, retrieved 25 September 2006 Fire Breathing Basics by
Stilts are poles, posts or pillars used to allow a person or structure to stand at a height above the ground. Stilts for walking are poles equipped with platforms for the feet to stand on and can be used, depending on the design, with straps to attach them to the user's legs or be held in place by the hands of the user. In flood plains, on beaches or unstable ground, buildings are constructed on stilts to protect them from damage by water, waves or shifting soil or sand. Stilts have been used for many hundreds of years. Hand-held stilts are used as childhood toys and in circus skills workshops and are of two main types: string and can/bucket stilts and pole stilts. Unlike other forms of stilts, hand-held stilts are not strapped to the wearer. Hand-held pole stilts consist of each with a foot support; the stilt walker holds onto the upper end of the pole, rests his feet on the foot plates and pulls upward on the pole while taking a step. A second type of hand-held pole stilts are similar to the first type but ends in a handle so the walker has more control and flexibility to move his stilts.
Those type of stilts can be high. Hand-held string stilts are platforms with strings attached to them; the platforms, most made of tin cans or small plastic upturned buckets hold the stilt walker's weight while the strings are used to pull the cans to the feet as they take a step. Peg stilts known as Chinese stilts, are used by professional performers; these stilts strap on at the foot and just below the knee. Peg stilts are made from wood but can be made of aluminium or tubular steel; this type of stilts are the most lightweight ones and allow a user to walk to turn and to jump rope or dance. The stilt walker must keep moving at all times to keep their balance. Drywall or Dura stilts are designed to allow the stilt walker to walk, they were designed for people to work at an elevated height during drywall or plasterboard construction and other such activities. Drywall stilts are heavier than peg stilts and are mostly made of aluminium; the design means they are safer for walking but means they are less versatile than peg stilts in use.
Spring stilts are spring-loaded stilts that allow the user to run and perform various acrobatics. Spring stilts using fiberglass leaf springs were patented in the United States in 2004 under the trademark "PowerSkip", marketed for recreational and extreme sports use. Using these stilts is called Powerbocking, named for the stilts' inventor, Alexander Boeck. Spring stilts are mostly made of aluminium. Spring stilts using steel coil springs, an antecedent of the pogo stick, were attempted in the 19th century; the Digitigrade stilt is a peg stilt. This allows costumers to mimic any digitigrade animal: horses, goats, etc; because of the extreme stresses on this type of design they tend to be more rare. This type of stilt is similar to drywall stilts in that they allow the stilt walker to stand in one place without shifting their weight from foot to foot. Articulated stilts feature a flexing joint under the ball of the performers foot, in one variant under the performer's heel; these stilts are used in theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios because they safely allow performers to dance and perform stunts that would damage other types of stilts.
Two brands of articulated stilts include'Bigfoots' manufactured by Gary Ensmenger of Orlando, FL and'Jay Walkers', manufactured by Stilt Werks of Las Vegas, Nevada. Archaeological ruins and texts show that stiltwalking was practised in ancient Greece as far back as the 6th century BC; the ancient Greek word for a stilt walker was κωλοβαθριστής, from κωλόβαθρον, "stilt", a compound of κῶλον, "limb" and βάθρον, "base, pedestal". Some stilt use traditions are old. In Belgium, stilt walkers of Namur have practiced fights on stilts since 1411; the inhabitants of marshy or flooded areas sometimes use stilts for practical purposes, such as working in swamps or fording swollen rivers. The shepherds of the Landes region of southern France used to watch their flocks while standing on stilts to extend their field of vision, while townspeople used them to traverse the soggy ground in their everyday activities. Stilts were used by workers to attach hop gras to wires at 12 feet above the ground; this technique was documented up to the mid 20.
Century before being superseded. Stilts can be used for various purposes: as a prop in entertainment, as a tool to enable other types of work to be achieved and as part of a hobby or recreation. Stilts are used in many countries for the purpose of entertainment. Stilt walkers perform their skills in parades, street events and at corporate functions; the local festivals of Anguiano feature a dance on stilts in which dancers go down a stepped street while turning. Other stilts walking and dancing festivals are held in Deventer, Netherlands in early July each year, in Namur, Belgium. Early stilt walking acts were of the style of a tall person with the costume having long trousers or skirt to cover the stilts. More stilt walkers have created a wide variety of costumes that do not resemble a tall person. Examples are animals; the tall person type has expanded to include a wide variety of themes. Examples include sportsmen, historical acts based on literary or film characters. One of the most recent varieties of stilt walking acts is a stilt walker riding a'stilt bicycle'.
The vault is an artistic gymnastics apparatus on which gymnasts perform, as well as the skill performed using that apparatus. Vaulting is the action of performing a vault. Both male and female gymnasts perform the vault; the English abbreviation for the event in gymnastics scoring is VT Early forms of the vault were invented by German Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. The apparatus itself originated without the handles; the horse was set up with its long dimension perpendicular to the run for women, parallel for men. The vaulting horse was the apparatus used in the Olympics for over a century, beginning with the Men's vault in the first modern Olympics and ending with the Gymnastics at the 2000 Summer Olympics; the horse has been blamed for several serious accidents over the years. In 1988, American Julissa Gomez was paralyzed in a vaulting accident. During warmups at the 1998 Goodwill Games, Chinese gymnast Sang Lan fell and suffered paralysis from a cervical-spine injury. In a series of crashes when the horse's height was set too low at the 2000 Olympics, gymnasts either rammed into the horse's front end, or had bad landings after having problems with their hand placements during push-off.
Following the accident in 1988 and compounded by the ones in 1998 and 2000, International Gymnastics Federation re-evaluated and changed the apparatus, citing both safety reasons and the desire to facilitate more impressive acrobatics. The 2001 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships were the first international competition to make use of the "vaulting table", an apparatus made by Dutch gymnastics equipment company Janssen-Fritsen since the mid-1990s, it features a flat and more cushioned surface parallel to the floor, which slopes downward at the end closest to the springboard. In 2007, Dutch junior gymnast Imke Glas was injured after a fall on a vault. Length: 120 centimetres ± 1 centimetre Width: 90 centimetres ± 1 centimetre Height: Men: 135 centimetres ± 1 centimetre Women: 125 centimetres ± 1 centimetre Run up area: Length: 3,500 centimetres ± 10 centimetres Width: 100 centimetres ± 1 centimetre To perform a vault, the gymnast runs down a runway, padded or carpeted, they hurdle onto a spring onto the vault with their hands.
For vaults in the Yurchenko family, the gymnast will put their hands onto a mat, placed before the springboard, round-off onto the board, do a back handspring onto the vault. The off-flight may be as simple as leaping over the apparatus or as complicated as executing several twists and turns in the air; the gymnast lands on the mat on the other side of the apparatus. Gymnasts are expected to land cleanly, with no hops or steps, within a set landing zone on the landing mat, they must demonstrate good technique and execution in the actual vault. Falling or stepping on landing incurs deduction, as will lack of height off the table, or distance from the table. Gymnasts show one vault in Qualification, Team Final, All Around Final. If the gymnast wishes to qualify for vault apparatus finals, they must perform a second vault during qualifications. In the Apparatus Finals gymnasts must show two vaults. For men, the two vaults must be from different element groups, while women must show two vaults with different repulsion from the vault table.
Yurchenko-style vaults must be performed with a safety collar placed around the springboard. If the collar is not used, the vault is considered invalid and the gymnast will receive a score of zero; every vault is assigned a specific number. Gymnasts will be penalized if they fail to show the number of their intended vault, though there is no penalty if the vault ends up being different. If a female gymnast balks, for example stops in the middle of the runway or breaks her run before touching the springboard, no deductions are taken; the gymnast is given thirty seconds to return to the end of the runway and make a second attempt at the vault. If, the gymnast touches any portion of the springboard or vault itself, she receives a score of zero and may not make another attempt. Ekaterina Kramarenko touched the vault and was given a zero during the team final at the 2007 World Championship. A male gymnast receives a score of 0. Both male and female gymnasts receive a score of 0. Receiving spotting assistance from a coach, or not touching the vault table will result in a score of 0.
Vaulting before the judge has signaled the gymnast can vault once resulted in a score of 0. An example of this would be at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to Anna Pavlova during the Vault event final on her second vault; because the vault is completed so it helps if there are cameras to play back in slow motion if they are unsure or if all the judges have a wide range of scores. It is the head judges' job to make sure all the scores are within a certain range 0.2 point range difference. Judges look through four main phases: the pre-flight, after-flight, landing; the overall vault of a gymnast should have power and speed, while being explosive and precise as possible. A woman's competition score is the combined average score of the two vaults she performs. Scoring ha
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil is a Quebecer entertainment company and the largest theatrical producer in the world. Based in Montreal, Quebec and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul on 7 July 1984, by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. Named Les Échassiers, they toured Quebec in 1980 as a performing troupe, their initial financial hardship was relieved in 1983 by a government grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of Jacques Cartier's voyage to Canada. Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success in 1984, after securing a second year of funding, Laliberté hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to recreate it as a "proper circus", its theatrical, character-driven approach and the absence of performing animals helped define Cirque du Soleil as the contemporary circus that it remains today. Each show is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world, with its own central theme and storyline.
Shows employ continuous live music, with performers rather than stagehands changing the props. After financial successes and failures in the late 1980s, Nouvelle Expérience was created – with the direction of Franco Dragone – which not only made Cirque du Soleil profitable by 1990, but allowed it to create new shows. Cirque du Soleil expanded through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show to 19 shows in over 271 cities on every continent except Antarctica; the shows employ 4,000 people from over 40 countries and generate an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$810 million. The multiple permanent Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night, 5% of the city's visitors, adding to the 90 million people who have experienced Cirque du Soleil worldwide. In 2000, Laliberté bought out Gauthier, with 95% ownership, has continued to expand the brand. In 2008, Laliberté split 20% of his share between two investment groups Istithmar World and Nakheel of Dubai, in order to further finance the company's goals.
In partnership with these two groups, Cirque du Soleil had planned to build a residency show in the United Arab Emirates in 2012 directed by Guy Caron and Michael Curry. However, following Dubai's financial problems in 2010 caused by the 2008 recession, Laliberté stated that the project had been "put on ice". Several more shows are in development around the world, as well as a television deal, a women's clothing line, possible ventures into other mediums such as spas and nightclubs. Cirque du Soleil produces a small number of private and corporate events each year; the company's creations have received numerous prizes and distinctions, including a Bambi Award in 1997. In 2000, Cirque du Soleil was awarded the National Arts Centre Award, a companion award of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.. In 2015, TPG Capital, Fosun Industrial Holdings and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec purchased 90% of Cirque du Soleil; the sale received regulatory approval from the Government of Canada on 30 June 2015.
At age 18, interested in pursuing some kind of performing career, Guy Laliberté quit college and left home. He toured Europe as busker. By the time he returned home to Canada in 1979, he had learned the art of fire breathing. Although he became "employed" at a hydroelectric power plant in James Bay, his job ended after only three days due to a labour strike, he decided not to look instead supporting himself on his unemployment insurance. He helped organize a summer fair in Baie-Saint-Paul with the help of a pair of friends named Daniel Gauthier and Gilles Ste-Croix. Gauthier and Ste-Croix were managing a youth hostel for performing artists named Le Balcon Vert at that time. By the summer of 1979, Ste-Croix had been developing the idea of turning the Balcon Vert and the talented performers who lived there into an organized performing troupe; as part of a publicity stunt to convince the Quebec government to help fund his production, Ste-Croix walked the 56 miles from Baie-Saint-Paul to Quebec City on stilts.
The ploy worked. Employing many of the people who would make up Cirque du Soleil, Les Échassiers toured Quebec during the summer of 1980. Although well received by audiences and critics alike, Les Échassiers was a financial failure. Laliberté spent that winter in Hawaii plying his trade while Ste-Croix stayed in Quebec to set up a nonprofit holding company named "The High-Heeled Club" to mitigate the losses of the previous summer. In 1981, they met with better results. By that fall, Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul had broken even; the success inspired Laliberté and Ste-Croix to organize a summer fair in their hometown of Baie-Saint-Paul. This touring festival, called "La Fête Foraine", first took place in July 1982. La Fête Foraine featured workshops to teach the circus arts to the public, after which those who participated could take part in a performance; the festival was barred from its own hosting town after complaints from local citizens. Laliberté managed