Aerial silks is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a fabric. The fabric may be hung as two pieces, or a single piece, folded to make a loop, classified as hammock silks. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety, they use the fabric to wrap, drop and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through striking poses and figures while flying; some performers use dried or spray rosin on their hands and feet to increase the friction and grip on the fabric. The three main categories of tricks are climbs and drops. Climbs employed by aerialists range from purely practical and efficient, such as the Russian climb, to athletic and elegant tricks of their own, such as the straddle climb. Wraps are static. In general, the more complicated the wrap, the stronger the force of friction and the less effort required to hold oneself up.
Some wraps, such as the straddle-back-balance allow performers to release their hands. Foot locks are a sub-category of wraps where the silks are wrapped around one or both feet, for instance, an ankle hang. In a drop, performers wrap themselves up high on the silks before falling to a lower position. Drops can combine aspects of free fall, rolling or otherwise rotating oneself before landing in a new pose. Preparation for a drop can make for a pretty wrap, but the ultimate goal is the fall rather than the pose. Of the three trick types, drops require the most strength and are the most dangerous. Rosin is employed to help performers maintain their grip. Aerial silks are a demanding art and require a high degree of strength, flexibility, courage and grace to practice; the fabrics used as silks are strong with some give and flexibility. The fabric is Tricot Nylon; the width varies depending on the acrobat. The fabric is quite long, as it is doubled for rigging, giving the acrobat two strips of fabric to work with as they perform.
Stretch Low stretch fabrics. Low stretch fabrics are used by beginners who have not yet developed proper climbing technique. Medium stretch fabrics. Medium stretch fabrics are the principal choice of professional aerialists and graduates of professional training programs. Width. Fabric width is a personal choice; the thickness of the fabric when gathered is influenced by the "denier", or technical thickness of the fabric's weave. 40 denier is a common choice. The following applies to 40 denier nylon fabric: 60" - Narrow when open, thin. Common because the fabric is available. 72-84" - Average for adult performers 96" - Wide when open, thick. Best for adults with large hands. 108” - Very wide and thick. For adults with large hands, or specialty acts. Length Length is a function of the height of the space available. For beginners, it is beneficial if the fabric comes down past the ground, allowing them to practice wraps at a lower level where they can be spotted. For intermediate users and above, it is sufficient.
For all users, the space required is between 20 feet and 30 feet. There are a great many tricks that can be done on a 12-to-15-foot aerial fabric and a few drops require more than 30 feet, but for the most part 20 to 30 feet is best. Aerial silks were invented in 1995 by André Simard, the journey began when he was hired by Cirque du Soleil to develop and research acrobatics in 1987, his job was to discover original and imaginative ways to attract the audience to the shows.. Now silks have been incorporated into circus arts as well as a form of aerial fitness. Aerial rigging applies to the hanging of aerial hammocks. Aerial silk rigging equipment includes: a figure-eight descender, rescue eight, ring, or another piece of hardware for holding the silk a ball-bearing swivel to keep the silk from twisting and to allow for spinning, sometimes not used but makes spinning more manageable carabiners for connecting the silk hardware to the swivel, for connecting the swivel to a mounting point, so depending on the setup, there can be multiple carabiners in use at one time.
Carabiners are the most used rigging piece for all aerial arts, but only two or three styles are safe for aerial use, these are the auto lock gate and screw gate carabiner. Rated two different ways, one for the spine and one for the gate, though distributing weight on the gate is not recommended for it is about 1/3 of the spine kN rating; when using a carabiner for aerial arts, it is important to hook rotate and screw downwards, so there is little or no risk that the carabiner will accidentally open or that the screw gate will become unscrewed the top part of a carabiner is stronger. A span set or daisy chain can be used to add length to the silks if needed, they can be used to wrap around a beam. A span set is a polyester loop that can hold up depending on the quality. A daisy chain is made of nylon webbing with loops sewn on, to offer more length variation, but it is less strong a span set and may not be able to withstand the downward force of drops and other aerial tricks. A basic daisy chain tops out at around 4kN on each loop, end to end is around 22kN.
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Slackwire is an acrobatic circus act, that involves the balancing skills of moving along a flexible/slack thin wire suspended in the air, connected to two anchor points. Not to be confused with slacklining. "slack wire" utilizes a steel wire 4–8 mm in diameter fixed between two anchor points. It can have two single stands with two extending wire pieces each to install the apparatus in an arena, or two "A" frames stands with one extending wire piece for each, it can be mounted between two trees at an appropriate distance apart or fixed to a ceiling or any points which are strong enough to hold a performer's weight. Wire walking artists use soft shoes made of leather. A slack rope is similar to a slack wire; the difference between a slack rope and a slackwire is in the characteristics of wire. A slack rope utilizes a rope 10–20 mm in diameter. For both slack wire and slack rope, there are minuses to do stunts. For example, it is more comfortable to do "sliding" tricks on a wire than on a rope. On a Slack rope a performer can walk without shoes, but, painful on a Slackwire.
In addition, a Slack rope is similar to a Cloud Swing. The technique of balance – a performer balances or moves on the wire while needing to control the wire beneath him from moving abruptly side to side, making continual adjustments; this skill is similar to balancing a stick on a finger. Each Slackwire performer uses his/her own preferred angle of slack and length of the wire; the slack angle is the V-shaped angle created when a performer stands in the middle of the walking part of the wire. The angle depends on how long or short the wire is relative to the distance between two anchor points; this affects the swing amplitude of the wire side to side. Some slackwire artists change the angle of the wire during their act. See video in which a Chinese artist performs on the Slackwire, changing the angles of the wire with the help of a winch several times during the performance. Video The degree of ease or difficulty for a performer to move the wire is dependent upon how thick the wire or rope is.
The heavier the wire or rope, the more inertia is required to move it laterally, but requires more force to contro. The skills and stunts performed on a slack Wire and slackrope include: Beyond standing and walking artists can do turns, lying down, knee stands, sliding and backward rolls, hand stands, including cartwheels, head stands. Props such as a ladder, unicycle, a rola-bola are incorporated into some acts; some more advanced Slackwire stunts are done while the wire is swinging, including standing and walking. Slackwire balancing skills can be combined with tricks as various kinds of juggling, balancing a stick on the performer’s head, playing a musical instrument, etc; some of the same skills can be seen in Cloud Trapeze acts as well. Jumping Rope is popular in many circus acts; the skill has been performed on the ground in many variations, on a Tightrope, on a slackline, but difficult on a slackwire because the wire moves when the performer jumps up and there is no way to control the swing and position of the wire when landing.
This makes such stunts as somersaults and acrobatic tumbling impossible. Jumping rope on a slackwire was first accomplished in 1985; the only person to do the stunt is Sergey Pavlov Sergey has been able to complete up to 7 consecutive jumps. Video - S. Pavlov - 4 skips and dancing Video - S. Pavlov - 5 skips Slackwire and tightrope appear to be similar skills to walking and balancing on a thin wire/rope, but the technique of balance is different between them. The citation from Tightrope walking: "Slackwire and tight wire/tightrope require different balancing techniques: tightrope performers keep their balance by shifting their weight over the rigid tight wire, while slackwire performers use a precise swinging motion to move the relaxed slackwire under their center of mass." Because of this, an artist who works on a tightrope cannot make a transition to the Slackwire. He/she needs to spend time to train himself/herself to balance in this different manner and vice versa for artists working first on a slackwire.
Some tight-wire artists demonstrate a stunt called “the swings”. An artist takes the position on the wire his assistant reduces the tightness/tension of the wire and the artist demonstrates “swings.” The tight wire is adjusted to a less tight condition. This stunt involves multiple skills to maintain balance. After the demonstration the assistant adjusts the wire back to its original tightness/tension. Video - Volzhansky family "Prometheus"/"Прометей", 1977" The same stunt can be demonstrated on a slackline. There is confusion, they are not the same. They are different kinds of apparatuses; the differences between Slackwire and Slackline: Slackwire utilizes a steel wire 4–8 mm in diameter, while Slackline utilizes a nylon webbing/strap 50 mm in width. Different Techniques of balancing:A slackwire has a loop and can be used like a swing, but a slackline has no loop; the line is stretched tight between two anchor points like a tightrope and can only swing within a small amplitude. A slackline can be used like a trampoline.
In contrast, a Slackwire cannot be used like a trampoline, because when a performer jumps up from the loop of wire it will swing away with no way to anticipate its location upon landing. Video -(sla
Turn (dance and gymnastics)
In dance and gymnastics, a turn is a rotation of the body about the vertical axis. It is a complete rotation of the body, although quarter and half turns are possible for some types of turns. Multiple, consecutive turns are named according to the number of 360° rotations. There are many types of turns; the performer may be airborne during a turn. When supported by one leg, that leg is known as the supporting leg and the other as the free, raised, or working leg. During airborne turns, the first leg to leave the floor is the leading leg. Trunk and head positions can vary, in turns with one supporting leg, the free leg may be straight or bent. Turns can begin in various ways as well. For example, ballet turns may begin by rising to relevé or by stepping directly onto relevé; some turns can be executed in either of two directions. In ballet, a turn in the direction of the raised leg is said to be en dehors whereas a turn in the opposite direction is en dedans. In ballroom dancing, a natural turn is a clockwise revolution of dance partners around each other, its mirrored counterpart is the counter-clockwise reverse turn.
In some dance genres and dance notation systems, a turn in which the performer rotates without traveling is known as a pivot. Pivots may be performed on both feet. Spotting is a technique, used when executing turns, in which a performer executes a periodic, rapid rotation of the head that serves to fix the performer's gaze on a single spot, thus giving the impression that the head is always facing forward. Spotting prevents dizziness by allowing the head to remain stable during most of the turn; this helps the performer maintain balance and, when executing traveling turns such as tours chaînés and piques, it helps the performer control the direction of travel. An attitude turn is performed with the working leg held in attitude position. In ballet, the performer may be assisted by a partner. An axel is a turn in which the performer leaps into the air and, while airborne, tucks both legs underneath and rotates, it is executed while traveling across the floor. It is performed in jazz dance and is immediately preceded by a chaînés in a deep plié.
A barrel roll turn, or barrel roll, is a turn that involves casting the arms up and leaping into the air and rotating 360 degrees while airborne. While airborne, the performer's back may be arched and the head, it ends with the performer facing forward. Barrel roll turns are used in tap and contemporary dance. Chaînés is a type of two-step turn, executed while the performer travels along a line or curved path, it is performed on alternating feet and results in a complete rotation for every two steps taken. It is used in ballet and ballroom dancing. In the first half-turn, one foot is stepped out to the dancer's side in the direction of travel and placed in releve or en pointe; as this happens, the arms are brought together away from the chest and spotting technique is employed so that the dancer's head faces the direction of travel as much as possible. The second half-turn is executed with the feet together. Upon completion of the second half-turn, the first foot is stepped out again to begin another turn.
In ballet, chaînés turns are performed at a fast tempo, with each turn lasting one half or one quarter of a music beat. They inwards. A fouetté turn begins with the performer standing on one flat foot in plié; the working leg is extended and whipped around to the side and once extended to maximum turnout and pulled in to a passe or retiré position. The foot beats behind the knee and to the front of the knee of the supporting leg before extending back out to the front. At the same time, the supporting foot transitions to relevé, in ballet rising to en pointe; these movements create the angular momentum needed for one turn, executed by rotating in place on the supporting foot. In classical ballet, particular significance is attached to the successful completion of thirty-two consecutive fouettés, a feat first performed publicly by Italian ballerina Pierina Legnani in 1893 and since incorporated into the grand pas of Swan Lake and other 20th-century ballets. An illusion turn is performed by keeping the working leg aligned with the torso while a 360 degree spin is executed while the torso pivots down and back up at the hip.
An illusion can be performed by turning toward or away from the working leg. Illusions are performed in jazz dance and rhythmic gymnastics. A piqué turn is begun by stepping directly onto the ball of a relevé foot, followed by a complete rotation while supported by the relevé foot before returning to plié position; the working leg is held in retiré position, but may be held in a variety of other positions, either with or without turnout. A pirouette is a type of dance turn on one foot, it is performed with turnout in ballet, without turnout in gymnastics and many other genres of dance, such as jazz and modern. It is executed by
A mattress is a large, rectangular pad for supporting the reclining body, designed to be used as a bed or on a bed frame, as part of a bed. Mattresses may consist of a quilted or fastened case of heavy cloth, that contains materials such as hair, cotton, foam rubber, or a framework of metal springs. Mattresses may be filled with air or water. Mattresses are placed on top of a bed base which may be solid, as in the case of a platform bed, or elastic, such as an upholstered wood and wire box spring or a slatted foundation. Popular in Europe, a divan incorporates both mattress and foundation in a single upholstered, footed unit. Divans have at least one innerspring layer as well as cushioning materials, they may be supplied with a secondary mattress and/or a removable "topper." Mattresses may be filled with air or water, or a variety of natural fibers, such as in futons. Kapok is a common mattress material in Southeast Asia, coir in South Asia; the word mattress derives from the Arabic مَطْرَحٌ which means "something thrown down" or "place where something is thrown down" and hence "mat, cushion".
During the Crusades Europeans adopted the Arabic method of sleeping on cushions on the floor, the word materas descended into Middle English through the Romance languages. The oldest known mattress dates to around 77,000 years ago. Early mattresses contained a variety of natural materials including feathers or horse hair. In the first half of the 20th century, a typical mattress sold in North America had an innerspring core and cotton batting or fiberfill. Modern mattresses contain either an inner spring core or materials such as latex, viscoelastic or other flexible polyurethane foams. Other fill components include insulator pads over the coils that prevent the bed's upholstery layers from cupping down into the innerspring, as well as polyester fiberfill in the bed's top upholstery layers. In 1899 James Marshall introduced the first individually wrapped pocketed spring coil mattress now known as Marshall coils. In North America the typical mattress sold. In Europe, polyurethane foam cores and latex cores have long been popular and make up a much larger proportion of the mattresses sold.
A conventional mattress consists of two primary sections – a core or "support layer" and the upholstery or "comfort layer" – wrapped in a thick fabric called the ticking. Upholstery layers provide cushioning and comfort; the upholstery layer consists of three parts: the insulator, the middle upholstery, the quilt. Mattresses are made to conform to bed sizing standards that vary by market. Innerspring mattresses consist of just the spring core, the top and bottom upholstery layers; the core of the mattress supports the sleeper’s body. Modern spring mattress cores called "innersprings" are made up of steel coil springs, or "coils"; the gauge of the coils is another factor which determines support. Coils are measured in quarter increments; the lower the number, the thicker the spring. In general, higher-quality mattress coils have a 14-gauge diameter. Coils of 14 to 15.5-gauge give more under pressure, while a 12.5-gauge coil, the thickest available, feels quite firm. Connections between the coils help the mattress retain its shape.
Most coils are connected by interconnecting wires. There are four types of mattress coils: Bonnell coils are the oldest and most common. First adapted from buggy seat springs of the 19th century, they are still prevalent in mid-priced mattresses. Bonnell springs are a round-top, hourglass-shaped steel wire coil; when laced together with cross wire helicals, these coils form the simplest innerspring unit referred to as a Bonnell unit. Offset coils are an hourglass type coil on which portions of the top and bottom convolutions have been flattened. In assembling the innerspring unit, these flat segments of wire are hinged together with helical wires; the hinging effect of the unit is designed to conform to body shape. LFK coils are an unknotted offset coil with a columnar shape. Continuous coils is an innerspring configuration in which the rows of coils are formed from a single piece of wire, they work in a hinging effect similar to that of offset coils. Marshall coils known as wrapped or encased coils or pocket springs, are thin-gauge, barrel-shaped, knot-less coils individually encased in fabric pockets—normally a fabric from man-made, non-woven fiber.
Some manufacturers pre-compress these coils, which makes the mattress firmer and allows for motion separation between the sides of the bed. As the springs are not wired together, they work more or less independently: the weight on one spring does not affect its neighbors. More than half the consumers who participated in a survey had chosen to buy pocket spring mattresses. Upholstery layers provide cushioning and comfort; some manufacturers call the mattress core the "support layer" and the upholstery layer the "comfort layer". The upholstery layer consists of three parts: the insulator, the middle upholstery, the quilt; the insulator separates the mattress core from the middle upholstery. It is made of fiber or mesh and is intended to keep the middle upholstery in place; the middle upholstery comprises all the material between the quilt. It is made from materials which are intended t
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
Adagio is the performance of partner acrobalance poses and associated movements that involve stationary balances by a pair of performers. It is performed in professional circus, in various dance disciplines including acro dance and ballet, in pair skating, as a hobby in university circus groups. An adagio pair consists of one person acting as another as a base; the base remains in contact with the floor and the flier is balanced in the air. The base may move between a variety of positions including lying on the floor, crouching and kneeling; the flier may be balanced on the base's feet, shoulders, thighs, back or combinations of these, in a variety of positions and orientations including horizontal, vertical or upside down. In general, it is easier for the flier to be lighter and the base heavier and stronger, though this is not a requirement as equal partner weights or an imbalance of weights in the other direction can be leveraged. Acrobatic gymnastics Acrobatics
A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps. There are two types: rigid ladders that are self-supporting or that may be leaned against a vertical surface such as a wall, rollable ladders, such as those made of rope or aluminium, that may be hung from the top; the vertical members of a rigid ladder are called rails or stiles. Rigid ladders are portable, but some types are permanently fixed to a structure, building, or equipment, they are made of metal, wood, or fiberglass, but they have been known to be made of tough plastic. Rigid ladders are available in many forms, such as: Accommodation ladder are portable steps down the side of a ship for boarding. Assault Ladder, used in siege warfare to assist in climbing walls and crossing moats. Attic ladder, pulled down from the ceiling to allow access to an attic or loft. Bridge ladder, a ladder laid horizontally to act as a passage between two points separated by a drop. Cat ladder, a lightweight ladder frame used on steep roofs to prevent workers from sliding.
Christmas tree ladder, a type of boarding ladder for divers which has a single central rail and is open at the sides to allow the diver to climb the ladder while wearing swimfins. Counterbalanced ladder, a fixed ladder with a lower sliding part. A system of counterweights is used to let the lower sliding part descend when released. Extension ladder or "telescopic ladder", a fixed ladder divided into two or more lengths for more convenient storage. 65 ft, 50 ft and some 35 ft extension ladders for fire service use "bangor poles", "tormentor poles" or "stay poles" to help raise, steady, place and lower them due to the heavy weight. Fixed ladder, two side members joined by several rungs. Folding ladder, a ladder in the step ladder style with one or more one-way hinges. Ideal for use on uneven ground, as a trestle or when extended a Fixed ladder; some variations feature a central one-way hinge with extensible locking legs. Hook ladder or pompier ladder, a rigid ladder with a hook at the top to grip a windowsill.
Mobile Safety Steps are self-supporting structures that have wheels or castors making them easy to move. They sometimes have a small upper platform and a hand rail to assist in moving up and down the steps. Orchard ladder, a three legged step ladder with the third leg made so that it can be inserted between tree branches for fruit picking. Platform ladder, a step ladder with a large platform area and a top handrail for the user to hold while working on the platform. Retractable ladder, a ladder that looks like a drainpipe but can be deployed when required. Roof ladder, a rigid ladder with a large hook at the top to grip the ridge of a pitched roof. Sectional ladder known as a builder's ladder, has sections that come apart and are interchangeable so that any number of sections can be connected. Step ladder, a self-supporting portable ladder hinged in the middle to form an inverted V, with stays to keep the two halves at a fixed angle. Step ladders have a hinged back. Telescoping ladder used to refer to a hybrid between a step ladder and an extension ladder with 360-degree hinges.
Trestle ladder, an "A-Frame"-style ladder with a telescoping center section. Turntable ladder, an extension ladder fitted to rotating platform on top of a fire truck. Vertically rising ladder, designed to climb high points and facilitate suspending at said high points. X-deck ladder, a US patented ladder design, a combination ladder and scaffold. Rigid ladders were made of wood, but in the 20th century aluminium became more common because of its lighter weight. Ladders with fiberglass stiles are used for working on or near overhead electrical wires, because fiberglass is an electrical insulator. Henry Quackenbush patented the extension ladder in 1867. Rope ladders or Jacob's ladders are used where storage space is limited, weight must be kept to a minimum, or in instances where the object to be climbed is too curved to use a rigid ladder, they may have flexible rungs. Climbing a rope ladder requires more skill than climbing a rigid ladder, because the ladder tends to swing like a pendulum. Jacob's ladders used on a ship are used for emergencies or for temporary access to the side of a ship.
Steel and aluminium wire ladders are sometimes used in vertical caving, having developed from rope ladders with wooden rungs. The most common injury made by ladder climbers is bruising from falling off a ladder, but bone fractures are common and head injuries are likely, depending on the nature of the accident. Ladders can slip backwards owing to faulty base pads which fit into the ladder stiles. If badly worn, they can allow the aluminium to contact the ground rather than plastic or rubber, so lower the friction with the ground. Ladder stabilizers are available. One of the first ladder stabilizers or ladder feet was offered in 1936 and today they are standard equipment on most large ladders. A ladder standoff, or stay, is a device fitted to the top of a ladder to hold it away from the wall; this enables the ladder to clear overhanging obstacles, such as the eaves of a roof, increases the safe working height for a given length of ladder because of the increased separation distance of the two contact points at the