When we hear the word “suspension,” the first image that comes to mind is that of a vehicle’s suspension system. However, suspension can also be seen in various art forms, including acrobatics, dance, and sculpture. One such art form that has gained popularity in recent years is suspension circulaire, which involves performers being suspended in mid-air through their interactions with a rotating metal ring. In this article, we will delve into this unique art form and explore the intricate dynamics of circular suspension.

What is Suspension Circulaire?

Suspension circulaire is a form of performance art that involves a performer being suspended in mid-air through their interactions with a metal ring that rotates horizontally. The performer must move their body in sync with the rotation of the ring, creating a gravity-defying spectacle that mesmerizes audiences. The metal ring used is typically made of steel or aluminum, with a diameter ranging from 3 to 10 feet.

The art of suspension circulaire is rooted in the ancient Indian art of Mallakhamb, which involves gymnastics performed on a vertical pole or rope. Modern suspension circulaire, however, was first introduced in France in the 1990s by the famous choreographer, Philippe Decouflé. Since then, it has gained popularity in circus performances and other performing arts.

The Perks and Challenges of Circular Suspension

Performers of suspension circulaire have to achieve a delicate balance between physical strength and artistic expression. They must have exceptional strength, flexibility, and coordination, as well as the ability to generate enough momentum to keep the ring rotating at a steady pace. Moreover, they must keep their bodies in perfect sync with the ring’s rotation to create the illusion of floating in mid-air.

On the other hand, suspension circulaire also poses several challenges for performers. The continuous rotation of the ring can create a sense of disorientation, which can affect the performer’s coordination and balance. Furthermore, the performer is also exposed to the risk of injury due to the high level of physical exertion involved in this art form.

The Art of Circular Suspension in Practice

A suspension circulaire performance typically starts with a performer climbing onto the metal ring and positioning themselves near its center. The ring is then set in motion by one or more assistants who spin it manually or with the help of a motor. The performer then begins their routine, utilizing various poses and movements to interact with the rotation of the ring.

Some of the most common poses in suspension circulaire include the bird pose, the eagle pose, and the mermaid pose. In the bird pose, the performer extends their arms outward and rotates parallel to the ground. In the eagle pose, the performer holds their legs perpendicular to the ring and their arms extended in front of them. Finally, in the mermaid pose, the performer curls their body into a ball and rotates around the ring’s center.

Closing Thoughts

Suspension circulaire is a form of performance art that showcases the incredible strength and artistic expression of its performers. Combining elements of gymnastics, dance, and acrobatics, this art form has kept audiences mesmerized for years. However, it can only be mastered through years of practice and perseverance. With its delicate balance of strength and grace, suspension circulaire is indeed an artistic marvel beyond gravity.

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