Dancing on air

This post was written by Andrea Paoletti

“For  me it is so simple that life should be lived on the edges of life, you have to exercise rebellion to refuse to tape yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every day, every idea as a true challenge and then you are going to live your life on a tight rope.”  Philippe Petit


I spent my last days lying on a sofa because of a knee surgery. And I took the chance to watch an inspiring documentary: James Marsh’s Man on Wire. What a best moment to watch someone walking on a rope when I couldn’t even walk on the floor!

I was fascinating by Philippe Petit. He said that his passion for wire-walking began in childhood, when he retreated from his disciplinarian father, a pilot in the French Air Force. “I started to close myself in my own world, and to not play with other kids.” He was subsequently expelled from five schools, took impromptu lessons with the legendary wire-walker Rudolf Oman-kowsky, and began a career as a street entertainer.

Philippe wrote in the sky with his body. Between the towers of the Notre Dame de Paris, between the two north pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in Sydney and at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

On the 7 August 1974 he danced on air for 45 minutes, making eight crossings between the towers, a quarter mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan. When they asked him if he felt any fear during the experience he answered:

No, no. I felt an immense elation, and that I was actually venturing in another world. Literally a world where man is not really allowed. There was some turbulence also, where the air current was moving me around, so it was another world and I was an explorer there. “

Many people could think about him as an insane but it is just inspiring his way to make a dream real. Believing in it, inventing a new approach, experimenting, and finally dancing on air.






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