blå trapetsen

in 2013 i worked with the artist Cilla Sterner to bring some flying trapeze to the citizens of Malmö, Sweden. every year, in august, Malmöfestivalen takes over the city for a week, and the local government arranges an enormous amount of cultural events and entertainment for it’s denizens.  Cilla and myself somehow convinced the organizers to let me buy and set up a rig in the main square, and teach anyone willing to fly.

i contacted a few of my acrobat buddies in the USA and together with my friend and rigger, Arlie Hart, we did just that. over the course of that week, we launched about 1200 people in to the air, and caught about 200 of them. my co-conspirators were mainly friends from the Trapeze School of New York, where i taught for many years: Paul Cannon, one of my first flying trapeze teachers, Megan Bourke, Hal Anderson (who was my work partner for many many years in the tent on 30th street), and Gavi Davidson.

it was a fabulous week… although difficult logistically. the city had never allowed anything like this before and it was new and looked risky. we were temporarily shut down several times! after visits by the fire department or other city officials. but we worked it out. and to this day i hear from random people who were there, how moving and inspiring flying was for those who took part… it was a proud moment for me. and a first for Sweden.

the city sold the rig amid a misunderstanding, to another municipality where it has sat since. at some point, if i have another chance, i will build my own rig and start an association for flying trapeze here in southern Skåne. there is an interest and a drive for it!

it all started with my beautiful catch trap…
and a blue net.
arlie designed an aluminum rig that fit in an airplane. pretty slick.
we shipped it to Malmö, and everyone flew in…
one innovation we tried and worked out splendidly was using concrete barrier/ballast blocks as tie points. 2000 lb. blocks… super easy, and adjusted with a fork lift.
Megan, Hal, Arlie and Paul as the rig goes up
it’s up!
my office
getting the spreaders joined. the net goes up next.
finishing the edges and checking all the tie points.
blurry Hal
blurry Gavi
hanging the catch trap
lila and myself… i was so tired! this was a fabulous moment. it was actually going to happen now… and we were going to fly for a week no matter what!
and so they came…
Malmö’s roller derby club, “Crime City Rollers”, came and flew as a dry run…
roller derby and flight work out just fine!
Arlie Hart, spotting
Hal teaching a first time kid… no fear!
the view
“okay little man, here’s how it works….”
kids of all sizes showed up! even older ones…
Gavi in the catch trap
the office
a week’s worth of catching!
we caught so many. swedes like physical challenges!
the fly gurlz of möllevången!

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