A trapeze is a short horizontal bar hung by ropes or metal straps from a support. It is an aerial apparatus commonly found in circus performances. Trapeze acts may be static, spinning (rigged from a single point), swinging or flying, and may be performed solo, double, triple or as a group act.

The art of trapeze performance was developed by Jules Léotard, a young French acrobat and aerialist, in Toulouse in the mid-1800s. He invented the flying trapeze, practising over his father's swimming pool.

Static trapeze refers to a trapeze act in which the performer moves around the bar and ropes, performing a wide range of movements including balances, drops, hangs while the bar itself stays generally static. The difficulty on a static trapeze is making every move look effortless. It is like dance, in that most people of a reasonable level of strength can get onto the trapeze bar for the first time and perform some basic tricks, but an experienced artist will do them with much more grace and style. Static trapeze, also known as fixed trapeze, is a type of circus art performed on the trapeze. In contrast to the other forms of trapeze, on static trapeze the bars and ropes mainly stay in place.

Most often, the static trapeze is about 1.5 feet wide and the bar is generally 2 inches in diameter. The ropes are at least two human lengths, as many figures are performed on the ropes above the bar. The ropes can be made of many materials, including cotton or hemp, and often have a wire woven inside. It can be performed by a single artist or two partners working together. A single artist will do tricks above and below the bar, the ropes playing just as important a part as the bar. A partner act will involve the partners working together — supporting each other's weight, throwing, lifting and catching each other.

Self-standing trapezes can be purchased for home use.

Multiple trapeze is an act entailing the use of more than one trapeze, typically two or three. In these acts, multiple people perform simultaneously. The most common type of multiple trapeze is a "triple trapeze". A triple trapeze has one long bar, held up by a ropes, basically three trapezes put together, with the middle trapeze sharing the ropes of the other two. Multiple trapeze can also refer to an abstract structure with trapeze like structures, inside which multiple artists may perform.


Triple trapeze at Circus Juventas

A triple trapeze is a type of static (still) trapeze with three trapezes on one bar. Therefore, there are four ropes connecting this trapeze to its frame, or whatever it is hanging from. Performers specialize in synchronized tricks. One example of a triple trapeze act can be seen in Cirque du Soleil's show Varekai. An experimental cage-like structure was created for the show, but was ultimately scrapped in production. However, the structure did appear in the 'making of' documentary Fire Within.

(Information from Wikipedia)

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