Team of Equilibrists

TEAM OF EQUILIBRISTSThe pair is discovered standing side by side. They take their bows. The smaller of the two, who is the top man, or perhaps woman, then backs away, runs a few steps and jumps toward her partner, who raises his arms, catches her by the hands and lifts her over his head. She kicks her legs to gain balance, then straightens them up and remains poised, while he sways a little to maintain balance. At a word from him, she is lowered and hops down to her feet. They bow side by side. In a similar way he might catch her by the waist and lift her, or might balance her head on head.

Unless a ludicrous parody of this performance is wanted, it must be practiced until everything goes without a hitch. The marionettes should have a tall proscenium arch or, lacking that, should be made small. Two puppeteers are needed.

One manipulates each figure. The under man need have no leg joints; solid legs would give him a rigid stance. He has head- and back-strings fastened to one stick, and hand-strings, passing through the top man's hands, fastened to another. The top man has head- and back-strings fastened to one stick, and knee-strings fastened to another, which has extensions at right-angles to its ends for heel-strings.
When the top man jumps, the' under man's hand-stick is raised, bringing the hands together I and raising his arms. The top man's knee-stick is raised till this figure is aloft, and it is then rotated so that its extensions bring up the heels. For a waist hold or a head stand, other strings might run from the under man's hands to the top man's waist, or from his head to hers.

Adagio dancers could be worked on this principle.