Trapeze Performer

TRAPEZE PERFORMERAt rise of curtain, standing under a white trapeze, the marionette bows elaborately, raises hands, bends knees and jumps for the trapeze bar, catching it with hands well apart. Then it chins three times, drops off and bows again.

One puppeteer holds it to the trapeze, the other operates it. Strings from its hands run up through holes in the bar to a control stick. The assistant puppeteer pulls this up till the hands touch the bar, swings the trapeze and releases the marionette when its turn is done.

The chief puppeteer holds two control sticks. To one are attached kneestrings. To the other are attached head, heel and back strings. When the marionette chins, he lets down the second stick till the figure crouches, then pulls it up sharply as the assistant brings the hands to the bar, and finally raises it slowly till the arms bend and the head comes above the bar.

The marionette jumps for the trapeze again, sits or lies full length on it and swings, then drops off and bows. The chief puppeteer brings it to a chinning position, raises it further till its arms are over the bar, supporting its body by the backĀ­ string, and shoves its legs over the bar by means of the kneestrings.

Now the marionette jumps for the bar, lifts heels over head and does a handstand on it, balancing for a moment, then slowly and carefully lifts a hand from the bar and remains poised on but one. Down again slowly, to drop off and bow. When the figure is almost ready to sit on the bar, its heel-strings are pulled up and it does a handstand on one or both hands.

Next it swings by its knees. While it sits on the bar the stick with headstrings is lowered till the figure falls over backwards, and the stick with kneestrings is held so that the knees hang bent over the bar.

To conclude the marionette runs, jumps to the bar, swings by the hands, drops off backwards, runs, catches it again, or misses and lands in the footlights or wings. In this turn the chief puppeteer makes it run and jump while the assistant, timing perfectly, pulls it to the bar and drops it again.

My NotesColor ImageThis trick I have used in the past only I do it a bit differently. My version is not attached to the trapeze
but simply has hooks on it's hands to loop over the bar. I also use toe strings to manipulate the legs through the trapeze.

To the left is my color version of the graphic. If you run your mouse over the colors listed below it will change the graphic to just those strings associated with that color. Below you will see a close up of the Green strings.

All Strings

Head, Heels and Back
Close Up