The massive hoop they use in their show is called the Cyr wheel. It’s an acrobatic apparatus that consists of a single large ring made of aluminum or steel. It is life-sized and made to fit the performers. It spins and travels across the stage with the momentum created by letting your body weight fall then pick back up. It’s this back and forth that propels the wheel. That and an aversion to dizziness, I would imagine!
Performers Lea Toran Jenner and Francis Perreault met at the National Circus School of Montreal, and have since been inseparable. While exploring new frontiers in the world of acrobatics, the pair wanted to further their skills together, using a single wheel. The combination of their passion for the discipline, their advanced skill set and creativity to take on new challenges, make DUO UNITY undeniably stunning to watch. They’ve also picked up a few medals along the way, including a bronze from the “World Circus Festival of Tomorrow” in Paris.
Their one-wheel act is both simple, yet complex. It starts with Francis standing solo in the blue spotlight. Lea appears and joins him inside. They start close together until she takes over and the hoop goes back and forth between the two. She starts spinning by herself and then he jumps in! The two are magically spinning like a top across the stage with nothing to support them except each other and the wheel. They look like a spinning coin! Seriously, try spinning one on the table right now, and you’ll see what I mean!
A few dance moves are added in between, but the performance is mostly about them and the wheel and their remarkable command of it. Notice how Lea does the splits more than once while inside. And the standing splits she does with Francis while suspended across the wheel — what talented performers. I’d forget all about my dinner!
Click below for a performance that’ll have you catching your breath!