The Whitney's Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965

Solo en Inglès

Hear about the artists and artworks in this exhibition on this kid-friendly guide, made specially for kids 6–10 years old.

Tightrope

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Narrator: Do you see the tightrope walkers? Look for two figures on a low wire.

Sarah Schwartz: My name is Sarah Schwarz. I am a company member; this is my third season with the Big Apple Circus. And as a company member, we do different acts every year. I am doing the wire, this is my main act, so this year I can present my tightrope act in the Big Apple Circus.

Narrator: Sarah Schwarz learned to walk a tightrope in Germany, where she was born. Calder used his fingers to manipulate the string, coaxing the acrobats across the tightrope. What goes through a real performer’s mind as she’s walking the tightrope?

Sarah Schwartz: You want details? [Laughs] All the details: you look at the end of the wire, you keep your arms up, you put your feet straight, not like a duck, and not like the ballerinas in the beginning: you just put them straight. A wire is about twelve millimeters thick; it’s more or less like the little finger. It’s about 7 meters long—I’m sorry I don’t speak in feet and inches. What else is to tell about the wire? It is for me the most beautiful instrument in the circus. You become light, you get this feeling of flying, dancing in the air. Mm-hm!

Narrator: Do you see the tightrope walkers? Look for two figures on a low wire.

Sarah Schwartz: My name is Sarah Schwarz. I am a company member; this is my third season with the Big Apple Circus. And as a company member, we do different acts every year. I am doing the wire, this is my main act, so this year I can present my tightrope act in the Big Apple Circus.

Narrator: Sarah Schwarz learned to walk a tightrope in Germany, where she was born. Calder used his fingers to manipulate the string, coaxing the acrobats across the tightrope. What goes through a real performer’s mind as she’s walking the tightrope?

Sarah Schwartz: You want details? [Laughs] All the details: you look at the end of the wire, you keep your arms up, you put your feet straight, not like a duck, and not like the ballerinas in the beginning: you just put them straight. A wire is about twelve millimeters thick; it’s more or less like the little finger. It’s about 7 meters long—I’m sorry I don’t speak in feet and inches. What else is to tell about the wire? It is for me the most beautiful instrument in the circus. You become light, you get this feeling of flying, dancing in the air. Mm-hm!