|Han Ho Song achieves world's first quintuple somersault|
with the North Korean National Circus of Pyongyang
First it was the triple - the holy grail that every trapeze flyer sought to achieve and so few would ever master. Then it was the quadruple - finally accomplished more than a 100 years after the invention of the flying trapeze. Now, in the 21st World Christmas Circus in Stuttgart, Germany, Korean flyer Han Ho Song has made circus history by turning FIVE mid-air back somersaults - the believed impossible quintuple - on no less than 25 occasions.
To celebrate, here are Five Facts about the Flying Trapeze.
a drawing from
2 The first safety net was used by Spanish troupe the Rizarellis at London’s Holborn Empire in 1891.
Click here to read
4 Miguel Vazquez and his brother Juan were the first to achieve a quadruple somersault, in a performance by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus in Tuscon, Arizona on July 10, 1982.
5 The swing the flyer uses is called the Fly Bar.
You can watch a video of Han Ho Song’s quintuple on the Circus Geeks website by clicking here.
Update! January 31
- But is it a 'genuine' quadruple? Click here for a contrary view.
For more on the flying trapeze, go backstage at Britain’s oldest circus building, the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, to meet Brazilian trapeze stars The Flying Neves in rehearsal and warm-up, in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus by Douglas McPherson.
Described by the Mail on Sunday as “A brilliant account of a vanishing art form,” Circus Mania is a behind-the-scenes journey through the world of circus from traditional big top shows with Britain’s last tigers and elephants to the sophistication of Cirque du Soleil.
Click here to buy Circus Mania from Amazon.