US: ‘Flying Wallendas’ Times Square High-Wire Walk Evokes Rich History of Death-Defying Stunts in N.Y. - PressFrom - US
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US‘Flying Wallendas’ Times Square High-Wire Walk Evokes Rich History of Death-Defying Stunts in N.Y.

20:15  23 june  2019
20:15  23 june  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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The high - wire stunt location is between 1 Times Square and 2 Times Square , according to ABC. This is not the first time the Wallenda family has performed a daring high - wire stunt in New York City. Some of his previous televised stunts include his walk across Niagara Falls in June 2012 and

Wallenda is no stranger to stunts . In 2012, he became the first person to walk a tightrope across the Niagara Falls, and in 2014, he walked blindfold between two skyscrapers in Chicago. On Sunday, he and Lijana will start from opposite ends of the wire , meet and cross in the middle of Times Square

‘Flying Wallendas’ Times Square High-Wire Walk Evokes Rich History of Death-Defying Stunts in N.Y.© Scott Olson/Getty Images Nik Wallenda, a tightrope walker, shown in Chicago in 2014. He and his sister, Lijana, plan to walk across Times Square at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Harry Houdini did it more than a century ago when he was shackled inside a packing crate and plunged into the East River.

The daredevil Evel Knievel, dressed in his trademark red, white and blue leather jumpsuit, managed to do it in 1971 when he jumped his motorcycle over nine cars and a van in Madison Square Garden.

Three years later, Philippe Petit aimed for the same effect when he walked a wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Performers have long tried to wow New Yorkers with stupendous stunts, and on Sunday night, Nik and Lijana Wallenda — members of the Flying Wallendas circus family — will follow in that tradition when they try to walk a wire stretched over five city blocks between two skyscrapers in Times Square, 25 stories above street level.

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Wallenda and his sister Lijana plan to walk 1,300 feet (396 meters) across the city's busy Times Square on Sunday in a live television event that has The walk will mark Lijana's first highwire stunt since an accident while rehearsing an eight-person pyramid in 2017 that broke every bone in her face.

They will walk on a wire over times square in New York City. 1300 feet on a cable no thicker than a garden hose, hanging Reporter: The Wallenda family known famously as the flying wallendas trace their roots to European circus Now Playing: Nik Wallenda on his high - wire stunt in Times Square .

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‘Flying Wallendas’ Times Square High-Wire Walk Evokes Rich History of Death-Defying Stunts in N.Y.© Eduardo Munoz/Reuters Mr. Wallenda looked at the shoes he will wear during Sunday’s high-wire walk across Times Square.

“That’s the inspiration behind what I do,” Mr. Wallenda, 40, said in an interview. “I pay tribute to my family and to those greats like Harry Houdini and Philippe Petit. I mean, I want to do it my own way, of course.”

The family, whose performance history dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 1700s, made their American debut in 1928 as part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the old Madison Square Garden, not far from where the Wallendas will start their walk on Sunday night.

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Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, are returning to the high wire for the first time since a 2017 accident After conquering the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, the Wallendas are on to Times Square , where they will traverse “The Crossroads of the World” for their latest death - defying feat.

Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda will air as a live two-hour televised event on ABC. “I am beyond excited to be able to walk with my sister, Lijana, as she overcomes near- death injuries and continues the Wallenda tradition of never giving up!”

New York City’s love affair with death-defying stunts is well established, dating at least to Houdini’s 1912 escape from handcuffs, leg-irons and a sealed, weighted crate that was submerged in the East River.

Mr. Petit, even after being arrested and charged in connection to his World Trade Center feat, was permitted to walk a wire, untethered, over Amsterdam Avenue to St. John the Divine Cathedral in Manhattan in 1982.

In 2006, the illusionist and endurance performer David Blaine spent seven days submerged in a water-filled sphere at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

But alas, times are tougher these days for performers seeking city approval for such stunts.

In 2013, Mr. Wallenda wanted to walk a wire strung between the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, but was unable to get permission from city officials.

The Wallendas were able to get approval for Sunday’s walk provided they wear safety harnesses. While removing a certain element of danger, this ruling also makes the 20-minute walk more difficult, and there will be no safety net, Mr. Wallenda said.

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So you walked on a high - wire across niagara falls. You walked across the grand canyon without a safety harness, and now you're going to take on You know, it really has to do with my family history . My family's first performance in the United States was in 1928, and they walked in Madison square

The wire stretches from 2 Times Square down Broadway to 1 Times Square reported ABC7 NY . Both of the Wallenda siblings will attempt to walk towards one The high - flying family is known for their death - defying stunts . The Flying Wallendas as they are commonly known were helmed by Karl

“It’s like putting handcuffs on somebody and saying, ‘Now walk the wire,’” he said, adding that he will also be wearing cameras and other equipment. “It’s a lot of gear and it adds more and more stress.”

Sunday’s wire walk, which will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 8 p.m., will be more challenging than the one he envisioned for 2013, Mr. Wallenda said.

“The other walk, I would have been so high up and out of the mix. In Times Square you have these crazy L.E.D. billboards distracting you the entire walk. You have thousands of people below, the city lights, the sirens, the horns. This is the most exciting walk I could do in New York City.”

Mr. Wallenda said he and his crew had had a window of less than six hours to rig the wire while Seventh Avenue was shut down overnight. It is 1,300 feet long and strung between 1 Times Square at the south end of the open area of Times Square at 42nd Street, and 2 Times Square, just north of the TKTS booth at 47th Street.

It was a fraught process that involved avoiding power lines and construction zones, he said.

“It was a massive undertaking, setting a quarter-mile cable that really involves rigging four miles of cable when you include the stabilizing lines,” Mr. Wallenda said.

Mr. Wallenda has been walking tightropes since childhood. In 2012, he walked a wire over Niagara Falls, and in 2013, he traversed the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon.

Holding balancing poles, the siblings will start on opposite sides of the wire and meet in front of the Viacom building at 1515 Broadway. They will pass each other — she will sit on the wire, and he will step over her — and complete the walk, he said.

For Ms. Wallenda, 42, the walk is her first high-wire attempt since a 2017 accident in which she and four other walkers fell 30 feet off a tightrope during a rehearsal and were seriously injured.

“She nearly lost her life. She was in a coma and broke every bone in her face,” Mr. Wallenda said. “So this will be extremely emotional. I’ll be surprised if I’m not shedding tears before I even finish.”

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