To say that humanity has an obsession with the wheel is a bit of an understatement. We not only advanced all of society based on the wheel, we continue to use it as a fundamental tool in every day life (we’re looking at you cars).
In 2003, Cirque-Eloize co-founder Daniel Cyr first created the cyr wheel for entertainment. Despite the simple design of the actual cyr wheel, there are many beautiful uses for the large hoop. Now Daniel Cyr may be lauded as the creator of the cyr wheel as we know it today, but he’s actually just the tweaker of the mono-wheel. The mono-wheel was used as early as 1945 as a training tool for German gymnasts. However, once Daniel Cyr began to change the design, it stepped out of the shadows and emerged as an art form.
Think of a massive hula hoop that spins you rather than the other way around. Now add flips, tricks, spins, and whirls. Combine that with the physique needed to control such a large amount of centrifugal force, and you’ve got one amazing show.
I say centrifugal (an outward force using your body as a center due to your body’s own inertia) rather than centripetal (a force that pushes your body to the center of a circular movement) since the performer is providing their own inertia. They are literally throwing their body into motion and bringing the cyr wheel along for the ride. While the weight of the cyr wheel depends on the performer, they are still exponentially heavier than you’d expect.
Once a performer has conquered the insane ability to spin themselves in a giant wheel while balancing on just one small edge, the possibilities become endless. They can add partners, dancing, costumes, and even fire. Yes, you read that correctly. Fire. Firestorm Talent & Entertainment founder Angel Griffin loves to spin round and round while breathing fire. Could there be a more entertaining use for the wheel? We don’t think so either.