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Baryshnikov Arts Center to Present Philippe Petit's OPEN PRACTICE

Open Practice gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at his creative process and the origins of many of his singular walks and moves on the wire.

Baryshnikov Arts Center to Present Philippe Petit's OPEN PRACTICE

The Baryshnikov Arts Center's Spring 2022 Season will open with the New York City premiere of Open Practice, a virtual performance by high wire artist Philippe Petit. Open Practice is free and available to watch on demand from Monday, February 7, at 5pm ET, until Monday, February 21, at 5pm, at bacnyc.org.

To prepare for his high wire walks around the globe-more than 80 of them so far-Philippe Petit has practiced almost daily for the last 55 years. His new show, Open Practice, filmed at the majestic Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, NY, gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at his creative process and the origins of many of his singular walks and moves on the wire. Interspersed with anecdotes about his life and reflections on bringing theater to the wire, he reveals his philosophy on what he calls "cheating the impossible." Open Practice offers a rare opportunity to peer into the fascinating imagination and backstage world of a unique master.

Run time: 60 minutes

On August 7, 1974, high wire artist Philippe Petit walked a high wire he had secretly rigged between the rooftops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Petit's book, To Reach the Clouds, which recounts that adventure, was the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary Man on Wire, as well as the IMAX 3D Robert Zemeckis film, The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Starting at the age of 6, Petit taught himself close-up magic, followed by juggling, chess, lock picking, 18th-century timber framing, the art of pick-pocketing, six languages, and, of course, wire walking. He has performed more than 80 high wire walks on six continents, has been arrested over 500 times for street juggling, and estimates that he has walked the equivalent of the earth's circumference on wires.

The author of eight published books (most translated into multiple languages), Petit is currently writing his autobiography. He gives lectures on creativity and other topics to audiences all over the world, directs plays, performs a one-man show, and gives master classes on tightrope walking. He continues to perform on the wire. Among his dream projects is a walk on an inclined cable on Easter Island amid the giant sacred stone Moai, and another between the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Photo credit: Steven Moore



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