When you happen upon a hand balancing act on the street and are reminded of the Alexis Brothers* from Cirque du Soleil, you know you are seeing world-class professional talent. I have done many stories on street performers, particularly in Washington Square Park, including a recent one on street acrobats. In the interest of variety of subject and setting, I try to limit posts on a particular topic.
However, watching the duo in the Park on Sunday afternoon, shown in today's photo, it was immediately apparent that this was not your average street show. The display of strength, skill, movement and presentation was remarkable in this hand balancing act with Rudi Macaggi and Lea McGowan. The audience was transfixed.
Rudi is a third generation entertainer and acrobat from Milan, Italy, who has traveled the globe, performing on stage since the age of 7. He has worked venues in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and has had national television appearances on Penn and Teller's Sin City Spectacular and The Tonight show with Jay Leno. In 2006, Rudi won first place in the Crazy Caliber category of the TV show America's Got Talent.
Rudi's one man show has been seen around New York City at clubs like the Slipper Room and The Box (both in the Lower East Side). The Acromedian does a one and a half hour show - an amalgam of visual comedy, hand balancing, acrobatics, story telling and standup, peppered with his famous quip, "I like you."
His street show featured his hand balancing routine with Lea along with a number of stunts, such as doing a one armed handstand while dribbling a basketball, as well as his finale of a back somersault landing in a one armed handstand - you can see my short video of it here. Always on the move, catch 'em if you can :)
*Note: If you have never seen hand balancing act of brothers Marco and Paulo Lorador, who performed in Cirque du Soleil's shows Saltimbanco and Mystère, you can see a video from their act at their website here.