Date of Birth: 02/28/1824
Place of birth: Saint-Omer
original number - the key to popularity
Jean-Francois Gravel-Blondin (Jean Fran & # 231; ois Gravelet-Blondin) was born on February 28th 1824, the year in Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, France (St Omer, Pas-de-Calais, France ). When five year old boy was sent to the sports school (& # 201; cole de Gymnase) in Lyon (Lyon), after six months of learning acrobatics he made his first appearance before the public, under the stage name `small chudo` (` The Little Wonder`). His dexterity, skill and elegance, as well as the originality of the room with his participation helped Charles quickly gain popularity.
Blondin moved to the United States (United States) in 1855, where he performed together with William Niblo (William Niblo) in New York (New York City). His celebrity Charles especially obliged to the idea to cross the gorge below Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls) along the rope length of 335 m, a diameter of about 8.5 cm, stretched over the water at a height of 50 m. For the first time this dangerous stunt tightrope walker performed on June 30 1859 th and then it pleased the audience in different variations - blindfolded, on stilts, in the sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, carried on the shoulders of his manager, Harry Colcord (Harry Colcord); I stopped in the middle distance, was preparing an omelet and ate it.
First introduced in London`s Crystal Palace in Hyde Park (Crystal Palace, Hyde Park) in 1861, the Frenchman tumbled on stilts on a rope stretched across the central transept, located at an altitude of 70 m above the ground. A year later, an acrobat again gave a series of performances at the Crystal Palace, as well as in other areas of England (England) and on the continent.
When, in 1861, during the execution of the next issue at a height of 50 m, in the Royal Gardens Portobello (Royal Portobello Gardens) in the city of Dublin (Dublin), broke the rope and destroyed forests, Blondin was hurt. However, the forests were on the two workers were killed. The investigation did not have any claims to Charles or his manager, but to the producers of the rope with a diameter of 5 cm and 12.7 cm section of the perimeter there were a number of issues. Event organizer Mr. Kirby (Mr. Kirby) said he would never become involved in something like that. While in America (America), Charles and his manager did not show up at the next hearing - and a warrant was issued for their arrest. However, next year the French daredevil climbed to a height of 32 m above the ground in the same Dublin.
6 September 1873 Blondin crossed Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham (Edgbaston Reservoir, Birmingham). For this feat he erected the statue in 1992, not far from Leydivud Midlvey (Ladywood Middleway). For some time, ending with performances, The Great Blondin reappeared in 1880. In the season 1883-1884 he played a starring role in the pantomime `Jack and the bean derevo` / `Jack in the country chudes` (` Jack and the Beanstalk`) at the Crystal Palace, which was organized by Oscar Barrett (Oscar Barrett).
The last performance of the famous French tightrope walker was held in 1896 - in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Belfast, Northern Ireland). 72-year-old Charles Blondin died of diabetes in Ealing, London (Ealing, London), and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery (Kensal Green Cemetery).
Named in his honor two roads - Blondin Avenue (Blondin Avenue) and Avenue Niagara (Niagara Avenue).
Famous piece of Peruvian playwright Alonso Alegria (Alonso Alegr & # 237; a) `Crossing Niagary` (` Crossing Niagara`) was written under the inspiration of the feat of Charles who crossed Niagara Falls with a man on his shoulders. It faithfully reproduces all the events, as well as disclose the nature of the boy sitting on the shoulders of an acrobat. The premiere of the play took place in Lima (Lima) in 1969, then passed displays in approximately 50 countries, including Spain (Spain) in 2006, and Venezuela (Venezuela) in 2008. In English, `Crossing Niagary` first held in London`s National Theatre (National Theatre) in about 1975, and then - in the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City (Manhattan Theatre Club, New York), around 1982.