CUT THE RIBBON, PHILIPPE PETIT

Posted on October 16, 2013 by Editorial Staff

More than 30 years ago, on August the 7th 1974, Philippe Petit, after illegally rigging a tightrope between the Twin Towers of N.Y.’s World Trade Center,  spent nearly an hour dancing in mid-air. It was an adventure which was captured in the Oscar winning film Man on Wire. The movie title was taken from the police report that led to the arrest (and later release) of Petit. ‘There’s a man on wire!’. On that night Petit and his crew were able to ride in a freight elevator to the 104th floor with their equipment and store all the elements they needed. Shortly after Petit stepped off the South Tower and onto his steel cable. He walked on wire for 45 minutes, making eight crossings between the towers, a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan. In addition to walking, he sat on the wire, gave knee salutes and, while lying on the wire, spoke with a gull circling above his head. As soon as Petit was observed by witnesses on the ground, the Police Department dispatched officers to take him. The tightrope ‘dancer’ performance cut a great ribbon and made headlines around the world. When asked why he did that, Petit would say, “When I see three oranges, I juggle, when I see two towers, I walk.”