2 3 Throwback Thursday and Maria Spelterini | Ballet Webb

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Throwback Thursday and Maria Spelterini

Throwback Thursday and Maria Spelterini

During American’s centennial, many events were held in celebration. One was performed by Maria Spelterini, or Spelterina as she was often called. An Italian tight-rope walker, she was born July 7, 1853 and died on October 12, 1912.

On July 8, 1876 she became the first woman to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. If this wasn’t enough, she returned four days later and did it again with peach baskets tied to her feet. A week later, she did it yet again with a paper bag over her head.

The Niagara gorge became her backdrop and she walked across it with her wrists and ankles shackled. Using the tightrope as her stage, she danced and skipped across it. She also walked across it backwards.

She was apparently very graceful in all her performances and a local paper wrote: “…traveling the gossamer web with a graceful, confident step, which soon allayed all apprehension of an impending disaster."

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Secret #210:
“Maria Spelterini was the first woman to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls.”

For Valentine's Day, the Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“All serious daring starts from within.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing

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