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Death-defying circus of the sky

Acro paragliding pilot Gill Schneider has brought a spectacular circus into the clouds.

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

It sounds like something out of a magical children's book: acrobats and jugglers in the sky. But the Paragliding Circus is something that happened in the real world, thanks to acro paragliding pilot Gill Schneider.

Alas, the circus in the sky isn't an ongoing institution; we imagine it would be quite difficult, anyway, for spectators to enjoy. It was 29-year-old Schneider's long-held dream, though, to combine his love of paragliding with his love of the circus. His father, who runs a circus school, loaned Gill some of his students, jugglers, and tumblers, and they were all joined by Roxane Gilliand, aerial acrobat with the Ecole Nationale des Arts du Cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois.

First, it's just mucking about with the parachute, incorporating it into ground acts; then, skimming along just above the ground with a juggler. But when Schneider and Gilliand take to the sky, it becomes something rather spectacular.

(Source: Crave Australia via Colossal)