Soeders and Chalis, 1948

Soeders and Chalis, 1948

Soeders and Chalis revived a teeth-spinning routine as part of their bar-to-catcher act, where the acrobat jumps from his own bar and is caught by the partner swinging on his own trapeze. Aerial acts in Bertram Mills' circus were usually conducted without nets, since Mills believed that if they were performed properly they were not dangerous. Occasionally, a hand-held net was used. Then, eight to ten men from the circus emerged in the darkness to a drum roll, unseen by the audience, to hold the net during a particularly dangerous part of the act. Many performers are proud not to use a net, which they see as a kind of cheating. There are practical reasons for this reluctance too, as some performers have been killed or injured from a bad landing in a net.