- About Philippe Petit
Full name: Philippe Petit
Also known as: Philippe Petit, Petit, Philippe, Philippe Petit.
Professions: French high wire artist
- Philippe Petit Biography
Philippe Petit (French pronunciation: [filip pəti]; born 13 August 1949) is a French high-wire artist who gained fame in 1974 for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, on the morning of 7 August. For his unauthorized feat (which he referred to as "le coup") 1350 feet above the ground, he rigged a 450-pound (200-kilogram) cable and used a custom-made 26-foot (8-metre) long, 55-pound (25-kilogram) balancing pole. He performed for 45 minutes, making eight passes along the wire. The next week, he celebrated his 25th birthday. All charges were dismissed in exchange for his doing a performance in Central Park for children.Since then, Petit has lived in New York, where he has been artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, also a location of other aerial performances. He has done wire walking as part of official celebrations in New York, across the United States, and in France and other countries, as well as teaching workshops on the art. In 2008, Man on Wire, a documentary directed by James Marsh about Petit's walk between the towers, won numerous awards. He was also the subject of a children's book and an animated adaptation of it, released in 2005. The song "Man On A Wire" by The Script on their fourth album, No Sound Without Silence, is influenced by Petit's high-wire legacy.Peti was born in Nemours, Seine-et-Marne, France; his father Edmond Petit was an author and a former Army pilot. At an early age, the boy discovered magic and juggling. He loved to climb, and at 16, he took his first steps on a tightrope wire. Petit learned everything by himself, during a period when he was also expelled from five different schools."Within one year," he told a reporter, "I taught myself to do all the things you could do on a wire. I learned the backward somersault, the front somersault, the unicycle, the bicycle, the chair on the wire, jumping through hoops. But I thought, 'What is the big deal here? It looks almost ugly.' So I started to discard those tricks and to reinvent my art."He also became adept at equestrianism, fencing, carpentry, rock-climbing, and the art of bullfighting. Spurning circuses and their formulaic performances, he created his street persona on the sidewalks of Paris. In the early 1970s, he visited New York City, where he frequently juggled and worked on a slack rope in Washington Square Park.
- Philippe Petit Family