Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents

Philippe Petit

Open Practice (New York City Premiere)

February 7-21, 2022

To prepare for his high wire walks around the globe—more than 80 of them so far—Philippe Petit has practiced almost daily for the last 55 years. His most notable adventure was his illegal walk between the Twin Towers, a caper recounted in his book To Reach the Clouds, on which the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary Man on Wire was based. Petit’s latest show, Open Practice, beautifully shot at the majestic Ulster Performing Arts Center, gives audiences front row seats to observe Petit’s creative process and inventive moves on the wire. Interspersed with anecdotes about his life, he reveals some of the extraordinary ways he thinks about creativity and risk and what he calls cheating the impossible.

Philippe Petit
Artist Bio

Philippe Petit

On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit walked a high wire he had secretly rigged between the rooftops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

His book To Reach the Clouds, which recounts that adventure, was the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary Man on Wire, as well as the IMAX 3-D Robert Zemeckis film The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Petit has performed more than 80 high-wire walks on six continents. He is the author of eight published books (most translated into multiple languages), and is currently writing his autobiography. He gives lectures on creativity and other topics to audiences all over the world, directs plays, performs a one-man show, and gives master classes on tightrope walking. He continues to perform on the wire. Among his dream projects is a walk on an inclined cable on Easter Island amid the giant sacred stone Moai, and another between the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

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