‘Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. Credit: Sindre Lunvold ‘Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 1,400 meters – on a unicycle. Credit: Sindre Lunvold

‘Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall monuments and flimsy zipwires. “The goal is to move boundaries and show humans that anything is possible,” says Ronningsbakken.

Metro catches up with Ronningsbakken to learn more.

 

Metro: What got you into extreme balancing?

Ronningsbakken: I first got into this kind of acrobatics at age five. I’ve never done any other type of work and have always tried to make the most of my inborn talent, rather than doing what I thought society expected of me. I started to walk when I was 8 months old, rode a two-wheel bicycle without support wheels when I was 2 and performed my first handstand at 5. And I have been doing this professionally since 1997.

Your line of work is not for the faint-hearted. Are you not scared of what you do?

I am always a little bit afraid and that is absolutely necessary for any human being, in terms of being able to protect ourselves against dangerous situations. On the other hand, I try to be in control of my fear, and not let the fear control me.

How do you prepare before each performance?

First of all, I do basic training and understand the physics behind a human body. Since 1998 I have specialized in the art of balance and was trained at the state school of artists in Berlin. My daily rehearsals consist of yoga, breathing techniques, technical and condition training - and of course good sleep, a varied healthy diet and time to reflect.

How many places have you performed in?

More than 100 countries and I suspect more will come.

Have you suffered from an accident?

I have never suffered any other accidents other than small wounds and cuts during training in low heights. I always start every project on the ground to assure that I handle the technique 100% and then move meter by meter until I reach the actual performance height.

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