Niagara Gazette

Features

January 20, 2014

More flying Wallendas

Niagara Gazette — When dare devil Nik Wallenda was stepping so carefully along the wire over Niagara Falls two years ago, his younger cousin Lyric Wallenda, now 30, was among family members watching the feat and holding their breath.

The aerialist inspired many people with his conviction and his courage, and among them was Lyric, who hopes one day to try to reach her own version of what some might consider impossible dreams.

Lyric, who along with her mother Rietta, will perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic Jan. 25, is among the 40 or so members of the Wallenda family who make their home in Sarasota, where her great grandfather, legendary circus performer Karl Wallenda eventually settled.

She is a seventh generation Wallenda, a direct descendent of Karl, which is a matter of pride to those in the family who choose to work in the family’s business of wire walking and daring aerial stunts.  The act she will perform with her mother in Buffalo, in a production called Cirque Musica, has been performed by several generations of Wallendas. “My great grandmother performed it with her sisters,” Lyric said. “The apparatus and tricks we do is close to what my great grandmother did.”

During a portion of the show, Lyric will be hanging from at the top of an 11-foot long pole by a foot loop while holding her mother by the hand and do a variety of tricks. “We finish the act with me spinning her by her neck,” she said.

The program will include with a variety of circus performers, produced to a special selection of music that includes favorite pop songs and classic’s such as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Among the performers is Lyric’s husband, Simon Arestov, a second generation performer from the Moscow Circus.

Lyric and Simon recently bought a home in Sarasota, where they plan to settle and begin a family, Lyric said. Asked wether she would like her children to choose a dare devil profession, she said, “I would love to see them do what I do and carry on the traditions from my husband and myself and our families. I have a great passion for my work. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

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