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one handed handstand dangling 300m

One slip and it is all over for this extreme artist as he pushes the boundaries of strength and concentration with his latest incredible balancing feat.

Delicately poised one-handed on a ladder 300m up a cliff, Eskil Ronningsbakken repeated this amazing display over 40 times.

'I've had the picture in my mind since 2001, but started realising the plan about three months ago,' says the 30-year-old Norwegian at the edge of the Flydalsjuvet cliff in Geiranger.
one handed handstand dangling 300m
Long way down: Eskil Ronningsbakken does a one-handed handstand as he balances on the edge of a 304m high cliff edge in Norway with one of his assistants Benedicte M. Bjerke, who is a classically trained dancer

'The mission with the balancing was to create new images for an art collection, and hopefully being able to replace the traditional photos from this amazing spot.'

Describing himself as an 'educated balancing performer', Eskil has been honing his achingly-difficult abilities since the age of five, which have taken him through circus troupes and round the globe.

Seeing his balancing acts as expressions of art and not stunts, Eskil is currently working with a group of 50 like-minded performers in Nairobi in Kenya, focusing on his more intimate work with chairs and bicycles.

Literally running away when he was 18 to join the circus, Eskil finely perfected his craft under the expert tutelage of Peter Jakob, a trainer with the Moscow State Circus.

Honing his natural talents over the past 11 years, Eskil has now reached a level of athletic excellence mixed with spiritual calm.
one handed handstand dangling 300m
Fearless: Eskil Ronningsbakken describes himself as an 'educated balancing performer'

However, Eskil is acutely aware of the risks he takes with his balancing - especially 304 metres above the ground.

'I built the rig together with a lifelong friend, who has taken part in nearly all my construction work since 1997,' he said.

'The entire rig was loose, but built on the weight arm principle, which allows a relatively high amount of weight at the balancing end, and a less at the end remaining on the cliff.

'I added weights of 150 kg all together and had my cousin, Kjetil Nordal, keeping it stable by hand.'

Ever the perfectionist, Eskil repeated the feat until he was happy with the end result.
one handed handstand dangling 300m
Stairway to heaven: Eskil Ronningsbakken said he is 'honoured to be an extension of God's beautiful nature'

'I always feel honoured to be an extension of God's beautiful nature and I believe I've never had such a secure feeling hundreds of metres above the abyss before,' says Eskil.

'I actually repeated the balancing about 40 times, holding for around 15-30 seconds, since I was not satisfied with the camera angles at first.

'I always try to let the audience re-experience the actual feeling, that I and the location itself would have given you if you were watching it.'

Set to continue his tour around Europe, Eskil still has one final prize in his sights. 'I am still waiting for the Burj Dubai to open and in the meantime I'll be doing several special events in Europe and Africa,' he says.


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