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The Russian bar (or Russian barre) is a circus act which combines the gymnastic skills of the balance beam, the rebound tempo skills of trampoline and the swing handstands skills of the uneven bars and the parallel bars. The bar (or barre) itself is a flexible vaulting pole around 4 meters long, typically made of fibreglass. This genre was first created by the Russian artist Alexander Moiseev, who brought his act twice to the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, winning the Gold and Silver Clown.
Two porters ("bottom people"), one at each end of the Russian bar, control the bar and the movements of the "flyer" ("top mounter"), guiding him or her into tempo swings and transitional aerial moves. The flyer will prepare for the bar's catapult when the porters give a "ready" signal.
With the advancement of highly intricate acrobatic-aerial techniques, two to three poles can be secured together, allowing for a higher lift and resulting in more airtime. At the present heights, aerial skills such as triple sault, "full-in, full-out" (double twisting doubles) and "Miller" (triple twisting double) somersaults are possible.
The Russian bar act requires acrobats to be highly skilled in tumbling and have experience with the trampoline and/or sports acrobats. To perform, the act must collaborate on many levels. Additionally, the act requires not only physical skill, but psychological and communicative skills as well.
As the flyer is flung high in the air, a good deal of clearance is necessary when performing this acrobatic act.
An act featuring the Russian bar appeared on America's Got Talent and was voted to return.