Freefall Above Armin

Armin OnlyLive on Location

The Best Of Armin Only is the biggest show the Amsterdam ArenA has ever hosted. But the event isn’t just huge in size, it’s equally monumental in show elements. There’s a whole extra stage right above the actual one, taking artists to literal new heights. However, no view is as epic as that of the acrobats moving freely between the stages, not just flying up and down but spinning right around and above the crowd.  


Marly, from Brazil, is the choreographer of the acrobats. “We have 10 acrobats from all over the world,” she says as two of the dancers start practicing salsa-moves in their rigs. “They’re all professionals. Our starting point is 25m. off the ground, so all our acrobats have to be very experienced in order to pull this off.”


Let’s lose our feet to a leap of faith


And bigger skies that lie in wait


It’s a long way down but I got your back


It’s not just experience the acrobats need: “There’s so much trust involved in this show”, Sanne, one of the acrobats adds. “We only just met two days ago, but the technical team deserves so much credit for what they do. In a circus, the regular height we work at is 10m., so this is almost three times as high. Our lives are in their hands, quite literally. But as everyone has their own specialties, we know we’re in very capable hands. It means that we as acrobats can fully focus on our performance.”


How does one end up hanging 25 metres from the ground of the Amsterdam ArenA? “When I was in high school, I watched a YouTube video of acrobats and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I did my Bachelor’s degree in a circus school, and though I have a lot of cool jobs, this is definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever done. I mean, it’s Armin. It’s not like I have to explain to anyone who it is I’m working with this weekend. Flying over 40.000 people more than special. Our view from up there is incredibly special.”


We’re out on the edge of it all


Are you ready to freefall?


Ready to freefall?


“When I was up there yesterday, right before Freefall, I thought: Why again am I doing this? It’s so darn high! But then you descend and think; yes. To do summersaults above a crowd this huge is a bigger kick than any rollercoaster you can get on”, Jeffrey, one of the acrobats tells us with a grin on his face.


Laughter echoes through the dressing room, but it’s not the light-hearted kind. “In the back of my mind, the risks of what we’re doing are always present. I’m not just a little figure dangling in the air, this is real life with real risks”, Sanne says, as the makeup artist applies another layer of gold glitters on her eyelids. Some slivers end up in her eye, and golden tears roll down. Jeffrey: “It’s such an honour to be doing this, and I’m not saying that to be cheesy. People buy tickets with their hard earned money, and everyone here is part of this show, be it acrobat or Armin. We’re here to give our Best.”