The Wheel of Death - It's All About Trust

During the recent Labour Day weekend, childhood friends, Diego Ortiz and Alejandro Marin made their debut performance at Le Tresor’s Swiss Dream Circus while it was on its run in Johor Bahru. While the rest of the acts were well-produced, leaving the audience amazed at the artists’ skill and agility, it was Los Ortiz’s Wheel of Death that was the icing on an already delicious cake. It takes more than courage to do what they do.

Pix by 9 Inch Tales

With rope jumping stunts more than ten metres above the ground, seasoned circus performers Los Ortiz will take your breath away and make your heart race as a result of their seemingly fearless stunts and manoeuvres. The Wheel of Death is a large rotating apparatus which allows performers to carry out synchronised acrobatic skills. The "wheel" is actually a large space frame beam with hooped tracks at either end, within which the performers can stand. As the performers run around on either the inside or outside of the hoops, the entire apparatus rotates. They also perform balancing skills with the wheel in a stationary position.

This is the first time a two-hooped Wheel of Death has made its way to our shores, courtesy of the circus’ organiser Le Tresor Legacy Ventures. Indeed, no expense has been spared in its efforts to produce a memorable circus experience for all.

Skill, courage, guts – these are important traits to possess for such a daredevil act – and the duo certainly have it in abundance, but none of it would be possible without the pure, unadulterated trust they share. “Not everyone can perform this trick. For the performance to succeed, we have to work together in complete trust. There are no safety precautions taken, so neither of us can afford to make mistakes,” shared Diego.

“Because we grew up together, we are like brothers. Looking out for each other is a top priority. We are lucky because we share a connection that is almost telepathic. During the performance, there are instances where we don’t have a clear view of each other because we are moving or because our backs are facing each other. Despite this, we know when something is not right with the other person. True enough, after the show is over and we’re reviewing the performance, we will discover that something had happened to give out that vibe,” said Alejandro.

As far as pre-show rituals go, the Catholic-raised Colombian boys – despite their gutsy, gravity-defying antics – huddle up for a prayer before heading out on stage, “The other reason we can be this brave is because our faith is strong and we trust that we’ll be taken care of when we’re out there in the ring,” said Alejandro.

Catch Colombian duo Los Ortiz and their pulse-racing Wheel of Death act at Swiss Dream Circus at Mutiara Park, Mutiara Damansara until June 7. Ticket prices start at RM45 and can be purchased from or via its hotline at (03) 8080 8700.

This is article was published on June 5, 2015 in Unreserved.