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Some People You Should Know: Chicago Trapeze Acrobats

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Sylvia Friedman and Samuel Sion are traveling acrobats from Chicago. (CBS)

Sylvia Friedman and Samuel Sion are traveling acrobats from Chicago. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – They’re just 19 and 21 years old, but they are Chicagoans making a name for themselves as trapeze acrobats.

CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says these two artists are both someone you should know.

A rose by any another name than Duo Rose would not be as exciting. The name describes the acrobatic team of Sylvia Friedman and Samuel Sion. Four years together, they have dazzled audiences as far away as Spain and Switzerland. Next month, they’re off to France.

“My parents took me to see a Cirque du Soleil show when I was seven,” Friedman says, explaining her interest in trapeze. “As soon after that as possible, I wanted to start taking classes.” 

“It’s a different world altogether, the way that you perform, the way that you interact,” Sion says. “It’s a completely different experience, it’s a lifestyle.”

Last August, the two became the first Americans to perform in a circus in Havana, Cuba since 1959. While there, they won a bronze award.

Sion is a coach at MSA & Circus Arts. Friedman designs costumes. The non-profit enterprise supports and develops amateur athletes for national and international sports acrobatics competitions. Performing with a circus takes up the time they are not there.

The two are not daunted by the potential danger.

“It can be quite dangerous but it can be practiced very safely,” Friedman says. “I don’t want to say that you can’t get hurt but there are things that you can do (such as) practice falling and stuff like that.”

“It’s a calculated risk,” Sion adds. “There is danger involved. We’re very careful about what we do and how we do it.”

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