This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

How many balloons does it take to lift a person? In the case of the Brazilian priest who was lost at sea, reports claim that over 1,000 balloons were used, which was probably far more than necessary. This is a case where size is important — the balloon’s size and the person’s size. Consider that a 3ft latex balloon will lift 1 pound, whereas a 10ft vinyl balloon will lift 14 pounds.

Cirque du Soleil’s current touring show, CORTEO, performs in Seattle through May 25th. The act titled HELIUM DANCE features petite Valentyna Pahlevanyan, suspended from six ten-foot clear vinyl balloons, bouncing effortlessly through the audience. I say petite because according to the lifting capability of her balloons, she weighs less than 84 pounds.

Upcoming 2008 performances are scheduled in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and Miami.

Visit the CORTEO web site

Read the THE NEW YORK TIMES review

Need a 10ft vinyl balloon?