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Davis, California

Monday, March 4, 2024

First ever tight wire course offered at UC Davis


A lesson in mind over matter

For the first time, the Department of Theatre and Dance offered a tight wire course undergraduate students. The course began this fall and has been well received by enrolled students. The course is dedicated to hands-on training and discussions of the anthropological as well as philosophical implications of the tight wire. The concept began as a first-year seminar last year and has since evolved into a full course.

Antes Ursic, a Ph.D. student in Performance Studies, serves as the visionaire and instructor for the course. He had an extensive career working with the largest theatrical producer in the world — Cirque Du Soleil. Ursic was at the forefront of the movement to make this course a reality.  

He spoke of the marriage between the physical and mental aspects of the course.

“It’s good to have a sense of balance and embodiment,” Ursic said. “The tight wire is a great way for students to understand they can overcome their obstacles.”

A community formed among the students that participated in the course. Ursic explained that the tight wire is able to bring people together regardless of their area of study.

“It’s not about oneself,” Ursic said. “You’re not alone on the wire because everyone is there for you.”

Elena Battas, a liaison for the Theater and Dance Department, uses the the tight wire as a way to prepare for any role that may come her way.

“I love pushing myself physically and seeing how far I can go,” Battas said. “As an actor, the course allows me to be versatile.”

Ratnapala K Gamage, a third-year Middle East and South Asian Studies major who is enrolled in the course, enjoys the change from the everyday school experience.

“If you’re stressed, it’s a great positive release,” Gamage said. “It helps me to get away from everything.”

Faculty and students are hopeful that the course is here to stay. The official title of the course is “Tight Wire and Thinking.” The course runs twice a week for two hours.


Written by: Josh Madrid — arts@theaggie.org


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