In a nail-biting stunt, world record-holding highliner Faith Dickey walks on a rope between two speeding trucks on a highway in a new viral video produced for Volvo.
Called the “Ballerina Stunt,” the made-for-the-web video throws several challenges at the 23-year old Dickey. She must cross the rope before the Volvo trucks go under two tunnels and the rope snaps in two, all to show the “precise handling of the new Volvo FH,” short for forward-control high cab.
The video is making a splash, even for people who did not know Volvo made big-rig trucks (the company says it is the second largest producer of heavy trucks in the world). Produced by Volvo’s European division, the video was posted on YouTube on Aug. 15 and already has had nearly 2 million views. The new trucks will come out in the fall exclusively for the European market, according to a spokesman for Volvo.
A helicopter and a camera on Dickey’s head filmed the action, including at least one near-fall.
Unlike tightrope-walking (think of Nik Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls in June), slacklining uses a looser rope, sometimes made of nylon, between two anchor points. Highlining is a version of slacklining that is over higher elevations.
Before the stunt, Dickey says in the video, “I’ve highlined much higher than this before. I’ve highlined on longer lines and I’ve highlined in harsher winds. But I’ve never slacklined moving forward before.”
Dickey did not immediately return a request for comment.
Dickey holds the world records for highlining length at 266 feet and, separately, a world record for height, when she walked 4,000 feet above a valley in the Swiss Alps.
Dickey is a member of the four-person “The Somewhereelseland Team,” a group of slackliners who perform for, among other things, publicity stunts (such as the Volvo video) and can be booked for parties.
Last year, the team traveled to the rock formations of Meteora, Greece for the Dicovery Channel’s show, “Daily Planet.”
Filmed in Vrgorac, Croatia on a closed highway, the Volvo video was directed by Henry Alex Rubin, who was nominated for the Best Documentary Academy Award for “Murderball” in 2006, and included the talents of stunt director Peter Pedrero, who worked on “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the Harry Potter films, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”