David Blaine to fly above New York holding balloons in stunt for YouTube Originals

The illusionist is returning to the public realm with a stunt dreamed up in childhood.

David Blaine

Illusionist and endurance artist David Blaine is set to perform his first stunt in almost a decade and it’s a showstopper: he intends to fly above New York holding a bunch of balloons filled with helium.

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The stunt, David Blaine: Ascension, will be streamed on 31st August on YouTube as part of its YouTube Originals series and the company said in a promo: “Manifesting one of his most vivid childhood dreams, David reminds us all to rise above.”

Watch the David Blaine: Ascension teaser.

Blaine said on Twitter that Ascension had been “10 years in the making. Let’s turn worry into wonder and take magic to new heights”.

Blaine had not created such a public performance since 2012 when he performed an endurance stunt over three days, Electrified: One Million Volts Always On, in which he wore a special suit as high voltage was pumped into the suit while he stood on top of a pillar. It was also streamed on YouTube.

Ascension has echoes of the 2009 Disney Pixar movie Up and YouTube said he “will bring wonder, hope and untethered possibility as he launches from New Jersey and journeys across his native New York City skyline to tackle his most ambitious and revolutionary feat yet”.

The act would join an extensive list of notable stunts. In 1999, Blaine was buried in a box under a water tank in New York. But his most audacious stunt was Above the Below in London in 2003, when he survived for 44 days in a plexiglass case dangling from Tower Bridge, living only on water.

Blaine reportedly lost a quarter of his bodyweight during the stunt and was hospitalised when it ended.

David Blaine: Ascension will be live-streamed on YouTube on 31st August at a time yet to be confirmed.

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