Statue Juggling Tricks

In the first half of the twentieth century, a type of trick known as “statue tricks” was quite popular. Statue tricks consist of multiple balances on various body parts at the same time. There is no tossing involved, although in rare cases spinning may occur. Nevertheless, all of the objects being balanced or manipulated are in constant contact with the body. The origin of the name most likely comes from the static nature of the trick, with the juggler staying perfectly still in a precarious position, therefore resembling a statue. Another contributing factor to the name may be the fact that such an unmoving trick can be immortalized in statue form, a feat that is much more difficult for toss juggling tricks. Statue tricks generally took quite a bit of time to set up and often required an assistant or two. Audiences of the past appear to have been more patient than their modern counterparts, with tricks sometimes taking a minute or two to be assembled in place. Once the multiple balance was in place, it was simply held there for the audience to view and appreciate before being disassembled quickly.

While the origins of this type of trick go back quite far, as can be seen in the first picture below, it was Enrico Rastelli who really popularized them. The early versions of such tricks, such as those performed by various Burmese jugglers, were just balances of multiple balls on the body, but Rastelli and those that followed him took this to a very high degree of difficulty.

It should be noted that the merging of statue tricks with spinning and toss juggling created combination tricks, a subject on which I’ve written previously and which can be viewed here. Statue tricks are almost non-existent in the modern juggling world, although brief demonstrations of such balance tricks can occasionally be seen as a part of a larger toss juggling act. Perhaps this article will spur some current jugglers to resuscitate this lost form of juggling.

Below is a collection of pictures of statue tricks done by a variety of jugglers. Enjoy.

ClayjugglingfigureTerracotta statue from ancient Thebes, about 200 B.C.. Statue of a statue trick!

 

CarlRappo1828 (500x345)

Carl Rappo 1828

 

MoungToonMoung Toon, famous Burmese juggler from the late 1800s and early 1900s

 

MongToon2 (268x500)

Early Moung Toon photo

 

Maung Law Paw 1924 Burma

Burmese juggler Maung Law Paw performing in 1924

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Enrico Rastelli

RastelliStatue2 DSCF1184 (236x500) RastelliStatue3

 RastelliStatue5  RastelliStatue21 (206x500) RastelliStatue7

RastelliStatue9 RastelliStatueTrick1 RastelliStatue8

RastelliStatue22 RastelliStatue20 (293x500) RastelliStatue18 (338x500)

RastelliStatue17 (357x500)  DSCF1168 (233x500)

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Massimiliano Truzzi

truzzi-balance

Truzzifoot3 

PIC_0112

DSCF1169 (221x500)

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ErnestCarre1928

Ernst Carre 1928

 

ErnestCarre1928(2)

Ernst Carre 1928

 

RudenkoBrothersIgor Rudenko

 

PaoloStatue

Paolo Bedini

 

BendiniStatue5 (308x500)

Paolo Bendini

 

Bendini4 (204x500)

Paolo Bendini

 

PilletoandBedini

Paolo Piletto and Paolo Bedini

 

 Piletto3 (297x500)

Paolo Piletto

 

YmmersStatue

Ymmers

 

SergeFlashStatue (270x500)

Serge Flash

 

Goldston (256x500)

Goldston

 

DSCF1171 (339x500)

Bob Ripa

 

ChowDing (373x500)

Chow Ding

 

CardenasStatue (249x500)

Rudy Cardenas

 

EddyCarelloStatue

Eddy Carello Sr.

 

RudyHornStatueTrick

Rudy Horn

 

TrixieStatue2 (224x500)

Trixie

 

TrixieStatue

Trixie

 

OliverGroszer

Oliver Groszer

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Chimp Statue Jugglers

Bubu

Bubu

 

Monkeyplatespinning

Bubu

 

Bubu3 (410x500)

Bubu

 

Gubi

Gubi

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David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of sixteen books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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