The Reverhos Trio – French Masters Of Juggling And Balance

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The Reverhos Trio were French performers specializing in juggling tricks done while balancing upside and on the slack wire. The act originally consisted of just brothers Gustave, born in 1902, and Andre, born in 1906. The brothers, whose real last name was Revereau, weren’t born into an artistic or circus family. Instead, they grew up in the small town of Bressuire in the Deux-Sevres region of France. Their father was a master bricklayer and hoped his three sons would follow in his footsteps. To keep fit, Andre, Gustave, and their older brother Abel went to the local gym and taught themselves acrobatics. There, a traveling circus performer noticed the boys’ skills and suggested that they form an act. Gustave and Andre went home and started learning additional skills and eventually created an act with amazing tricks.

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Andre specialized in juggling, especially inverted juggling. His signature trick was to balance upside down on a ball / head pedestal and juggle three clubs while rotating rings around each foot or ankle. Here are some photos of Andre doing this amazing trick, which would later be copied by jugglers such as Alain Diagora and Tito Reyes.

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Andre Reverho wasn’t limited to just juggling three clubs in this position. A French magazine form the 1940s or 1950s showed him doing the same trick with five clubs. He could also flash six sticks in this position. Below is a photo of Andre doing it with five sticks. This is one of the greatest juggling tricks of all time.

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Here are some other photos of Andre.

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Gustave Reverho worked on the slack wire and specialized in spinning objects with his feet and hand while performing a one handed hand stand on the wire. Here are some photos of this signature trick.

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Here are some additional pictures of Gustave. As you can see in the second and third photos, he was an accomplished juggler like his brother.

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The Reverhos Brothers started performing in 1928, first working in the famed Bobino Music Hall in Paris. Besides the tricks shown in the above photos, they were also known for their work with Awata-style ball and stick juggling tricks and for a trick where Andre balanced upside down and Gustave tossed rings that were caught by Andre on his legs. In 1933, the two brothers became close friends with the legendary clown Grock, who gave them much advice and help to further their already flourishing career. Grock would later become the godfather to Gustave’s daughter Anita.

Below is a wonderful video showing the two brothers at their home demonstrating some of their tricks. You can see their mother repairing some of their props.

In July of 1936, the Reverhos Brothers were invited to perform at the Wintergarten in Berlin. As Hitler was in power and Germany and France were not on friendly terms, they did not want to go. Instead of refusing the offer, they asked for an enormous amount of money that was sure to be turned down. However, the huge fee was accepted, so they had to go and perform in front of Hitler. At least they made him pay dearly for it! Below are two photos of Gustave from the Wintergarten performances.

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Photo by Willy Pragher

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Photo by Willy Pragher

That same year, Gustave Reverho met a young lady named Madeleine Chapron at a charity event. Madeleine was also from the small town of Bressuire. The couple married a few months later and Madeleine started training as a juggler. She soon joined the act and the Reverhos Trio was born.
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The trio went on to perform all over the world. They worked in Rio de Janiero in 1938 and in London at the Olympia in 1939, performing before Winston Churchill! In America in 1947 they were featured in the center ring of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus and performed in Madison Square Garden. They toured Argentina and Chile in 1953 with the circus,“Las Aguilas Humanas.” Back in Paris in 1956 they were featured at the Olympia, sharing the bill with famed jazz musician Lionel Hampton. After a final tour in the USSR and China, the trio retired in 1959. They established a zoo in Les Sables d’Olonne in 1963. The zoo is still open to this day. Gustave and Madeleine had two daughters, Anita and Christine. Christine is a well known actress and playwright while Anita is a famous painter. Gustave died in 1969, followed by Andre in 1996 and Madeleine in 2013.

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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