This year’s IJA Festival in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, provided a forum for jugglers to excel and enjoy what they do best. This year’s festival was organized by David Cain – juggling chronicler, performer, and competitor. The festival, which was primarily held at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Ft. Wayne, offered some of the best versions of activities the IJA has been known for. At any hour one could find the space busy with congenial jugglers trying out skills, practicing large passing patterns and coordinated goofiness. Prop makers circled the arena from Renegade of California to What’s Up of the Midwest and Three Finger Juggling, among others.
The Embassy Theatre, hosting such jugglers in the past as Francis and Lottie Brunn, and located just across the street from the juggling venue at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, served as an elegant setting for the shows and competitions. Let’s take a look at the events held there.
The Anti-Gravity Juggling Revue
A show new to the festival, “The Anti-Gravity Juggling Revue,” provided vaudeville entertainment by jugglers. This gave performers a chance to cheer on such known talents as the Kalvan Family. Since last year’s festival Jack, Jeri, Max, and Oz their act won on “The Gong Show.” Jack Kalvan also organized the Extreme Juggling competition and is known for his past collaborations with Rick Rubenstein of Clockwork.
The Kalvan Family
Aaron Bonk performed choreographed “whip cracking” in a display seldom seen outside classical Western shows. Twirling and tossing two and three whips like South American bolas (think of a long-stringed poi), the act impressed jugglers with slightly familiar moves, an inventive series of combinations, and even an amusing aside to Star Wars in a soundtrack that did not overwhelm the art form.
The show was MC’d by British comedy juggler Steve Rawlings, who interjected bits between the other acts.
Two other well-known Brits were also part of the show. Jon Udry and Matthew Tiffany made their debut at the IJA and kept the audience amazed and amused.
Canadian Dominique Rabideau presented a very well choreographed hat act and Tony Steinbach presented some of the comedy juggling that has made him a hit on the busking circuit.
Tony Steinbach and a volunteer from the audience
The show was produced by David Cain and directed by Daniel Holzman.
The Go With The Flow Juggling Show
Another show newer to the IJA, the “Go with the Flow Juggling Show” compiled flow arts routines for jugglers. This put the focus on skills less common among jugglers such as poi and contact staff. Without such history to go on as the mainstay skills of juggling and circus, these flow routines had a very contemporary approach to finding artistry in some complex skills. Jeremiah Jacobs of Grand Rapids demonstrated the intricacy of four-poi spinning patterns which grew out of a recorded monologue. The monologued themes to the tricks gave a sense of story.
Mike Hayataka, also of Grand Rapids, made mini-hoop magic.
Lily Gerstner of Austin, MN continued this with one-to-five hoops. Her choreography brought out the personality of the objects.
Half-staff technique, in which shorter staffs are spun and rolled around the body, has grown more popular among jugglers moving into three-object terrain and more. Kyle Owen of Little Rock teaches Flow Arts at Arkansas Circus Arts. The staffs seemed to go with his performance personality adding meaning to the routine.
Abigail Lindsey of Atlanta, GA danced with flow fans, a metallic prop twirled through the fingers.
Flow Arts requires immersion in the dance by nature of the props slightly more than does juggling. A performer known for combining these, Jeremiah Johnson, juggled, swung and trapped two and three luminescent clubs to create a joyful montage.
Matan Presberg, the “three-ball wizard” of Oakland, CA, put on a mathematical display better appreciated in the full light. This was one of just a few three-ball routines seen at the festival since props and skills have so multiplied. The three-ball act has long been considered one of the best ways to combine juggling, craft and performance. Just when you think we have worked all the variations there is another possibility or illusion to add.
Chris Kelly of Eugene, OR, also built the imagery of minimal numbers to greater effect with poi. Balls on strings seem the favored kind for the diversity of spinning tricks and tosses bringing together juggling and flow arts.
For a Glo-art finale, Kimberly Lynn Bucki of Chicago performed a state-of-the-art extravaganza with S-curves. Four of these shapes can create an infinite number of others. The tiny bulbs of light on each stem highlighted her tricks and performance skills.
Kimberly Lynn Bucki
I remember thinking the growth of Flow Arts in part brought about a bigger field of jugglers to the European Juggling Conventions in recent years. I hope the IJA keeps finding ways to bring the arts together; they share similarities though have separate identities as distinct arts. To give some idea of the variety there was no actual hula hoop twirling in the performances even when hoops were utilized.
The show was directed and produced by Brian Thompson and Exuro Piechocki.
As has been the case for a number of years, the IJA Stage Championships was directed by Viveca Gardiner and NeilFred Picciotto. The MC was Matt Henry.
In the Juniors Stage Championships, Kyle Albrecht of Fenton, Michigan and Christopher Haaser of Huntsville, Utah provided variety, laughs, and highly technical skills, with Haaser taking the gold medal and Albrecht the silver.
The Teams created collaborative artistry with difficult combinations in the state of the art. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Steve Birmingham and Leif Pettersen once again competed as Duck and Cover and demonstrated their innovative club passing, including floor bounces and unique tricks.
Duck and Cover
Dressed in black and white, the Jugheads of Edina, Minnesota consisted of 14 teens doing large group club and ring passing. They earned the bronze medal.
The CBO Juggling Team are from Hong Kong and showed great creativity by combining modern plate spinning technique with diabolo. They won the silver medal.
CBO Juggling Team
The winning team this year consisted of Zak McAllister and Delaney Bayles. The two have been coached by Richard Kennison at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Bayles is a former Juniors champion and Atlanta’s Phil Award Winner. In addition to showing Zak and Delaneys’ ability for collaborations, this duet marked a departure for Bayles into more character-driven work. They took time without juggling to build the premise of the act as the music stated, “He looks at her… she looks at him.” Bayles’ juggling abilities were a highlight of the duo, worked into passing as they were. The act explored juggling in ways that were entertaining and intriguing for the audience, each move different or original regardless the difficulty.
Zak and Delaney
The Individuals carried on the tradition of diversity and mastery of solo juggling acts. In juggling competition, there are no referees or ball-fetchers to help with errant tosses. Anything one considers juggling can be performed, and interpretations thereof can be controversial, hinging on the viewers’ perceptions of an evolving art. Devil stick, diabolo, contact juggling, and more can all be rolled into the same judging. There is no requirement a certain kind of prop be juggled. Routines with a smaller selection of props have often won for going deeper into said techniques. The Lucas Cup trophy was again presented by Albert Lucas for whom it is named. Lucas is himself the 1984 Champ.
Bennett Santora, former Junior’s champion, took on the Seniors with his energetic personality in tow. Narrated by a comedic recording, with an offer of chips from an assistant, his act included attempts at seven balls and some difficult five-ball variations with beanbags. Rather than the token tricks his club juggling used different planes to put together a more original set. Bounce juggling with rings brought back some moves from circus jugglers; the rings bouncing off the floor to return to the performer. Since his Juniors act I’ve had the fun of working with Santora in “Masters of Gravity.” A high school student in New York City, he has the attributes of an all-around entertainer, incorporating musical abilities, rola bola, and highbrow comedy with his technical feats.
Ring juggling in the Individuals was further coordinated by Jumpei Nagata. Consistent and quirky, Nagata’s work with connected “8” rings veered more to the abstract. These floating isolations may be “all Greek” to jugglers who haven‘t attended a flow festival or a Michael Moschen workshop. Ring twirling variations might also seem reminiscent of Michael Menes’ combinations. These manipulations have influenced juggling and become more part of the mainstream, translating into numbers to be appreciated along with toss juggling.
Elia Taylor made the most of her IJA Stage Championships debut with a wonderfully choreographed and performed ball juggling act that included lots of foot catches and incorporated her strong dance skills. She won the bronze medal.
Eric Jackson showed great skill and flow with three, five, and six clubs and earned the silver medal for his efforts.
Having achieved recognition in the past for his combination of juggling skills and movement theater, Zak McAllister seemed poised to bring it all together and that he did, winning the Lucas Cup. His original style of juggling keeps viewers guessing what direction he may go next. Many jugglers tend to take the new techniques like traps and site swaps to abstractions, and McAllister could have. Instead, the ambiance of his act resembled a Muppets Movie love song, framed by whimsy and magic. His character enabled him to elongate the tricks to images and even to come back from a few mistakes. The acts need not be perfect to win as it’s the performer’s choice of material to that makes the biggest score.
One of McAllister’s specialties is juggling balls entirely behind his back with numbers including four and five. This he does with a very tight pattern. It goes with his nonchalant dexterity of moves, creating a seamless combination of character and object manipulation. Almost as if the historic juggler Bobby May is playing a sock-footed college student enthralled by the wonders of life the routine is more an encounter with gravity than a showcase. Nonetheless it is very entertaining through McAllister’s character and images such as a body diamond created from four rings. The pictorial possibilities of rings lend themselves to creativity, though so often rings used to be tossed for the sake of numbers juggling given their greater aerodynamics per throw. McAllister devoted more time to club juggling in his act.
Cascade of Stars
The Cascade of Stars lived up to its name in producing a showcase of juggling talent appreciated for its dexterity, ideas, and quality entertainment. The show was produced by David Cain and directer by Daniel Holzman. Matt Hall, the Emcee, treated the audience to some of his humorous diabolo tricks. A former Silver Medalist, he has been a mainstay performer at juggling festivals in Europe and the U.S., organizing the Game of Throws in Palo Alto, CA. A Japanese language teacher, he has also put on Kendama competitions and helped the IJA grow more international. As an Individual Prop competitor he has won events in Cigar Boxes in addition to Diabolo and also received the People’s Choice and Ben Linder Awards in recognition of his work.
Hall introduced another cigar box specialist who is becoming a familiar performer and competitor on the scene, Liam Halstead. Halstead brings an entertaining athleticism to his acts that earned him a Groundhog Award at the yearly Atlanta Juggler’s Festival. He has performed regularly in street shows, events, and with the Zoppe Family Circus.
Chris Kelly of Eugene, Oregon added the IJA to his roster of traveling performances. Kelly demonstrated some of his moves from the “Top 40 Jugglers” list in a more naturalistic style among the vaudevillians reminiscent of the circuit, using contact poi.
Recreating the “Brunn finish,” a combination of spun and balanced objects, Matthew Tiffany of Leeds, England appeared with a classic music hall act. While pursuing a music degree he began to devote himself more to juggling. Now at 26 he performs a “classical” act with all the kudos from jazz shoes to clubs and head pedestals.
Providing further variety theater, Bob Cates and his wife Jane set up a thrilling and comedic plate-spinning act that took the entire the stage. Cates was also named National Entertainer of the Year in Canada and has been recognized for his one-man comedy juggling show.
Steve Rawlings, the MC from the welcome show, returned and presented several different routines, including his old-school signature trick of juggling a table, a chair, and a vase of flowers.
Jon Udry also pulled double duty by performing in both the welcome show and the Cascade of Stars. This time he juggled helium balloons in a moving tribute to Luke Wilson.
The Passing Zone (Owen Morse and Jon Wee) made a surprise appearance, opening the second half by debuting a juggling magic trick that they created for the TV show Penn and Teller’s Fool Us.
The Passing Zone
Anni Kupper of Cologne, Germany, works in a style considered Performance Art. Clubs swirl around and re-join the juggling patterns in concert with the choreography. Kupper graduated from the Fontys Academy of Circus and Performance Art and has since toured internationally. She invites visitors to www.anni-juggling.de to follow her career. Kupper performed a second act in the show, demonstrating great control and innovation with one club while her hands were tied behind her back.
Kathrin Wagner of Berlin is known for her rapport with rings, juggling five smoothly with tricks. In this version of her act she used a narrated description of what it is to be human. This aligned with her moves whether manipulating or balancing a ring with her foot or stringing and twirling a number of rings in geometric formations with her dance moves. Though the tricks are challenging to integrate it all seems part of a whole that is affecting. Wagner and Kupper also performed at the Boulder Juggling Festival where they shared some of their variations.
Jack Denger, the 2014 Juniors Champion, returned to his home state of Indiana with a great finale to the show. Playing with the idea of conducting an invisible orchestra, he created comedic drama with pantomime and the advanced juggling skills he became known for as a great competitor.
Cascade of Stars Cast
Excellence in Education Award
This year’s Excellence in Education Award winner was David Cain. In addition to juggling a performance career based from his home in Ohio, David has won numerous gold medals and curates the Museum of Juggling History. His writings have added many performers to jugglers’ knowledge of the story of their art and its practitioners. Receiving the Award for Excellence in Education in recognition of his many juggling history books, magazine articles, and live shows, David acknowledged his family, notably his brother and juggling collaborator Scott Cain. The two have another book collaboration pending. David previously won the Bobby May Award.
Scott Cain (left) and Isabel Cain (right) presenting David Cain (center) with the Excellence in Education Award
Extraordinary Service Award
This year’s Extraordinary Service Award was presented to Daniel Holzman in honor of his many contributions to the juggling community, including his work as a show director, MC, prop inventor, and author, and for his work in creating the current system of judging for the IJA Stage Championships. Daniel becomes the first person to win three IJA Honorary Awards. He was the first ever Bobby May Award winner, honoring his work as a mentor and coach. He also won the Award of Excellence for his work with partner Barry Friedman as the Raspyni Brothers.
Matt Hall presenting Dan Holzman with the Extraordinary Service Award
Award of Excellence
This year’s winner of the Award of Excellence was Nikolai Gerasimov. Hailing from Russia, Gerasimov was born in 1979. He and his sister Yulia were trained by their father, Nikolai Sr., who had been trained by Alexander Kiss. Nikolai made his debut in an act with his father at the age of 16. At the age of 17, he was awarded the title of “Artist of the Year of the Russian Circus”. He has been the featured artist in his family’s juggling act ever since. Gerasimov uses a very unique technique of juggling even numbers of props with the arms sticking straight out to the side and odd numbers with the props thrown angled almost perpendicular to the body. Despite this very unusual method, Nikolai performs up to 8 clubs and 11 rings in every show, and doesn’t use a holster for 11 rings. He also performs 9 rings with a ball bouncing on his head and 10 rings with a pole balance. Nikolai was unable to attend the IJA Fest to accept the award, but a video of his act was shown.
Historical Achievement Award
Many of today’s jugglers may not be familiar with Angelo Piccinelli, but you’ve likely been influenced by this career. Born in Italy, in 1921, he started juggling in 1931 and was initially trained by Enrico Rastelli just before that master’s untimely death. Piccinelli performed throughout the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and was the main inspiration for Francis Brunn. Brunn copied his spring-head clubs and the combination trick that would become known as the Brunn Finish. He was the link between Rastelli and Brunn, and is the last known surviving juggler to have seen Rastelli in person. Angelo married Italian movie star and former circus artist Liana Orfei in 1956. He performed many amazing tricks, including juggling 6 rings while spinning a ring on his ankle, balancing a ball on a head pedestal, and jumping rope. He performed in front of Winston Churchill, King Edward VIII, Grace Kelly, and Maria Callas. He appeared in all of Europe’s most renowned variety theaters. After retiring from performing, he trained others in juggling. Angelo Piccinelli is now 97 years old, and lives in Rome with his second wife Dolores Monni. The IJA is priveledged to give this year’s IJA Historical Achievement Award to Angelo Piccinelli. While he wasn’t able to attend the festival, a video showing his achievements was shown.
People’s Choice Award
This year’s People’s Choice Award was won for a second time in three years by Zak McAllister. Zak was a huge presence at this year’s festival, winning Individuals and Teams in the Stage Championships as well as two events in X-Juggling, one gold medal in the Numbers Championships, and several other competitions.
The Flamingo Award honors a young female juggler for her contribution to the festival and shows support for her future work in the juggling community. This year’s winner was Ezri Wyman of Toronto, Canada, who worked behind the scenes to make many of this year’s show happen.
Festival Director David Cain created three new events for the fest. All three were big successes. Let’s take a look at them.
A new event kicked off the festival on Monday night. Challenge Night consisted of stations located around the gym where anyone could try any of the eight challenges, such as juggling giant clubs, giant balls, the Chaos Clubs, the Chaos Rings, appleseed juggling, and other weird props. Two large group passing patterns were also organized.
Exuro Piechocki juggling giant inflatable clubs at Challenge Night
Juggling Film Festival
Another new event was the first ever Juggling Film Festival. Five juggling-themed short films with plot (no trick montages here) were presented and the audience voted on the winner. Taylor Glenn took home the trophy for best film for her story about a juggler getting dumped by her boyfriend due to her juggling obsession. One vote separated Taylor’s film from second place finisher Nathan Wakefield’s horror comedy about a slasher who winds up crashing a juggling club meeting. Other films included David Cain’s Broadway musical juggling parody and Gabrielle Foran’s Juggler-themed nature documentary. The overall quality and entertainment value of the films surpassed the audience’s expectations.
Game Show Night
Game Show night consisted of two parts. The first was Juggler’s Feud, a juggling-themed version of Family Feud with all of the questions about juggling. This was hosted by the amazing Brian Koenig and featured team captains Jon Wee, Owen Morse, Taylor Glenn, and Shivella Schwab, who each picked members of the audience to fill out their teams. The second half of the night was a game show called Mystery List, based on the magic game show Wizard Wars. Two teams were each given a list one week prior to game show night featuring items with which they had to create a brief juggling act. Zak McAllister and Matan Presberg won the game, beating out Nathan Wakefield and Chuck Clark.
Brunch was once again offered to those who pre-registered due to the generosity of our anonymous donor iiWii and was much appreciated. Club Renegade happened two nights at one of the wonderful host hotels and were very well attended. Much thanks to Keith Nelson, John Jessmon, Tom Kidwell, and Mark Hayward for organizing Renegade. Workshops were organized by Dave Pawson and offered a large array of learning opportunities. Eric Shibuya directed the Planting the Juggling Seed Show at the nearby Allen County Public Library. It was well attended and highly successful. Bill Barr once again directed the Benefit Show, which took place at the local Boys and Girls Club. Thanks to everyone who performed in these two shows. Fight Night was organized by Nick Thomas. The winner of this year’s event was Josh Horton. The Juggling History Q and A Panel was once again held and was well attended. The IJA Auction made a return this year after a long absence. Run as a silent auction, many treasures were donated to help the IJA continue the wonderful work that the organization does around the world to help support the art of juggling.
Besides the Stage Championships and Fight Night, there are a number of other competitions at the annual festival. Let’s take a lot at the results of these events.
Merry Spahr and Scott Cain again directed the Numbers Championships this year. The results are listed below.
Gold: Matan Presberg, 9 balls, 39 catches
Silver: Spencer Androli, 9 balls, 25 catches
Bronze: Vinny Carter, 8 balls, 27 catches
4th place: Tom Whitfield, 8 balls, 18 catches
5th place: Mark Fiore, 8 balls, 17 catches
(Notable result: In warmups, Tom Whitfield qualified 10 balls. In the Championships, judges perceived that he achieved 20 catches of 10 balls. Mr. Whitfield contended that he only made 19 catches. Video review confirmed that 19 catches was correct. The Co-Directors commend Mr. Whitfield for his outstanding good sportsmanship.)
Gold: Jonah Botvinik-Greenhouse, 8 rings, 44 catches
Silver: Delaney Bayles, 8 rings, 35 catches
Bronze: Scott Sorensen, 8 rings, 24 catches
4th place: Nicolas Souren, 8 rings, 16 catches
Gold: Jonah Botvinik-Greenhouse, 7 clubs, 52 catches
Silver: Jack Denger, 7 clubs, 43 catches
Bronze: Spencer Androli, 7 clubs, 38 catches
4th place: Delaney Bayles, 7 clubs, 30 catches
5th place: Michael Pearce, 7 clubs, 27 catches
Individual Ball Bouncing
Gold: Nick Jamesson, 8 balls, 41 catches
Silver: John Jones, 8 balls, 23 catches
Gold: Tom Whitfield & Mark Pender-Bare, 13 balls, 90 catches
Silver: Stefan Brancel & Peter Kaseman, 13 balls, 83 catches
Gold: Zak McAllister & Delaney Bayles, 12 rings, 55 catches
Silver: Chris Lovdal & Ben Hestness, 11 rings, 102 catches
Bronze: Cameron Ford & Mark Pender-Bare, 11 rings, 89 catches
4th place: Noah Schmeissner & Jonah Botvinik-Greenhouse, 11 rings, 81 catches
Gold: Jack Levy & Ben Hestness, 11 clubs, 52 catches
Silver: Tony Kaseman & Michael Pearce, 10 clubs, 55 catches
Bronze (tie): Graham Paasch & Nick Aikens, 10 clubs, 51 catches
Bronze (tie): Mark Pender-Bare & Cameron Ford, 10 clubs, 51 catches
5th place: Stefan Brancel & Peter Kaseman, 10 clubs, 47 catches
Ball Bounce Passing
Gold: David Critchfield & John Jones, 13 balls, 56 catches
Silver: Mark Pender-Bare & Cameron Ford, 12 balls, 58 catches
Three-Person Club Passing
Gold: Ben Hestness, Chris Lovdal, & Jack Levy, 14 clubs, 133 catches
Silver: Peter Kaseman, Tony Kaseman, & Stefan Brancel, 14 clubs, 115 catches
(Other result: Laura Kaseman, Mark Pender-Bare, & Cameron Ford, 13 clubs, did not qualify)
Games of the IJA
The Games of the IJA were organized by Brian Koenig and MC’d by Biz Olbrisch. The results are shown below.
Diabolo bucket toss — Mark Williams
6-club speed passing in 1 minute — Joshua Nelson and Isaac Canton — 99 catches
5-ball endurance — Mark Fiore — 13 minutes, 45 seconds
Fewest catches of 3 balls in 30 seconds — Mike Moore — 15 catches
Mixed-prop passing endurance — Josh Horton and Jack Denger — 23 seconds — club, ring, ball, desk walker, flower stick, shoe
Hoop combat — Grace Good
5-club endurance — Delaney Bayles — 5 minutes, 15 seconds
Handstand endurance — Daniel Israel — 1 minute, 5 seconds
Quarter juggling — Mike Moore — 3 minutes, 40 seconds
Under-the-leg throw endurance — Jack Levy — 33 seconds
Club-balance endurance — tie — Jared Janssen and Lee Mai — 14 minutes, 33 seconds
Huggling — Zak McAllister and Jonah Botvinick-Greenhouse — 4 minutes, 56 seconds
5-hoop-endurance — Grace Good — 1 minute, 45 seconds
Blind juggling endurance — Mike Moore — 4 minutes, 45 seconds
6-club long-distance passing — Jack Levy and Eric Jackson
8-club passing — Kayla Malmgren and Isaac Canton — time not available
7-object endurance — Jonah Botvinick-Greenhouse — time not available
3-person wheelbarrow race — Jared Ashton, Isaac Nelson and Nestor Sokhan
Biz Says — Jack Denger
World Joggling Championships
Joggling was organized and run by Emily Moore, with help from Len Ferman. The races took place at the indoor track at Purdue University Fort Wayne. There were several new joggling world records set at this year’s IJA world joggling championships. You can see these new records listed below and see a complete list of joggling results by clicking here.
60 m 3 ball Men’s: Mark Fiore 8.28 sec
60 m 5 ball Men’s: Mark Fiore 8.94 sec
60 m 7 ball Men’s: Kyle Albrecht 36.91 sec
200 m 5 ball Men’s: Kyle Albrecht 1:01.09
200 m 5 ball Women’s: JoAnn Ireland 3:23.63
600 m 3 ball Men’s: Sterling Franklin 1:48.97
600 m 3 ball Women’s: Gabrielle Foran 2:00.38
800 m 3 ball Men’s: Eric Walter 2:13
1000 m 3 ball Women’s: Gabrielle Foran 3:29.07
4 x 200 m relay Men’s: “The Best of the Midwest” Mark Fiore, Sterling Franklin, Nicolas Souren, Craig Muhlenkamp, 2:18.94
4 x 200 m relay Women’s “The Fast Lane” Sarah Kresser, Becky Kresser, Heather Marriott, Laura Kaseman, 4:20.53
Jack Kalvan once again directed the x-Juggling competitions. The winners of the events are listed below.
3 Clubs – Eric Jackson
3 Balls – Matan Presberg
3 Rings – Mark Fiore
4 Clubs – Delaney Bayles
4-5 Balls – Zak McAllister
4-5 Rings – Zak McAllister
5+ Clubs – Delaney Bayles
6+ Balls – Matan Presberg
6+ Rings – Spencer Androli
Individual Props Competition
Matt Hall returned to directing this year’s Individual Props Competition. The winners were:
1st Place – Eric Jackson
2nd Place – Andrew Kaefer
3rd Place – Ethan Brain
1st Place – Matan Presberg
2nd Place – Stefan Brancel
3rd Place – Cameron Ford
1st Place – Mike Moore
2nd Place – Cameron Ford
3rd Place – Eric Jackson
Albert Lucas Demo
Albert Lucas attended this year’s IJA, marking the 50 year anniversary from his first IJA. He presented a 90 minute speech and demo about his career, practice methods, and his future goals. While he was unable to juggle much due to a recent injury, he was able to show some videos from his career, including a qualifying run of 8 plates, and was able to show some practice techniques live with assistance from Nicolas Souren and Tuey Wilson, two jugglers he’s worked with in the past. Albert was also generous with his coaching in the gym throughout the week.
The IJA Board of Director’s Election took place at the festival. The election was overseen by Chief Teller Marilyn Sullivan, assisted by Sean Haddow, Mary Curtin, and Don Lewis. Seventy four ballots were cast, one was spoiled. The top four vote-getters were elected to the board. Eric Shibuya, Amy Wieliczka, Euro Piechocki, and Scott Steiskal were elected. In a follow-up board meeting, Mike Moore was chosen to be the new Chairman of the Board. Congrats to the new and returning board members.
This year’s IJA Festival was almost surely the most convenient location ever, with the convention center, theater, and both hotels all adjacent to each other. All the venues were top notch and plenty of dining options were close by. This festival was also the busiest ever, with all of the usual events happening along with several new ones created by David Cain just for this year. Everything ran extremely smoothly and the entire festival team should feel proud of the work they did to make it such a successful fest.
Special thanks to David Cain for helping with this article.