Berlin is absolutely epic!
It is not just the German capital of culture, but also the worldwide Mecca of juggling! I used to dream of a year round non-stop convention, and found exactly that in Berlin. There are hundreds of good reasons to move to this thriving city, but here are the top 6 reasons why jugglers should go to Berlin!
1: Training spaces EVERYWHERE
Every day is juggling day!
There are plenty of places where you can juggle and hang out for free or cheap! A quick list:
- Circulum offers open gym 4 times on Thursday through Sunday evening.
- Vuesch has an open gym for jugglers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- The famous Katakomben is open 13 hours per day, 365 day/year! It has mirrors, perfect lights, curtains to create your own spaces if you want to work privately, and is considerably affordable
- Similar is the ArtistenRaum, a slightly smaller space but ideal for working on your own project. It’s open all year round
There are at least 4 youth circuses in Berlin, one of them the largest of Europe! Cabuwazi has 5 fixed locations in the city, each with their own big top. Some locations feature open training times where you there is a nice mix of disciplines, and some have their own juggling evenings.
Once you get to know the people, it’s not that hard to arrange to juggle in their spaces when they’re not being used.
Small meet-ups come and go all the time. Ask any juggler you meet and they can tell you of a spot you had not heard of yet!
2: Jugglers EVERYWHERE
I don’t know the density of jugglers in Berlin, but if I had to guess, I’d say that 1 out of 5 people aged 20-30 in the center of Berlin know how to do a 3 ball cascade.
It is bizarre to live in a place where nobody seems surprised when you tell them you are a juggler. Go to any park on a sunny day, and you’ll run into jugglers, devilstickers, poi spinners, slackliners, probably all of them in the same park!
At all levels, from beginners to top professionals, and for all kinds of props or sub-interests, you will find plenty of people to hang out with.
3: So many shows!
If you enjoy seeing juggling, or performing yourself, there are plenty of opportunities for both!
The large theatres such as Chameleon and Wintergarten regularly schedule circus shows from the best companies in the world, and there are regularly travelling circuses visiting Berlin. Also the youth circuses often have shows, and this year for the first time there was a Berlin Circus Festival!
There are plenty of open stages, but they can be a bit harder to find on the internet. By talking to other performers it should be easy enough! Sometimes people host events in small comedy clubs, and every year there is an event called Jugglers Park organised by Circulum. Also, Luke Burrage has been hosting regular open stages in his living room!
As with any large tourist city, there are opportunities to busk. Traffic light jugglers are not uncommon, and at the Mauerpark there is a nice outdoor amphitheatre which is crowded with buskers on market days.
4: Workshops and courses
All of the training locations and youth circuses mentioned above offer juggling courses. Most interesting are the workshops in the Katakomben, where Stefan Sing has a weekly manipulation laboratory and Declan Mee will work with you on your technique.
From time to time, workshop events will be scheduled in the Katakomben or other training spaces by guests who are visiting the city.
Zwei, eins, loooooossss!!!
If you want to get good at combat, you have to go to Berlin. Many of the open gyms have people training. It should be no surprise that over at FNC,the top 3 players all live in Berlin!
This year, the European Masters tournament will be held in Berlin also, and when the annual Berlin Juggling Convention had to be cancelled, there was a substitute combat event to make up for it!
6: Learning or collaborating with other art forms
Of course, Berlin is not only about juggling. If you want to learn acrobatics, play music, practise yoga or visit art galleries, this is the place! Cross-overs are easy to establish, and there is always new blood flowing into the scene!
Altogether plenty of reasons to go to Berlin!
I lived in Berlin for a year and a half in 2012 and 2013, when I did my European Voluntary Service (EVS) in youth circus Cabuwazi. Moving to Berlin for a while has been one of the best choices I’ve ever made, and I would totally recommend it to everybody who is passionate about juggling!
If you are in Germany and you are interested in visiting conventions, be sure to check out inbaz.org, it is a well updated convention calendar for Germany!