Ameron Rosvall Interview

Ameron Rosvall is a Swedish juggler of remarkable ability and innovation. David Cain interviewed him so that we can all get to know him and his work better.

DC: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself apart from juggling?

AR: I was born in a homestead in Jämtland, Sweden. My family kept Hereford cattle and grew crops and such. I’m the youngest of three brothers. Recreational activities include video games (try Baba is You) and unicycling (forest paths around here are fun to ride).

DC: How and when did you learn to juggle?

AR: I moved to Östersund in 2004 to attend high school. A month in or so, we had an opportunity to try out circus at a local youth circus for PE. I went there, and through the instructions from Johanna Abrahamsson (who was the student of famous Swedish unicyclist Reino) our class got to learn juggling. I managed 20 catches of 3 when the lesson was over, found it fun, came back the next week and bought 3 balls to practice at home.

DC: Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a juggler?

AR: I joined the juggling group at the youth circus and kept going with that until 2008. The group only practiced once a week, so I regularly practiced at home. In time I just focused more and more on tricks I could practice under my bedroom ceiling. I kept having ideas about props and stuff, so I ended up doing some homemade props out of soda bottles, cut up rings, and a lot of duct tape. Over time I started getting more proper tools and materials, but the duct tape never went away. I started a company with the very fitting name: Experimental Design Juggling. In December 2016 I had an accident in my home (on top of also being diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney failure) I suffered double intracranial hemorrhaging and a concussion just as I was to start dialysis right before Christmas. I was still out of the hospital by new years after showing the doctor that I could do triple balance. Unfortunately, the event was actually very traumatizing and my ability to juggle was set back by this. I had to re-learn 5 balls, as I couldn’t even flash it consistently in the weeks following the accident. I’m alright now, though.

DC: What are your favorite types of juggling to work on?

AR: I like club body throws and balance tricks a lot these days. Club juggling while balancing is also nice.

DC: You’re considered one of the most innovative jugglers in the world, both in tricks and also in original props. Can you tell us about some of your best creations?

AR: I really like the tricks with bouncing ping pong balls on a Borzykine platform balanced on my foot, it doesn’t look very cool, but I like the concept of manipulating the surface that the balls bounce on. With clubs I like more classic tricks like body throws with a balance. Prop ideas that turned out pretty nice include the magnetic club which is 3D printed in 4 slices, and also held together with magnets. It can make some cool shapes. I like the rola bola with ball rolling arch on top, probably because it works a bit like the concept with the foot balance platform; the arch where the balls roll is also being manipulated.

DC: You’ve done a lot of research into variations of the Salerno Ring. Can you tell our readers about the Salerno Ring and what original variations you’ve created?

AR: The Salerno Ring is one of the big classic balance props, in essence a tall balance with a circular track extruding from it, made so that a ball can spin on the inside of the track. To accomplish this, the juggler should pump from the knees while maintaining the balance.

Salerno performing the Salerno Ring
I explored a lot of different concepts around it, some of the results of which might not seem related to Salerno Ring at first glace, such as the Horizontal Salerno Ring, or the Unfolding Ring where the track can be pried open forming 3 arches, both of which allow a ball to travel either back or forth, or across the track with a similar technique as when using the original. There are some shape changed rings, such as the droplet, oval (in multiple configurations), ones where the rings are interlocked like a chain, or do a smaller loop inside a bigger loop, form a figure 8, long coils of continuous track. Another nice one that caught the eye of the internet for a bit last summer is a modular hub that can connect to multiple rings in different configurations. There’s more variations and mutations between the Salerno Ring and other classic balance props, I’ve probably made about 30 in total by now. Mostly I focused on making variants that are made to be balanced similarly to the original, but my favorite ones are the smaller size ones made to be juggled and manipulated similarly to clubs or tennis racquets.

DC: What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishments as a juggler so far?

AR: Probably doing 5 balls for 10+ minutes in 2007. It was my first serious (whatever that means) juggling goal, felt amazing to get that. Other top accomplishments include 3 club straitjacket qualify, 3 club full contortion with head balance, dropping balanced club from head to foot while juggling 4 clubs.  I also made some custom lightweight clubs for myself, and proceeded to break the 4 club world record with them first try, no club in that set of 4 has ever been dropped!

DC: Who are your favorite jugglers from the past and from the present and why?

AR: From the past: Morris Cronin for inventing the most awesome club tricks ever. Salerno for being an actual genius who was able to dream and realize some totally perfect juggling tricks with original props. In the present: Jay Gilligan for making about a million original tricks and props. Watching his stuff around 2007-2008 really made me think that juggling is practically limitless. I appreciate his teaching work at DOCH and for sharing his work so openly with the community! Emil Dahl for his artistic vision and work ethic, creating otherworldly balance based tricks which shows that juggling really is a high art now. And both Emil and Jay are chill dudes.

DC: What are your current plans for your juggling future?

AR: I want to continue practicing and making props for as long as I enjoy it. In the near future I hope to finish a big video project, but I’m a huge procrastinator so don’t expect “in the next few months” soon.

DC: What do you like the best about the juggling community?

AR: The best thing with the juggling community is that occasionally someone comes along and posts something mind blowing, like 7 club alberts.

DC: What are your favorite online videos of yourself?

AR: Juggling Documentation is a nice video. Even though I wanted to re-shoot most of the stuff in it, it ended up being real in some sense. It’s just practice. Plastic mind is also good, was nice to finally put some ideas I had for a long time into a video.

You can visit https://xdjuggling.com/ to learn more about Ameron Rosvall’s work.

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 twenty-four books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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