Billie Henderson obituary

(Haz clic aquí para español.) I deeply regret the death of Billie Lou Henderson on June 12, 2020. I had conversations with her for a couple of months. I wrote, thanks to her, an article about her family (can read it here). My dialogues with Billie were interrupted by various situations: the difference in country timezones, her age at the …

Who was the first five club juggler?

by Charlie Holland James DeWitt Cook is believed to be the first three club juggler, with print references dating back to 1878, but who was the first to master five and when? To try to answer this I went beyond accounts published in later years by also searching sources from the era. I trawled Newspapers.Com, the Illinois collection, the Internet …

Unique Juggling Tricks and Routines: Part 3

As I look through the over 15,000 photos in the archives of the Museum of Juggling History and of the IJA, I occasionally come across juggling acts or routines that are particularly unique. Unique acts are more rare than you might think, as good acts and routines are quickly copied by other performers. We see this now with jugglers copying …

Surviving Ethnocide by Juggling

Photo: Jesús García. (Haz clic aquí para español.) This is the case of the Tzotziles indigenous community in the north state of Chiapas, Mexico, who dropped their customs in order to survive by juggling at the traffic lights in the capital. Since 2006, drug trafficking and paramilitary groups have taken control in many states in Mexico. They have oppressed many …

Michael and Tux – The Dinnerware Juggling Brothers

Michael and Tux (real name Victor) were the sons of the German tightrope walker and musical clown Willko. Their last name was Kopelky.  The 2 Willkos, Michael and Tux’s parents After his sons were born, Willko taught them music and juggling. The two boys were hailed as musical prodigies, playing accordion, violin, and their specialty, the xylophone. Michael and Victor …

Pioneers of the diabolo in Russia

(Haz clic aquí para español.) Although the diabolo was invented in China more than 2,000 years ago during the Han dynasty, it became known in Europe in the 17th century thanks to an expedition of missionaries. Its popularity began in 1810, and by 1910 it was a toy used in high society. The commercialization and use of diabolo decreased considerably …

Digital Workshops in the Time of COVID

by Scott Steiskal, IJA Board member and Online Festival Workshop Director Since COVID-19 hit, mathematicians and yoga instructors have reverted to teaching their craft online. The grand power of the internet gives jugglers the ability to stay connected and share skills with each other. We can now spread juggling in new and exciting ways. The IJA festival is happening online …

Ruth Carlsson

(Haz clic aquí para español.) Ruth Carlsson Wollbruck was a juggler and film actress in Hollywood. She was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1919. As a child, she was always very active; she liked to learn performing and visual arts. She painted watercolors with needlepoint embroidery, and created fashionable dresses. Ruth married Carl Carlsson, a juggler who starred in the …

Juggler burned alive at a traffic light

(Haz clic aquí para español.) Líber Maidana was a street juggler born in Uruguay. He was 28 years old. He traveled around the world juggling at traffic lights or in public squares. He was also an artist in several ways: he built beautiful works of crafts, participated in theater plays, painted, and he drew whatever idea came to mind. A …