eJuggle: Opinion/Theory/History

Newly Discovered Frank Le Dent Photos

Of all the work I’ve done as a juggling historian, I’m probably proudest of my research into Frank Le Dent ((1886 – 1948). Previously, all we really knew was that he supposedly juggled 11 balls. We also only had one photo of him. Through a year of research, I discovered a huge amount of information on him, including confirmation that …

The History of Juggling Balls and Beanbags

Balls and beanbags are the simplest of juggling props, yet virtually no research has been done regarding their development and history. The types of balls discussed in this article will be listed in the order of their first known historical reference. This does not mean that this was the actual order that they were in use, just the earliest recorded …

Two Forgotten Mixed Props Juggling Combinations

As I’ve poured over the archives of the Museum of Juggling History and the IJA, I’ve noticed a couple of combinations of props that were once quite popular, but which are now more or less completely forgotten. They were both performed by gentlemen jugglers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. You can see both of them below, done by …

Juggling in North Korea – Part 3

As some will know, I have written two articles about juggling in North Korea, which you can read here (the first part) and here (the second part). It was very difficult to find information, photos and videos. Read them, all the parts are very interesting. On this occasion, I bring two testimonies from Western people who have been able to …

The Tube and Balls Routine

One particular interest of mine is researching props and routines that were once popular among jugglers but that are now almost completely forgotten. One such example is the Tube and Balls Routine. This routine used a tube and two or three balls to perform a variety of tricks. Let’s take a look at this routine’s history before we examine what …

“Volta” a Cirque du Soleil production

Volta is the latest touring show by Cirque du Soleil. It is the next logical step in the evolution of new circus, so much so that the word ‘circus’ itself is almost obsolete. Further and further in the past are the animal acts, the sawdust, the clowns, the ringmaster, and the legendary acts, wire walkers, flyers, and sharpshooters. Now it’s …

A Brief History of the Pocket Pole Prop

The prop that I call the pocket pole is a pole that is balanced on the juggler’s forehead that has billiard style pockets / nets or cups in various locations up the pole. The juggler juggles balls and tosses them up to catch in the various pockets. The earliest reference I can find to the pocket pole prop is its …

Francisco Alvarez

Francisco Alvarez was a successful juggler and an important juggling historian. Born in Nicaragua in 1913, he came to the United States at the age of 12, settling in New Orleans. He learned to juggle at the age of 12 but also pursued an interest in art. Francisco  studied art at the Arts and Crafts Club in New Orleans. He …

Videos From The Vault – George Lerch

George Lerch was a popular juggler and slack rope performer in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. He was quite skilled both on stage and on the slack rope. He juggled with balls, rings, clubs, devil stick, tennis racket and balls, balls and tube, and ball bouncing. One unique trick that George performed was to stand on a board balanced on …