Old Malabar – The Donkey Balancing Juggler

Old Malabar (Photo courtesy of Lukas Reichenbach) The juggler known as Old Malabar was born Patrick Feeney in Sligo, Ireland  on February 20, 1800. He was the son of a poor farmer. A weak student in school, he longed to travel to see the world beyond the farm. His brothers gave him thirty shillings to start his journey and Patrick …

IJA 1983 Photo Album / Scrapbook

At the 2016 IJA Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a scrapbook was donated to the Museum of Juggling History by Duane and Mary Pickering of Milwaukee, Wisconson. This scrapbook features photos that the couple took and literature from the 1983 IJA Convention held in Purchase, New York (USA). You can see these photos and literature below. Thanks to the Pickerings …

The Forgotten Art of Carpet / Handkerchief Spinning

The art of spinning a carpet or handkerchief on the end of a stick or pole goes back at least as far as the 1800s. For carpet spinning, the carpet would usually have a rope or even a chain sewn into the hem. This makes the basic trick of spinning the prop fairly easy. For the handkerchief version, the stick …

Review of Leif Pettersen’s ‘Throwing Up’

Throwing Up: Notes from 35 years of juggling Leif Pettersen, privately published, Minneapolis, MN, http://leifpettersen.com/, 2018. 173pp. ISBN: XXX-X-XXX-XXXXX-X Throwing Up is a “semi-autobiographical” book based on the author’s life and understanding of Juggling and its various assets such as “sport, art, and act of juggling.” The author, Leif Pettersen, taught himself to juggle in 1982, attempted a performance career …

Pemani

Pemani (1925 – 2011) was born Peter Mark Nielsen in Aarhus, Denmark. As a boy, Peter worked as a zookeeper at the Aarhus Zoo. One day the manager of the zoo, a former circus performer, challenged Peter to learn to stand and balance on top of a large ball that had been used in a sea lion act, promising to …

The “Correct” Way to Train Difficult Tricks

Within the juggling community, it seems a somewhat frowned upon practice to spend extended periods of time attempting a single difficult trick in front of a camera hoping to get lucky and eventually pulling it off. While I wouldn’t recommend making this a primary part of your regular practice routing, I do believe that one can experience significant progress and …

Circus Abyssina: Ethiopian Dreams

Abyssina is a term that refers to the ancient Ethiopian kingdom. Their show is being presented in the New Victory Theater in Manhattan. In February The New Vic will be showing, “A Simple Space,” a show of acrobats using no props or riggings. The Ethiopian circus includes many acrobats, foot juggling with rug spinning, a Reisly act, aerial acts, a …

The Mysterious Ader Brothers

Every few years a previously unknown or forgotten juggler is discovered, resulting in a surge of information being found about them. Hermann Sagemuller’s discovery of E.C. Kert is a great example of this, as were my efforts to share about Zarmo and John P. Thomas after their families reached out to me. Often it starts with a few photos, as …

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Cirque Dreams, the Florida based production company, is sending their perennial favorite, “Holidaze,” on the road again. The cast of thirty multi-national artists splash the stage with color for the two hour show. Splendid costumes, sparkling sets, and high level skills keep the audience delighted. Included in this parade of skits, songs, and routines are a toss juggler, a rola …