Editor: Don Lewis
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- Chair’s message
- St. John’s Circus Festival
- IJA Awards Nominations
- Latest articles in eJuggle
- Upcoming juggling festivals
Chair’s message, by Exuro Piechocki
As the holiday season draws near, I find myself reflecting on what has made this a good year for the IJA and for juggling.
In 2018, we’ve collectively been able to make a difference in the lives more jugglers (and not-yet-jugglers) than any year before. IJA members everywhere are taking part in the co-creation of our community around us. The IRC program will see a record eight countries this year, making impacts in ways that weren’t even imagined at the program’s inception. Our social media channels make an impression on thousands of people every single day, inspiring the next generation of jugglers. World Juggling Day was documented being celebrated in dozens of countries, showing that juggling is truly global. Oh, and we had a pretty great festival this year as well. It’s not just those working within the programs of the IJA that are pushing juggling forward, it’s all of us who are playing a role in our greater community that give us strength. IJA members and non-members alike are seizing their own worlds by the horns and creating space for juggling to take root. It seems like every time I check the festival listing at the bottom of the eNewsletter that I find a new juggling festival.
Yes this has been a good year for juggling, and I am thankful for that.
St. John’s NL International Circus Festival, by Don Lewis
I’ve been to a few Circus festivals and a lot of juggling festivals. Serendipitously I realized that I was going to be in St. John’s Newfoundland during their first International Circus Festival. So I immediately bought tickets to all the shows and dove right in.
The event started off seriously enough with panel discussions of Expanding Circus Across Canada, and Social Circus Outreach.
The first show on the agenda was Patinoire – a one man show by Patrick Léonard of Les Sept Doits de la Main. I’ve seen the show more than once, and it just gets better. Some of you will remember Patrick from the IJA 2000 festival in Montreal where he started the show by bungee jumping into the aisle at the start of a show.
Patinoire is mostly about improbable balance and fragility. Patrick greeted all the audience members as they came into the room, and then disappeared. When he casually re-appeared after a couple of minutes, he appeared to have shaved off his beard, and then started the show. At one point he had assorted loud speaker boxes piled irregularly on an apparently very collapsable table which he climbed and balanced on. Props fell from the ceiling at unexpected moments, including a ukulele. He held a stack of precarious boxes while he asked an audience member to direct him to a spot on the stage marked by an X. Except that the X did not exist until a stagehand appeared with a role of tape during the process. The sense of timing in this show is flawless. https://7doigts.com/spectacles/creations/patinoire
The next night was a mixture of circus and symphony. The first half of the show was pure symphony by the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. During intermission the symphony compressed themselves at the back of the stage, and circus took over the front.
Prior to the show the audience was treated to aerial silk demonstrations in the lobby. During the intermission, red clown noses were on sale by donation to support Cancer Blows, a charity selected by the trumpet soloist. Students and graduates of the National Circus School provided poetic routines choreographed to music played by the symphony. We saw aerial straps, trapeze, corde lisse, aerial hoop, Cyr wheel, and a captivating hand balance routine. The audience was a mix of symphony season ticket holders and circus enthusiasts who all left the hall with a smile. For some, it would have been their first exposure to the artistic side of circus.
Day three of the festival featured the Edge of the World Cabaret. The edge of the world presumably is a reference to the fact that nearby Fogo Island is said to be one of the four corners of the earth.
The Cabaret was presented in the local CLB Armoury. A raised stage was installed at one end of the large space with seating back to the door. As the word cabaret implies, this was an evening of variety acts, both homegrown and international. Or as the local dialect would have it, anyone who is not from here is a “come from away”. Music and dance are big parts of Newfoundland culture; both were featured on stage. Local acrobatic dance troupes filled the stage, along with musical impersonations of Amy Winehouse and “Lady “Guyguy”.
Aerial arts are popular in St. John’s so it was no surprise that many acts were suspended from the ceiling. And that was a great thing because if you were not in the first couple of rows, it was impossible to see anything that involved floor work on stage. I found that frustrating and it seemed a lot of others did too. I’m sure that will change for future editions.
We got to see aerial hoop, duo hoop, silks, and cascorde presented above the stage. I discovered that a Cascorde is a complex of hanging ropes suspended from a centre point; it looked like about sixteen individual pieces of climbing rope arranged like a corede lisse. It gave the performer a lot of variety, and presumably it took a lot of skill to keep from getting caught in tangles.
We did get to see two excellent solo juggling acts. James Burke is a local juggler who has trained and performed in North America and Europe. James’ style combines juggling, flow, and dance. Bekka Rose is no stranger to IJA members. Her wonderful fluid style is a treat to watch. She gave a public juggling workshop during the festival which was well attended. It was unfortunate that parts of their performances were obscured for a lot of the audience. I could see things going up in the air, but not always where they came from. In spite of that, the audience was enthusiastic.
There were some excellent clowning moments. Mooky the clown did a routine where she selected a volunteer from the audience, but insisted that he be able to read. Once up on stage she asked him what his day job was. He is an optometrist – that was good for an unexpected laugh. She then handed him a card with his lines on it and led him through a dramatic performance. Except that he soon ran out of lines on the card and was confronted with his lines presented on various parts of her costume as she ran through hilarious contortions.
The entire evening was hugely upbeat and the sold out crowd left loudly and happily.
For the final show of the festival we were back at the Armoury with a slightly different seating setup. Fortunately this is an aerial show because even sitting closer to the stage I still couldn’t see much through the people in front of me.
Leading off was LEGacy Circus. It was an emotionally stunning performance as we were led to understand that one of the aerialists is a double below the knee amputee. It certainly didn’t slow either performer on the duo trapeze. It proved that you don’t need your feet to be amazing. I felt that the tone of the act was somber rather than upbeat circus. It was a powerful act.
The main event of the evening was Hang On by Fidget Feet from Ireland. The front right corner of the stage contained a variety of electronica. Jym Daly, the soundscape designer filled this space and created an electronic soundscape presented live during the show.
The duo of Chantal Mccormick and Lee Clayden started off in business suits and eventually got down to basics. Shorts for him and shorts with a top for her. They spent most of their time in the air sharing the space on the duo trapeze as if they were one. That they could keep doing acrobatics in the air for a full show was impressive. They ended with the music quieting and the two of them reclined amiably on the trapeze. At least, I thought that was the end. She disappeared from the stage, and he kept on with more impressive aerials for another ten minutes. I could almost feel waves of angst from the stage during this powerful solo. There was enthusiastic applause. The crowd seemed quiet and reflective leaving the hall.
The first St. John’s Circus Festival was a success, with sold out shows and enthusiastic participants. I heard a lot of people who had attended out of curiosity say that they would definitely attend everything next year. Congratulations to Beni Malone and Anahareo Dölle, artistic directors of the festival.
Keep an eye on the St. John’s Circus Festival. I’ll bet that it sells out early next year.
IJA Award Nominations
Please start thinking about who you would like to nominate for an honorary IJA award to be presented at the IJA Festival next summer. Our website lists all the previous IJA award honorees. https://juggle.org/history/honorary-awards/
Nominations are open for the following IJA awards:
IJA AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
In recognition of excellence in the art of juggling through professional performance.
HISTORICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
In recognition of a lifetime of influential work and extraordinary achievement in juggling performance.
BOBBY MAY AWARD
In recognition of years of coaching and mentoring jugglers to help create and improve their acts.
IJA EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE AWARD
In recognition of a consistent commitment to provide outstanding support and promotion for the field of juggling.
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD
In recognition of outstanding efforts to teach juggling to non-jugglers and expand the knowledge of those who already juggle.
AWARD OF SPECIAL RECOGNITION
In recognition for providing exceptional promotion to the public of the art of juggling.
Please submit nominations to email@example.com by December 5th.
Latest articles in eJuggle
- 10/20 Pearls of Juggling Articles: Indian Club Swinging as a quality warm for juggling. (by Anthony Trahair)
- 10/17 IJA Tricks of the Month by Aldair Espinosa of Mexico | Diabolo Juggling (by IJA Tricks of the Month)
- 10/15 Rudy Horn Obituary (by David Cain)
- 10/14 World Juggling Day 2018 Recap Video (by Erin Stephens)
- 10/10 IJA Tricks of the Month by Mariia Martin from Ukraine (by IJA Tricks of the Month)
- 10/09 The Great Feud of the Strongman Juggling Stars (by David Cain)
- 10/06 Art and the Value of “Why” (by Guest Writer)
- 10/03 Vaudeville Era Tambourine Spinners and Banjo-Playing Jugglers (by David Cain)
- 09/30 IJA Tricks of the Month by Kelly Cal of Mexico | Clubs (by IJA Tricks of the Month)
- 09/28 Newly Discovered Ollie Young Photos and Information (by David Cain)
- 09/26 Alex Zerbe on “Drop Everything” podcast with host Dan Holzman (by Daniel Holzman)
- 09/24 Obituary for John Tobin (by Guest Writer)
Upcoming juggling festivals
Below is a list of some upcoming juggling festivals. For a list of even more fests, check our worldwide juggling event listings.
To get a festival listed here for free, just drop a note to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests. Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.
Würzburger Jonglier – und Akrobatik Convention 2018
08 Nov – 11 Nov 2018
s.Oliver Arena, Stettiner Str. 1, 97072 Würzburg, Germany
National Circus Festival of Ireland
8 Nov – 11 Nov 2018
Tralee Ireland (Éire)
Milton Keynes Juggling Festival 9
10 Nov – 10 Nov 2018
Deanshanger, Milton Keynes, MK19 6HN, United Kingdom
Knielinger Jonglier – und Acrobatiknacht
17 Nov – 18 Nov 2018
Karlsruhe-Knielingen Germany (Deutschland)
La Convention Africaine de Jonglerie 2018
17 Nov – 24 Nov 2018
Cotonou, Benin Benin (Bénin)
Leeds Juggling Convention 2018
17 Nov – 17 Nov 2018
St Mary’s School Menston, Bradford Rd, Menston, Ilkley LS29 6AE UK
European Masters 2018 Fight Night Combat Finals
24 Nov – 24 Nov 2018
Berlin, Germany Germany (Deutschland)
19ª Convenção Brasileira de Malabarismo e Circo
26 Nov – 2 Dec 2018
Parque da cidade, Rio das Ostras, RJ, Brasil
Richmond Juggling Festival 2018
14 Dec – 16 Dec 2018
Richmond Waldorf School, 1301 Robin Hood Road, Richmond, Virginia 23227 USA
3 Jan – 5 Jan 2019
Saint Petersburg, Russia Russia (Россия)
Turbo Fest 13
03 Jan – 06 Jan 2019
École de Cirque de Québec, Quebec City, QC Canada
41st Groundhog Day Juggling Festival
25 Jan – 27 Jan 2019
Atlanta, GA USA
Mondo Juggling Festival
8 Feb – 10 Feb 2019
St. Paul, MN USA
British Juggling Convention
10 Apr – 14 Apr 2019
2019 IJA Festival
24 June – 30 June 2019
Fort Wayne, IN USA
European Juggling Convention
3 Aug – 11 Aug 2019
Newark, NG24 2NY, UK