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November 2018

Editor: Don Lewis

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  • Chair’s message
  • Giving
  • Happenstance
  • IJA Awards Nominations
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


2019 IJA Festival – Fort Wayne, Indiana – June 24 – 30, 2019

Yes, exceptionally the festival is in late June this time!

Check out Fort Wayne at https://www.visitfortwayne.com/

Chair’s message, by Exuro Piechocki

Winter can be a tough time for jugglers. With the colder weather approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us don’t get to take the time to play outside in comfort. For this reason, local juggling clubs are an amazing resource. Have you taken the time to attend your local club recently? I have been fortunate enough to live in places that have clubs, all of which have been organized by members of the IJA under their own initiative. If you don’t already have access to a local juggling club, I invite you to consider starting one! Hosting a club or other gatherings not only provides a place for jugglers in your area to intermingle and grow, but also allows a place for those who are freshly interested in juggling to join in to our ever expanding community.


If you are looking for ways to stay connected with jugglers during your hibernation months, check out the links on our Resources page to find if there is a club near to you, or to learn how to connect with the online juggling community. The strength of the IJA comes from all of us working, playing, training, and celebrating together, even when we are apart.

Happy Holidays,

Exuro Piechocki
IJA Chairman


Giving, by Don Lewis

Thanksgiving has just past in the USA.  Other places celebrate at different times.  Harvest celebrations are a pretty common ritual wherever you live.  In the US Thanksgiving is quickly followed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday.  This month I was in Paris and was surprised that Parisians have adopted Black Friday with wild enthusiasm.

By the time Giving Tuesday rolls around it is a wonder that there is anything left to give. But of course you saved so much at the sales that you probably have a few coins left. I hope you do.

People sometimes ask me why a paid membership organization would need to raise funds? Your membership fee helps keep the lights on and pays for the basic expenses that any non-profit organization has. The festival tries to be self supporting, and most years it is. A couple of generous donors enjoy adding some perks to the festival.

The IJA is more than just a festival. The founders started with an idea. In the beginning it was more like a mutual aid group for professional jugglers. Then it morphed into a place where gifted amateurs could find a community. Now it is those things and also has an active outreach program supported by enthusiastic volunteers. For years we made top jugglers come to us to compete in our stage competitions. Getting to the USA is a big investment for many people, and for other talented jugglers in difficult circumstances or countries it is just impossible even if they can afford the trip.

The IJA Regional Competition program is our most visible outreach program and is wildly successful. Major festivals around the world hold competitions using our format and banner. It gives local jugglers a chance to shine and gets the IJA global recognition. A big complaint about the IJA used to be that it wasn’t really international. Well, it really is now. Just take a look at the IRC videos available at eJuggle. The enthusiasm and skill level is amazing. It happens because the IJA has a few enthusiastic volunteers that make it happen. Like everything else in juggling there isn’t really any money to be made by doing this. Lots of prestige for sure, and eventually this program may become self supporting. Right now we could use some help.

Other programs exist, such as Props to You. If you are replacing some of your old props that are in reasonable condition, you can donate them. The IJA will see that they get somewhere that normally wouldn’t have access to good juggling props. The video tutorial contest regularly challenges jugglers to share their skills so that jugglers world wide can learn new techniques. From time to time the IJA has has jugglerships, a sort of sponsorship program help young jugglers get to the festival. If you know a talented youngster that needs to be at the festival, you can arrange to sponsor them through the IJA. We will be happy to abet your good deeds.

All these programs have costs somewhere that are not covered by membership fees. We are a small group in terms of sponsorship. Our prop makers are generous and we are grateful for that. It isn’t like we get major funding from international companies. They want more eyeballs on their brands than all of us combined can stare at.

That leaves us to support our own enthusiasms. And why not? We get a lot of pleasure out of juggling. Most of us enjoy the bit of notoriety that comes from being known as a juggler even if we never get up on a stage. Every donation helps. Donations to the IJA are tax deductible which means you get a benefit too when you support your favourite activity. If you want to get involved and donate your time and talent, welcome. Most of us don’t really have time to get involved, and that is fine. You can still participate meaningfully by donating so that the volunteers with time to give have a budget to support that activity. Maybe it is as simple as buying postage to distribute prizes – your donation will help. Thanks for considering it.


Happenstance, by Don Lewis

You just never know when you will encounter something interesting that is totally unrelated to your activity of the moment.  I was recently in Amiens, France to tour around some of the WW1 monuments.  In particular, we sought out some of the monuments specific to the Newfoundland regiment which are all marked with statues of caribou.  The day was foggy and the monuments appeared eerily out of the mist.  I was very impressed by the care and respect with which these graves and monuments are maintained.  

And what does that have to do with juggling, you may well ask?  Well, nothing as such.  Except that it meant that I found myself looking around the town of Amiens briefly.  There is an amazing cathedral that somehow avoided being reduced to rubble during the wars.  I walked through the visitor centre beside the cathedral and saw an announcement for a tour of the circus which would soon begin.  It seems that the region is a hotbed of circus and has been for some time.  As early as 1845 a local fair erected a temporary wooden building for performances, the space having become available after the town’s fortifications were dismantled.  Locals agreed that a permanent building was needed, although cost was a serious problem.  In 1874 a permanent wooden structure was built, but then was not well maintained.  A new building, or cirque, was built and inaugurated in 1889 by the then mayor Frédérick Petit and the renowned author Jules Verne.  In more recent times the Cirque has been completely updated and is now known as the Cirque Jules Verne.  Since the 1980’s a circus school initially supported by Annie Fratellini has been associated with the building.  It was interesting to look through the building on the tour, it still has the original indoor stables. Adapting the building to modern norms reduced the audience capacity from about 3000 to 1700 today.  It is registered as a heritage building and very interesting to look at.  There is a page on wikipedia describing its heritage and some of the acts that performed there over its history.


The lighter side of sightseeing included a few days in Paris where I was able to take in a few shows in the evenings.  From my point of view as a mature gentleman with an interest in the performing arts, the show at the Paradis Latin was the best.  The building which houses this dinner theatre was originally built by Gustav Eiffel (the same guy who built the tower).  It had been essentially forgotten and used as a warehouse when some businessmen bought it.  They were surprised to find an elegant theatre behind a lot of renovations.  They did realize that they had a gem on their hands and re-opened the building as a dinner theatre with a typically Parisian Revue.  There are singers, dancers, and usually a circus themed act.  The three course meal served with wine and champagne was superb.  You can just go for the show.

The show featured an acrobat who reprised a classic piece of manipulation that I’ve only seen done once before.  Angelo Balland rode a high unicycle and successively kicked saucers and cups up to balance on his head.  As a finale, he used a mouth stick to catch a kicked up teapot, and poured into the top cup.  It was very well done.  The Paradis Latin information tells us that Angelo Balland was born into a seven generation family of acrobats.  He naturally became an acrobat, then a juggler and clown.  He has toured the world with assorted circus shows, including Cirque du Soleil.  He enjoys performing at Paradis Latin because of the family atmosphere and camaraderie of those who work there.  The photos below were provided by the Paradis Latin.


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:

In recognition of excellence in the art of juggling through professional performance.

In recognition of a lifetime of influential work and extraordinary achievement in juggling performance.

In recognition of years of coaching and mentoring jugglers to help create and improve their acts.

In recognition of a consistent commitment to provide outstanding support and promotion for the field of juggling.

In recognition of outstanding efforts to teach juggling to non-jugglers and expand the knowledge of those who already juggle.

In recognition for providing exceptional promotion to the public of the art of juggling.

Please submit nominations to awards@juggle.org by December 5th.


Latest articles in eJuggle


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 ijanews@juggle.org.  Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests.  Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.

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

ClubCon 2019
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
Nottingham, UK

2019 IJA Festival
24 June – 30 June 2019
Fort Wayne, IN USA

European Juggling Convention
3 Aug – 11 Aug 2019
Newark, NG24 2NY, UK

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