Eric Zidla – A Career in Photos and Video

Eric Zidla was an Austrian juggler of exceptional technical ability and exuberant stage presence. I have been unable to find much information about his life, but we do know a little. During World War II, he escaped from the Nazi takeover of Austria and fled to Switzerland with nothing. He found some tennis balls, made sticks from broom handles, and cut rings out of cardboard. With these initial props, he began his career.

Eric performed from the mid 1940s until at least as late as 1981. He was assisted by his wife Yrsa, who was a Danish trapeze performer as well. He worked at the Moulin Rouge in Paris early in his career and worked many of the world’s top venues in the years to follow. While it is known that Eric Zidla has passed away, but both his year of  birth and and year of death are unknown.

What we do know is that he was a very gifted juggler. He performed up to ten rings, which made him probably the third or fourth juggler to do so. (Francis Brunn was the first, and then Eric Van Aro. It is unknown if Zidla or Ernest Montego were next with ten rings.)

He also performed the Brunn Finish, eight rings while balancing a ball on a head pedestal and spinning a ring on his ankle, and many other high-level classical juggling tricks. The following photos and video, most of which have never been online before, showcase his remarkable skill.

If you know more about the life and career of Eric Zidla, please contact me.

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-four books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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