IJA Festival Performers

Performers

Get ready for a phenomenal week of shows and entertainment at IJA Festival 2019 in Fort Wayne, Indiana! The IJA Festival is excited to be welcoming these Special Guest performers, as well as many others, at the Cascade of Stars and Welcome Show. All of the shows below will be held at the Embassy Theatre. Learn more about our full line up of IJA Shows.

Cascade of Stars

The Cascade of Stars is a highlight of the IJA festival. This Saturday evening performance will feature top notch juggling and circus talent from around the world. This will be the final theater show of the festival and is an event not to be missed! Get ready for a fabulous night of family entertainment.

Matt Hall

 

Cascade of Stars Emcee – Matt Hall began his juggling career at the tender age of age 27, after he purchased Charlie Dancey’s Encyclopaedia of Ball Juggling and vowed to learn every trick in the book. Seven short years later, he won the silver medal for Individuals at the 2003 International Jugglers’ Association’s (IJA) Festival in Reno, Nevada. Soon afterwards, Matt received invitations to perform as a guest star at the 2003 European Juggling Convention in Svendborg, Denmark, the 2004 British Juggling Convention in Derby, England, and in the 2004 IJA Cascade of Stars show.
He has been awarded the Ben Linder Award for being the most Inspirational Juggler at the 2004 Portland Juggling Festival. Later, he headlined shows in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Austin, Texas, and Glasgow, Scotland. Matt was also chosen as the 2005 Peoples’ Choice Award winner at the IJA Festival in Davenport, Iowa. While there, he also took top honors in the Diabolo and Cigar Boxes prop competitions. Matt repeated his top finish in Diabolo at the 2010 IJA Festival.

Anni Kupper

 

Cascade of Stars – Anni Küpper is a Cologne-D/Portland-USA based artist and has been juggling for more than 16 years – which is more than half of her life. After graduating from one of Europe’s big circus school – the Fonty’s Academy for Circus and Performance Art – she has now been working as a full-time professional juggler since 6 years. Anni’s acts are shaped by conceptual ideas coming from Performance Art and convince with high skills and a charming, authentic stage character. She inspired international audiences around Europe as well as the USA, Japan, Singapore, Israel and Gabun. Today more than ever she is grateful for an open-minded juggling/flow arts community which fosters multinational encounters and exchange. For more information visit www.anni-juggling.de

Steve Rawlings

 

Cascade of Stars – Steve Rawlings is a truly unique performer who has broken down the barriers between stand up comedy and physical theatre. He has created a wonderfully entertaining blend of comedy, character, and technical ability that keeps an audience on the edge of their seats. His performance is packed full of original and unique routines such as furniture juggling with a chair, table and vase of flowers (he is the only person in the world to do this! ), setting fire to his head, and juggling ping pong balls with his mouth. All overlaid with a level of stand up comedy a comedian would be proud of. This unique blend appeals to an incredibly wide range of audiences, from performing to the armed forces in war zones, to families, heads of state and royalty all with equal success!

Jon Udry

 

Cascade of Stars – There are jugglers. There are comedians. And there is Jon Udry. Jon combines the two to such a brilliant effect that his unique performance has his audience roaring with laughter from entrance to the final curtain.  Formerly the British Young Juggler Of The Year and New Act of the Year Finalist 2018, Jon’s skills and stage persona have brought his show onto various television and radio shows, as well as being a regular on the bill at prestigious festivals like Glastonbury.  Jon travels internationally, working on a host of luxury cruise lines, at festivals and events, and – due to his unique comedy style – his show is also at home on the domestic comedy club circuit.  Jon’s repertoire is not the normal type of speciality act – instead, it’s young, offbeat, quirky and hugely impressive. His current show ‘Jon Udry Punches Gravity in the Face’ is quickly becoming his most successful to date with a host of bookings around the UK, Europe and beyond.

Bob Cates

 

Bob Cates – Farm boy-turned-entertainer Bob Cates, is an award-winning clean comedian and variety artist. His memorable interactive comedy show includes advanced juggling, wild unicycling and balancing skills, black light laser effects, illusion and an insane 24 plate spinning finale (using real breakable plates) that you will remember for a long long time. Bob Cates, a Canadian Juggling Champion, physical comedian and new vaudevillian comes from humble roots as a pig farmer’s son. After two previous nominations, he was awarded Best Variety Act by the Canadian Comedy Awards in 2018. He was also twice nominated Best One Man Show by the Canadian Comedy Awards. In 2016, Bob was awarded National Entertainer of the Year at the Canadian Event Industry Awards after 4 previous nominations. The Canadian Event Industry Awards are widely acknowledged as the pinnacle mark of professional achievement, and the highest honour a Canadian event professional can earn.

Chris Kelly

 

Cascade of Stars – Chris Kelly is a professional juggler and juggling prop manufacturer from Eugene, Oregon. Over the last 8 years he has helped create a new foundation for poi juggling, as well as a variety of contact poi concepts. He is the sole owner/operator of Things On Strings, a shop which provides top tier poi juggling products. Chris was the first Poi Juggler to make it into the “Top 40 Jugglers” list, placing 14th! Chris now spends his free time traveling around the world teaching and performing at various fire spinning / juggling conventions.

Liam Halstead

 

Cascade of Stars – Liam Halstead began juggling when he was ten years old and was instantly hooked. He loves all forms of object manipulation, balance arts, magic, music, and totally useless skills. He has performed in numerous public and private events, with the Zoppé Family Circus, and on street corners.

Jack Kalvan

 

Cascade of Stars – Jack Kalvan earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. A year later, he quit a job in robotics at IBM Research to follow his dream of showing off and making people laugh. Since the age of 12, Jack has loved practicing juggling and other circus skills, and creating uniquely entertaining ways to present them. He has performed more than 3,000 shows in over 200 cities around the world. From cruise ships, to the White House in Washington, DC, to the Wintergarten in Berlin, to Cirque du Soleil. TV appearances include: The Tonight Show, Conan, The Drew Carey Show, NCIS, and Days of our Lives, and numerous commercials. Movie credits include: Alice in Wonderland, Water for Elephants, and Coyote Ugly. Well respected in the juggling community for his skill and creative innovation, Jack has won several gold medals and even set some world records. Since 2006, Jack produced XJuggling, the Extreme Juggling Competition to help promote the creativity and excitement of juggling. Jack currently enjoys performing with his wife, Jeri, also a talented juggler and acrobat. They are based in Los Angeles.

Matthew Tiffany

 

Cascade of Stars – From Leeds, England, Matthew started juggling and music at 7 but really started to make them his passion at 17. Whilst studying for a classical music degree Matthew procrastinated heavily by juggling. After a few years of this he was one of the best ball jugglers in the world, and a very average violinist! Matthew has been both a professional juggler and musician now for 13 years, mainly music to begin with, and now mainly juggling. He has played in many different ensembles and has also conducted orchestras. In 2013 he received Classicfm music teacher of the year for his work in education. At 26, Matthew starting learning to improvise musically, playing jazz and various folk genres, whilst simultaneously learning ‘classical’ juggling tricks. He wanted to perform the most difficult and beautiful tricks from the history of juggling. There are lots of people who play Beethoven, but very few who recreate the Brunn finish!

Jack Denger

 

Cascade of Stars – Originally from Carmel, Indiana, 2014 IJA Juniors Champion Jack Denger learned to juggle at the age of seven and has been hooked ever since. After taking a three-year hiatus from juggling, he is excited and honored to be back on the IJA stage performing for his fellow jugglers!

Kathrin Wagner

 

Cascade of Stars – Kathrin Wagner is an award-winning ring juggler and hooper based in Berlin, Germany.
She started juggling more than ten years ago, which turned into an obsession when she learned her first
pancake throw. Since then she has become a professional juggler and full-time performer.

Welcome Show

Start the festival off right with the delightfully entertaining IJA Festival Welcome Show! Featuring high quality talent and humor from American and international performers. Tickets to this festival are included in full festival passes, or can be purchased separately. Fort Wayne locals are invited to join us in kicking off the 72nd IJA Festival.

Steve Rawlings

Welcome Show MC – Steve Rawlings is a truly unique performer who has broken down the barriers between stand up comedy and physical theatre. He has created a wonderfully entertaining blend of comedy, character, and technical ability that keeps an audience on the edge of their seats. His performance is packed full of original and unique routines such as furniture juggling with a chair, table and vase of flowers (he is the only person in the world to do this! ), setting fire to his head, and juggling ping pong balls with his mouth. All overlaid with a level of stand up comedy a comedian would be proud of. This unique blend appeals to an incredibly wide range of audiences, from performing to the armed forces in war zones, to families, heads of state and royalty all with equal success!

Aaron Bonk

Welcome Show – Aaron Bonk has won a few awards, been on TV, and earned some world records, but his most impressive accomplishment has been figuring out how to get paid to travel and juggle for the last 20 years. Recently, Bonk made a name for himself in the juggling community as an accomplished whip artist. Ironically, he is known in the whip community as an accomplished juggler. Forging a new path between the two, he combined his passion for both skills with his love of music and humor to create a truly unique style of precision whip artistry. For more info, please check out AaronBonk.com

Dominique Rabideau

 

Welcome Show – Dominique Rabideau is a Montreal-based juggler who has been performing for over 10 years. Specializing in hat manipulation, Dominique’s high-energy performance style has been described as playful and musical, and she has juggled alongside bands such as Tera Melos, Floral, and Gulfer. When she’s not juggling, you can find her creating macarons, cakes and other sweet treats in her secret dessert laboratory.

Matthew Tiffany

 

Welcome Show – From Leeds, England, Matthew started juggling and music at 7 but really started to make them his passion at 17. Whilst studying for a classical music degree Matthew procrastinated heavily by juggling. After a few years of this he was one of the best ball jugglers in the world, and a very average violinist! Matthew has been both a professional juggler and musician now for 13 years, mainly music to begin with, and now mainly juggling. He has played in many different ensembles and has also conducted orchestras. In 2013 he received Classicfm music teacher of the year for his work in education.

Jon Udry

 

Welcome Show There are jugglers. There are comedians. And there is Jon Udry. Jon combines the two to such a brilliant effect that his unique performance has his audience roaring with laughter from entrance to the final curtain.  Formerly the British Young Juggler Of The Year and New Act of the Year Finalist 2018, Jon’s skills and stage persona have brought his show onto various television and radio shows, as well as being a regular on the bill at prestigious festivals like Glastonbury.  Jon travels internationally, working on a host of luxury cruise lines, at festivals and events, and – due to his unique comedy style – his show is also at home on the domestic comedy club circuit.  Jon’s repertoire is not the normal type of speciality act – instead, it’s young, offbeat, quirky and hugely impressive. His current show ‘Jon Udry Punches Gravity in the Face’ is quickly becoming his most successful to date with a host of bookings around the UK, Europe and beyond.

Tony Steinbach

The Welcome Show Tony spent his childhood and 20s yelling and throwing things. This past year he yelled and threw his way to winning ‘Best Outdoor Show’ at the Edmonton International Theater Festival for both his solo show and his work with Sam Malcolm as ‘The Plaid Lads’. He can’t wait to host the IJA Juniors Juggling Championship, where he hopes he finally can set the record straight for who can juggle the most juniors.

Kalvan Family

 

Kalvan Family – You’ve seen their skills in numerous movies, TV shows and commercials. Now experience the ridiculous feats of Jack & Jeri Kalvan LIVE! Jack is a master of unusual skills. He’s a world-class juggler, and also an engineer and inventor. He’s been a full time entertainer since the 1990’s. Jeri Kalvan is a former teacher turned Hollywood stuntwoman. In 2005, they joined forces to create a comedy variety show that all ages could enjoy together. Starting with traditional circus arts like juggling, acrobatics and unicycling, they’ve incorporated a multitude of other ideas, fascinating audiences with flowerpots, slinkys, art supplies, tennis ball guns, video projectors, giant whoopee cushions, and much more. They’ve even got their two sons, Max (12) and Oz (9) into the act. This extraordinary family has received rave reviews from cruise ships, fairs, festivals, theaters, and corporate events. They’ll have you on the edge of your seat, and rolling on the floor laughing at the same time …if that’s possible.

Matt Henry

 

Individuals and Teams Champions Emcee – Matt Henry grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and learned to juggle at the age of fifteen from the classic Juggling for the Complete Klutz. He got his start busking on the streets of New York, then moved to Orlando, honing his skills with more than 8000 shows onstage at Disney World. His career has featured work in theaters, theme parks, casinos, cruise ships, TV, film, festivals, circuses, nightclubs, arenas, museums, boats, store windows, front yards, back yards, cornfields, and miscellaneous holes-in-the-wall. His IJA championship awards include a bronze medal in 1997, which included his signature ironing board routine, and a gold medal in 2001 for his work with balls and diabolos. He currently resides in Maple Ridge, BC, a suburb of Vancouver, and balances life on the road with life at home with his wife and two young sons.

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