The IJA Regional Competition – IRC South America 2018 took place at the Paraguay Circus Convention in Encarnación, Paraguay on the 19th of October.
The convention was 5 days long and was attended by over 800 people. There was a diverse representation of jugglers from many South American countries, including Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay, and Peru. There were also a handful of attendees from Central America, the USA and Europe. It was a camping convention and the venue included an impressive indoor gymnasium, covered outdoor practice spaces, an outdoor amphitheater and a circus tent for the shows. Convention packages included 2 vegetarian meals per day.
The skill level of the convention was impressive, with an especially notable emphasis on the number and high skill level of the female attendees. This convention was very close to a 50/50 split of male and female attendees, which, as most people know, is an extreme rarity in the international juggling community. One of the featured shows this year (and for the past four years) is a “Ladies Night” performance. This was, by far, the most inspiring and powerful of all the shows (according to me as the author, but also something that could be heard from the mouths of many people throughout the convention). The skill level was jaw dropping, and the message of equality and safety for women was profound.
Now to the IRC! It was one that can certainly go in the history books! Out of 27 total IRCs since 2011, it had the most competitor entries of any to day. 27 applications came in from 7 different South American countries. This was also the IRC South America with the most female entries, the most female finalists, and the first female medalist for the region.
The preliminary judges consisted of Florence Huet of France, Haavard Hvidsten of the Netherlands and Svetlana Zueva of Russia. They had the task of narrowing the applicants down to the top 11 finalists. Check out the full list of IRC South America 2018 Finalists.
The finals were held in the circus tent at the convention. The tent was completely packed to standing room only, with a crowd of people outside the opening tent flap craning their necks over other people’s heads to try to see the show. It was a fabulous night of entertainment, filled with excitement, talent, energy, cheers, drops, catches, heartbreak and overwhelming inspiration.
Check out the highlights video of what went down.
IRC South America 2018 Medalists
Gold Medalist: Carlos Araya (aka Charchaso) of Chile
Silver Medalist: Daniela Corradi of Argentina
Bronze Medalist: Anderson Pereira da Silva of Brazil
We want to say a BIG thank you to the organizers of the event who were professional every step of the way in working with the IJA to organize the IJA Regional Competition. Also many thanks to Natalí Darmograj for her impressive work filming and editing the highlights video.
The plan for IRC South America 2019 is to partner with the Brazilian National Circus Convention to hold what will be the 8th IRC in the South American region.