Lothar Lohr and the Saturn Trick

Lothar Lohr was born in Swinemünde, Germany in 1929 and moved to Ahlbeck, Germany in 1949. At the age of 13 he began practicing juggling using potatoes. He made his debut on stage in 1949 and continued performing into the 1980s. He juggled with tennis rackets, bounced tennis balls off of a drum, juggled 7 balls in the air, and played a drum while juggling mallets. His was a talking act, which was extremely rare in East Germany.

Lothar’s most famous trick was the Saturn Trick, which consists of juggling two balls and two rings and juggling the four objects so that the balls pass through the rings on each pair of throws. Lothar Lohr featured his creation in all of his advertising and was very proud of originating the trick.

Lohr toured the world and won a gold medal as best juggler at the East German National Artists Festival in 1980. He is now retired and lives in Ahlbeck, Germany. He can still juggle at the age of 88.

Lothar Lohr and his daughter Marietta

The Saturn trick is still performed today by such jugglers as Alan Howard, David Cain, Brian Wendling, Sam Veale, and Jon Udry.

Below is a video of myself running the standard four object version.

Some jugglers have taken the trick further by doing it with 6 objects – 3 rings and 3 balls. The first to do this was Russian / Israeli juggler Mikhail Staroseletsky. Below are videos of Jon Udry, Dominik Harant, and Michael Banks each qualifying the 6 object version.

 

 

In preparation for this article, I challenged the juggling community to create new variations on the Saturn Trick. Below are the results of that challenge.

We start with a three object variation by Norbi Whitney, juggling one ball through two rings with each toss of the ball.

Here’s a two ball and one ring trick by me. It’s 52512 with every ball throw going through the ring.

Here’s Kai Smith doing some incredible Saturn trick variations.

Here are two Saturn trick videos from Quinn Lewis.

Here’s Anssi Kolehmainen juggling three club flats while friends pass rings around the clubs during each toss.

Here’s my creation of the three ring Saturn trick, where a ring passes through another ring during each exchange.

Here’s Sam Veale doing a ball kick up version.

Here are two great Saturn Trick variations from Jon Udry.

Here’s my four ring version of the trick, using two small rings and two large rings.

The Saturn trick is a great invention and we have Lothar Lohr to thank for it.

 

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 three books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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