Ninette Mongador (Antoinette Chambeyron) Obituary

We are sorry to announce the passing of Antoinette Chambeyron, better known in the juggling world as Ninette Mongador. Ninette was born in France in 1928 into a juggling family. Her father, Georges Chambeyron, was a talented juggler and formed the famous juggling troupe The Mongadors around 1900. The juggling troupe worked in both circuses and in variety theaters. Ninette’s mother, Anne (Dunn) Chambeyron was also a member of the Mongadors, having met the much older Georges in 1926 before falling in love and marrying him. Anne was British and had worked as a dancer.

After Ninette was born in 1928, her parents continued to perform until 1939, when World War II broke out. Her parents set up their own resistance movement from their home in Aurillac, France to combat the occupying German forces. The couple would eventually be honored by both the French and British governments for their varied efforts for the Allies.

When the war was over, 17 year old Antoinette began performing with her parents as the new lineup of the Mongadors. Antoinette, known professionally as Ninette (and sometimes as Nenette) had studied ballet with her aunt, modern dance with her mother, and juggling with her father throughout the war. When the Mongadors re-formed as a trio of the mother, father, and daughter following the war, the act highlighted Ninette’s great technical talent. One of the highlights of the act was her ability to juggle five of the enormous clubs that the Mongador troupe had always been known for using. The trio version of the act used huge wooden discs in place of the small plates that had previously been juggled.

Ninette with her parents

Georges and Ninette

Anne, Georges, and Ninette Mongador

Anne, Georges, and Ninette Mongador

Georges eventually retired from performing and died in 1959, but Anne and Ninette continued to perform under a variety of names, including the Mongadors, Ninette Mongador & Co., Ninette Mongadors and Anne, and Ace Of Clubs. They continued to perform together until the early 1970s.

Ninette and Anne

Ninette juggling five huge clubs

Ninette holding the famous Mongador clubs

Ninette went on to become a well-known British journalist. She even wrote a book about her family, which you can see below.

Antoinette Chambeyron passed away in London on September 9th, 2020. Her remains will be interred with those of her parents in Aurillac in central France.

The Museum of Juggling History now houses some of the Mongadors’ props, as you can see in the following photo.

Our condolences go out to Antoinette’s family and friends.

Ninette juggling five clubs and five discs

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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