The use of umbrellas and parasols in juggling is not uncommon. Japanese jugglers and their imitators have been spinning balls, rings, coins, and boxes on parasols for hundreds of years. One of the most famous current jugglers performing this style of juggling is Mio Yadori.
Umbrellas and parasols are also a very common prop for antipodism / foot juggling.
Umbrellas have also been popular props for balancing for a very long time. However, the focus of this article is on using umbrellas for toss juggling, which is much more rare. I’ve already explored their use in the very specific mixed prop trick of juggling a bag, hat, and umbrella in the article that can be read by clicking here, so I won’t repeat that information here.
The skill of toss juggling three umbrellas is well over a hundred years old. There are a number of examples of toss juggling with umbrellas from the late 1800s that I’m aware of. Four such examples are pictured below.
Roberto Alfonso 1880s
Edward Van Wyck sold juggling umbrellas in his catalog in the very early 1900s. These same umbrellas were later discussed in the 1910 book The Art of Juggling by William DeLisle. The section from that book discussing their use is below.
Umbrella juggling had actually appeared in an earlier juggling book, The Art of Modern Juggling by Anglo, which was published in 1907. Below is the umbrella section from that book.
The Ferronis, the father/son duo of Vittorio and Leonardo, juggled umbrellas in the 1930s, as you can see below.
Eva Vida came on the juggling scene when she graduated from the Budapest School of Circus Arts in 1959. You can see her work with umbrellas below.
Leonid Yengibarov was a Soviet clown and juggler who started his career at the same times as Eva Vida. You can see his work with umbrellas in the following videos.
Louri Kreis worked with umbrellas in the 1980s.
Francoise Rochais is perhaps the best known umbrella juggler of the modern era. She performs three umbrella toss juggling as well as juggling with two rings and two umbrellas.
Jean-Souleymane Mandiang is a newer juggler who does some very creative work with umbrella juggling.
Kyle Driggs is another juggler who currently wows audiences with his umbrella juggling, including his work with three rings and one umbrella.
Other current jugglers like Rondell Sinanan, David Menes Rodriguez, Isabelle Du Bois, Loop’inel Loup, and Adam O’Connor-Mcmahon continue to push the boundaries of what can be done with this beautiful juggling prop.