By Kyle Petersen

To be sure, there are plenty of bizarre names for sports teams across the nation: the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes and of course the Orlando Magic. One Catholic school in Upstate New York, however, has selected a moniker near and dear to our hearts, the Notre Dame Jugglers.

We’re not talking about the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish (another wacky, somewhat offensive, sports team name) in South Bend, Indiana but rather Notre Dame Junior-Senior High School of Utica, New York. The team’s mascot harkens back to the medieval french legend of le Jongleur de Notre Dame (as adapted from the school’s website):

“Once there was a very talented juggler named Barnabe who decided to become a monk. Now, it was the custom of the monastery to do things in honor of the Virgin Mary. One monk would write poetry, another would sculpt statues, another would paint, and so on. The juggler could do nothing like this and became very depressed. Suddenly, one day he was happy again. The prior noticed Barnabe’s change in behavior and wondered what caused it. One night, he decided to follow Barnabe and discovered the juggler in the chapel performing his juggling tricks in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Horrified, the prior ran to get the abbot to see the sacrilege that was being committed in the chapel. But when they both arrived to stop Barnabe they saw the statue come to life and the Virgin wipe the sweat off the brow of the juggler.”

In case anyone was wondering, yes, their girls’ basketball team is known at “The Lady Jugglers”.

Shockingly, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of actual jugglers or juggling at Notre Dame. While the school boasts a student newspaper, a chess club and a color guard, there seems to be no juggling club. Nonetheless, Notre Dame has my support. Go Jugglers!

Below, watch juggler Paul Ponce in a somewhat-creepy theatrical representation of the legend of Barnabe the juggler, performed at Circo del Arte.

By Kyle Petersen

2MurataGirl

They’ve beaten us at Jeopardy, chess and Roshambo. They’ve engaged in mortal combat and even taken on juggling. It’s only a matter of time before one wins the IJA.

It’s time to face facts and bow down before our new robot overlords. It’s not alarmist; it’s called being realistic.

Meet Murata Girl, a female robot who is an expert unicyclist. Yes, robots can be female and yes, they can ride unicycles. She can go forward, backwards, idle, and ride on a balance beam. Her brother (or boyfriend… it’s not really clear) Murata Boy is an expert bicyclist, giving Mat Hoffman a run for his money.

Below, you can watch Murata Girl in action. Quiver as you count the moments before the onslaught of the robot apocalypse.

By Naomi Donabedian

Show Spectacular curtain call. Photo by Brian Dubé

Last Saturday, a full house of New York City jugglers and juggling lovers gathered in the Pratt Memorial Hall as Matt Guzzardo, Myles Kane, and Bernie the dog opened the Juggle THIS! Main Show. Because 2011 was the final year of the festival, the show was a final hurrah for the jugglers, spinners, and performers. The first hurrah, led by the hosts, occurred during the first half of the show. Quite a moving hurrah it was! Original members of the Pratt Juggling Club (organizers of the Juggle THIS! festival) had a chance to nail some club passing patterns on stage, best tricks went down in infamy, endless balls and clubs were juggled, and the hosts kept it moving with gags, skits, and the cuteness of a Boston Terrier. A fond farewell to the 10 years of great Juggle THIS! shows in Brooklyn.

The hosts and company nail club passing on stage. Photo by Brian Dubé

The show, produced by Viveca Gardner of Playful Productions, was heavy on juggling. In previous years the show has included diabolo, balloon twisting, gymnastics, hand-balancing, flag and break dance. Jacob D’Eustachio opened with strong ball and hat juggling with character and panache. Mark Hayward and Scott Spencer represented the “non” category with a hillarious yo-yo act matched with comic didgeridoo. Tony Pezzo brought a strong act of creative ring juggling that made rings fun to watch for all. Marcus Monroe (whose comedy club, knife, unicycle act the Dubé team loves to watch) was extra on point with “sharp” jokes just for the jugglers in the crowd and perfect timing. Doug Sayers always brings the A-game juggling you wish you had. Joëlle Huguenin roused an early-standing ovation with her club and ball routine. Joëlle’s juggling has an uncommon grace and poise for highly techincal juggling. Dream up any position or way to juggle and Joëlle could probably breeze through it.

The night’s most anticipated event was the “Best of the Best” clash of juggling titans. A collection of the last three best trick winners competing for ultimate title. Jay Green with plates and umbrella, Richard Kohut (aka Reese) with his infamous muffin clutch, were no match for winning Larry Vee’s combo Rola Bola, hoola-hoop, 3-ball cascade, while spinning rings on his arms.

Matt Guzzard in his custom shirt celebrating Muffin Clutch trick. Photo by Naomi Donabedian

Robin Hu, fastest diabolo this side of the Mississippi. Photo by Naomi Donabedian

The Juggle THIS! show isn’t over until the fat man juggles. Reese was the fat man at the Late Night Renegade Show. He attempted a new trick called the real ass grab, a ring caught where the sun doesn’t shine. Other performers included Robin Hu with speedy 2 diabolos. Meike Fromm spinning golden glittery boots made into poi also earned loud attention from the crowd for hooping on top of host Kyle Petersen’s back. A full house of rowdy juiced up jugglers (the student union served smoothies) rallied as Kyle’s mom to assist. It was Kyle’s moms second stage appearance in as many years. Where the earlier Show Spectacular show offered jaw-dropping technical juggling, the late show provided a laid-back social atmosphere, blurring the line between stage and heckler. Everyone was a comedian, and it was a great.

Kyle and Mother

Host Kyle and Mother. Photo by Naomi Donabedian

Whether you’re there to practice, learn new skills, try out new gear, see old friends, competing in games, gawking at your favorite juggler, or to scope out what tricks other jugglers are learning the gym is fun central. Thanks as always to Pratt Juggling Club for organizing this great weekend.

Photo by Bill Shatto

Tony Pezzo. Photo by Robin Hu

Spinning Plates. Photo by Robin Hu

Kyle Petersen and hoopers. Photo by Bill Shatto

Jay Green. Photo by Robin Hu

Reese. Photo by Robin Hu

Photo by Robin Hu

Mika and 3 diabolos. Photo by Brian Dubé

Stuart Haber and probably some other genius. Photo by Brian Dubé

Photo by Robin Hu

Photo by Robin Hu

Photo by Brian Dubé

Photo by Robin Hu

Photo by Robin Hu

Doug Sayers. Photo by Brian Dubé

Jacob D'Eustachio

Joe Showers. Photo by Robin Hu

Jay Green. Photo by Robin Hu

Photo by Bill Shatto

Photo by Brian Dubé

Photo by Brian Dubé

img_1325_sm

Photo by Robin Hu

By Kyle Petersen

The 10th and final New York City juggling festival was held this past weekend at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, Juggle THIS! has made a name for itself as one of the best regional festivals in the United States, attracting top-notch talent from throughout the world.

However, all good things must come to an end. Matt Guzzardo, the festival’s principle organizer, is moving across country, and Pratt Institute is no longer willing to act as the host venue. Because of this, any New York City juggling festival in the future will require new leadership and a new venue.

Undeterred by uncertainty, hundreds of jugglers descended on the Big Apple this past weekend for one last hurrah. Turnout was strong despite the fact that the dates for the festival were announced only three weeks ahead of time. Saturday featured workshops and two stage shows while Sunday’s festivities included more workshops and of course, games such as endurance and combat.

Below you can watch a clip from the 5-club endurance competition. Notice how Marcus Monroe tries to sneak his way back into the competition after being eliminated.

As part of our new partnership with El Circense, the Spanish language digital magazine, we will be republishing some of their original content, translated into English. This week, we present an in-depth interview with Argentine street performer Mauri Kurcbard!

By Tomi

Mauri Kurcbard. Photo by Mozcografía

Describe your first contact with circus.

I enjoyed the circus like any child, but I was not especially enamored. The shock came when I was living in France from 1989 to 1992. I was first introduced to juggling there by street performers. They taught me that the road to learning juggling wasn’t so hermetic or closed as it used to be. In that moment (1990) I fell in love with juggling and I practised all day long. As the year came to an end, I had learned clubs, balls, diabolo and devilstick.

When I was back in Buenos Aires in 1992 the only guy who was juggling in street was Chacovachi, but this was only to supplement his work as a clown. At this point, I was trying to make a juggling and humor show, as the one that Cotton MacAloon used to. In 1993 I went to a local plaza with a show named “El Circo Moskova Caligari” and then to CC Recoleta. It was very good and that turned my destiny to street humorist.

How the Malabaristas del Apokalipsis were formed?

I met Pablo del Giudicce and Riki Ra in summer of 1993. Both of them had a comedy and juggling duet called “La Organización Rayada” so they didn’t take too much time in meeting us. We shared stage in San Clemente during the summer and after a few meetings we decided to work together. We toured in France and we lived there doing little shows in Paris.

We were four punk kids on bicycles with our clubs in our backpacks as if they were swords. We were like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, which is how we found our name: Los Malabaristas del Apokalipsis (The Jugglers of the Apocalypse).

In August 1994 we arrived in Plaza Francia (a neighborhood in Buenos Aires) with a new show, which was an immediate success. We then created a show called Varieté Apokaliptika (Apocalyptic Variety). We also organized the first juggling meeting at Buenos Aires, which would later become the Argentinian Juggling and Circus Convention.

What is ‘Anticirco’?

We wanted to be different from traditional circus and its hermeticism and also different to the new circus and its showiness. Neither were popular in Argentina. We wanted to show a third position so we wrote a manifesto called “El Anticirco” (“Anti-circus”), playing a little bit with a philosophy book that has made a big impact in me called “El Antiedipo” (“Anti-Oedipus”).

So we weren’t alone. With los Malabaristas del Apokalipsis there was other similar groups that shared our vision and our new street language that questioned a way or life that we didn’t shared. That was the seed of Forte Garrizone that came in 1995.

What were your motivations in circus artists then?

I was part of the movement of juggling artists in nineties, the years when Argentina’s economy was failing, the unemployment was growing and the options were closing. We were sons of hyperinflation. The street was then as a strategy for surviving as young people. But we didn’t want to simply work; we were very convinced that we were artists that wanted to emerge and resound everywhere. Sometimes some people told us that we were working as jugglers in the streets because we couldn’t make anything else we denied this emphatically.

I remember we used to fight for the spaces in the squares and we consider this as a social right beyond freedom of speech. We wanted to be recognized as generators of a cultural wealth. We wanted to be defended, stimulated and subsidized.

Which is the street artists role in the world’s cities?

The street artist is a urban host and this concept is related his activity with puppeteers, musicians, actors and every creator that day to day in every city of the world try to make people’s life more happy or more conscious. The artist expands the subjective world of the man and this mission has to be seen as a privilege. When social classes disappear –I haven’t lost my hope in this- and the history of mankind won’t be more than the big scientific events there still is going to be artists criticizing, singing and making things. In the future, the scientifics are going to be the politicians and the national heroes will be the past artists.

What would you recommend to people who want to perform in street?

My first recommendation is getting really into it. This means putting some originality, love for working and using what you know with rhythm and intensity. When you start in this art of expressing things in street you always copy others that you already saw. There are always little fishes copying big artists, or being influenced for them. In Buenos Aires once I had the chance of talking with the Master Cavarozzi (Chacovachi) who told me a perfect summary about the street artist’s metier. A street artist has to work with four organs: the brain, the heart, the balls and the stomach. Beautiful.

What are you working in Mexico?

I’ve been working in Cancún for four years. I’m presenting a circus show in the Riviera Maya, the coast zone from Cancún to Playa del Carmen and Tulum. This is paradise, the sea mixes all kinds of blue that catch you and won’t let you go out. In the show I do a little bit of everything, a very simple diabolo routine and different participatory acts in a “Cirque Du Soleil” theme that turns my stomach a little.

It was easy, I do the same as always, but instead of a leather jacket I wear sequins. I work with people all over the world and this enriches my personal work. Additionally I also give comedy workshops.

I’m also preparing another show in Cancún with more humor and more music, but also more Argentinian and more street style. As if this weren’t too much I want to get back to Buenos Aires with a van and all my family inside, traveling from Mexico to Argentina crossing all over Latin America with my street show in 2011 and 2012. It has to work. I have faith in myself.

El Circense: the Online Circus Magazine

Dubé Juggling proud to announce our partnership with the circus magazine El Circense!

Based in Buenos Aires, El Circense is a digital monthly magazine that, since 2008, has been reporting on the world of circus arts. Though originally written in Spanish, articles from El Circense will be republished in English through the Dubé Juggling Blog.

by Naomi Donabedian

Wah! All this juggling is so stressful!

Stock art and photography are a good resource for displaying a recognizable idea, understood by all, young and old, beyond language barrier. Stock art colors the white space delivering a neutral message. The reasons stock art is good is also the same reason it’s bad. It’s a cliche and you’ve probably seen it over and over again. At its worst stock is a visual pun, or a dumbed-down illustration of an otherwise abstract idea. Juggling, sadly, has become the vehicle for stock art themes. Finance woes (juggling the books is Brian Dubé’s favorite cliche), busy at your job, busy at home, crazy for technology, health conscious, or just a disturbing juggling clown, there is juggling stock art to represent your concern. What burns me is the lack of proper juggling displayed in stock art. Juggling as a graphic is reduced into throwing balls thrown in a circle. A cascades look like juggling, and isn’t difficult to illustrate. Do non-jugglers really believe that throwing balls in a circle equals juggling? Lets view some examples:

This is not and CAN NOT be juggling

juggling success, get it?

Any successful broker understands this common juggling metaphor.

How the gods control Earth. This one actually know how to juggle.

How many men can you juggle? Again an accurate cascade.

Good thing moms know how to juggle.

Skinny ladies who eat all their vegetables know how to juggle too.

Does not represent juggling

Aww... somehow all is forgiven when its a cute animal juggling!!

Juggle This 2011

Plan to use your vacation (*cough*cough* and sick) days wisely traveling to juggling conventions.

In North America

Victoria Juggling Festival
February 18 – 20, 2011 at the University of Victoria, Canada. http://web.uvic.ca/~juggling/

Jugglefest XVIII
February 25 – 27, 2011, University of Texas, Austin. http://juggling.place.org/jugglefest/

Juggle This!
March 5 – 6, 2011, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. http://www.jugglenyc.com

Northwest Arkansas Juggling Festival
March 11 – 13, 2011, Northwest Arkansas at UA in Fayetteville. http://sites.google.com/site/jugglingrsoclub/upcoming-events/juggling-festival

19th Annual UW Juggling Festival
March 12 – 13, 2011, University of Waterloo, Canada.

Humboldt Juggling Festival
March 17 – 20, 2011, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA. http://humboldtjugglingsociety.org

34th RIT Spring Juggle-In
April 1 – 3, 2011, RIT in Rochester, NY. http://www.rit.edu/sg/jugglingclub/jugglein/

MONDO JuggleFest XXII
April 1 – 3, 2011, Concordia University, Ganglehoff Center, St. Paul, MN. http://www.mondofest.org/festival

Tucson Juggling Festival
April 8 – 10, 2011, Catalina State Park. http://tucsonjuggling.org/festival-2

April Fools Juggling Festival
April 8 – 10, 2011, Miccosukee Land Co-op. http://tallahasseetricksters.com/

Santa Cruz Juggling Festival
May 6 – 8, 2011, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA. http://ucscjuggling.com/festival/

Congress of Jugglers 2011
May 6 – 8, 2011, University of Maryland, College Park. http://www.studentorg.umd.edu/juggling

2011 Flatland Juggling Festival
May 13 – 15, 2011, Bison Sports Center, Lincoln, NE. http://www.underthecouch.com/flatland/index.html

2011 Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Festival
May 14, 2011, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. http://www.umich.edu/~juggle/festival/index.html

Light & Motion
June 4 – 5, 2011, 1401 10th Ave. S.E. Calgary, AB, Canada. http://lightandmotion.ca/

Boulder Juggling Festival
June 17th, 2011, Boulder Circus Center, Boulder, Colorado. Event on Facebook.

Spin Out
June 17 – 19, 2011, Camp Maskepetoon, Alberta, Canada. http://www.spinoutevents.com

2nd Annual MadSkillz Vancouver 2011 Flow, Juggle, Spin
June 24 – 26, 2011, Circus West, Canada. http://www.madskillzvancouver.com

WJF 7
July 5 – 10, 2011, Springfield, IL. http://www.thewjf.com/wjf7

2011 IJA Juggling Festival
July 18 – 24, 2011, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN. http://www.juggle.org/festival

——–
No official dates, but look out for

Portland Juggling Festival
http://www.portlandjugglers.com/

NYC Unicycle Festival 2
Early September. http://nycunifest.com/2011.html

Phillyfest
Early October. http://www.phillyjugglers.com/

NOT QUITE PITTSBURGH JUGGLING FESTIVAL
November, http://www.allinjest.com/jugglingfestclub.html

——–
Elsewhere

Winter Juggling Convention (Winter Jongleer Weekend)
February 18 – 20, 2011, Heerlen Netherlands. http://www.jongleercollectief.nl

Bath UpChuck 2011
February 26, 2011, University of Bath, United Kingdom. http://www.bathupchuck.co.uk

Jugando con números: taller/grupo de trabajo sobre malabares y matemáticas
March 4 – 16, 2011, Centro de cultura digital Medialab-Prado en Madrid Spain. http://medialab-prado.es/article/jugando_con_numeros

Professional Residential Clown Course
March 6 – April 2, 2011, Escola de Clown de Barcelona, Spain. http://www.escoladeclown.eu

Dresdner Jonglierfestival

March 11 – 13, 2011, Marchgon Arena, Dresden, Germany. http://www.jonglieren-dresden.de/

11. Bremer Jonglierconvention
April 1 – 3, 2011, University of Bremen, Germany. http://www.bremer-jonglierconvention.ws-online.de/

British Juggling Convention 2011
April 15 – 20, 2011, Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottingham, UK. http://www.bjc2011.co.uk

pa(a)sfestival
April 22 – 25, 2011, Bruggertstraat 60 7545 AX, Enschede, Netherlands. http://www.circustijdgeest.nl

GMTW-German Muni und Trial Wochenende

April 22 – 25, 2011, Bikepark Zone B, Morenhaus, Germany. http://gmtw2011.de

Lestival IV – the 4th Leicester Circus Festival
May 7, 2011, Brockington College, Leicester, UK. http://leicesterjugglers.org/lestival

THE ROYAL ROUNDTOWER UNIRACER RALLY
May 21, 2011, Roundtower in Copenhagen, DenMarchk. http://www.cirkusklub.dk/rundetaarn.htm

Bungay Balls Up 2011
May 21 – 30, 2011, Hulver Farm, St Michael South Elmham near Bungay, UK. http://juggler.net/bungayballsup/

The Juggling Launch Pad
May 23 – 25, 2011, Greentop Circus Centre, UK. http://www.greentop.org

Professional Residential Clown Course
May 29 – June 25, 2011, Escola de Clown de Barcelona, Spain. http://www.escoladeclown.eu

Boudu La Jongle
May 31 – June 5, 2011, Toulouse, France. http://www.parhazart.org

Dutch Juggling Convention
June 2 – 5, 2011, Enschede, Netherlands. http://njf2011.nl

Circalira 2
June 4, 2011, Ripoll Catalunya (Pyrenees 90 mins north of Barcelona) Spain. http://www.facebook.com/pages/CIRCALIRA/121183491241832

Southern Lights Festival
June 9 – 12, 2011, Kimmeridge/Dorset, UK. http://www.southernlightsfestival.co.uk

Berlin Juggling Convention | Berliner Jonglier Convention
June 23 – 26, 2011, FEZ Wuhlheide, Berlin, Germany. http://circulum.de/convention/11/

V Street Art Festival Ulicznicy: Juggling Days
July 1 – 3, 2011, Park Chopina, Gliwice, Poland. http://www.ulicznicy.pl

25ème Festival Suisse de Jonglerie à Genève.
July 8 – 10, 2011, Genève, Switzerland. http://www.juggling.ch/geneve2011/fr/geneve2011.html

Carnaval Sztukmistrzów
July 28 – 31, 2011, Lublin, Poland. http://www.sztukmistrze.pl

Professional Residential Clown Course
August  1 – 28, 2011, Escola de Clown de Barcelona, Spain. http://www.escoladeclown.eu

34th European Juggling Convention (EJC) 2011
August 6 – 14, 2011, München, Germany. http://www.ejc2011.org/

V Street Art Festival Ulicznicy: Fire and Drums contest
August 26 – 28, 2011, Park Chopina, Gliwice, Poland. http://www.ulicznicy.pl

JJF2011 (Japan Juggling Festival)
October 8 -10, 2011. Tokyo. http://www.juggling.jp/jjf/jjf2011/en/index.html

If we have left your event off the list feel free to email details info@dube.com and we will try to add it. Most details via the IJA website.


Yannick Foe, tools of the trade

By Kyle Petersen

Last September, Dubé Juggling Blog featured an interview with a Peruvian street juggler named Guillermo de la Kausa. This week, we’re traveling across the Atlantic to talk to Yannick Foe, a Cameroonian street juggler living in Cote d’Ivoire.

Kyle: How old you are, where you are and how long have you been juggling?

Yannick: I was born October 29, 1987 in Yaounde, Cameroon. I learned juggling in 1999 at a center for street children. I’ve been juggling for almost 12 years.

Kyle: What are your favorite circus skills?

Yannick: I juggle clubs, torches, balls, bouncing balls, diabolo, rings, I ride unicycle, rola bola, and I also eat the fire, a little balance and a little acrobat.

Kyle: Tell me about the organization you have worked with. How have you been involved with them?

Yannick: The organization is called the Centre Saint Nicodemus Home. When I first came there, I was a street child for over 3 years. I was forced to take control of my life by responding as quickly possible. Once I arrived, I had to choose a job. I had passion for juggling since I watched the circus on TV from a young age.

Kyle: You are a native of Cameroon. How did you end up in Cote d’Ivoire?

Yannick: I left Cameroon with the intention going back to Europe. I left Cameroon to Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, and Algeria but was not able to enter Europe. I finally made my way to Cote d’Ivoire where I now live. In Cote d’Ivoire, I arrived during the bitterly disputed Presidential elections November 26, 2010, which threatened to plunge the country into civil war. After the elections, the military issued a month-long curfew that prevented me from working in the streets.

Well-worn clubs

Kyle: You mentioned that you work as a street juggler. Describe a day typical juggling in the streets.

Yannick: My day starts at 15 hours in the capital Abidjan. I choose an area with a lot of bars or restaurants that attract crowds of people.

I begin by juggling balls and clubs and then torches and I climb the bridge tower on my unicycle to please the crowd. They always scream for more, which brings great joy to many in this troubled country. Through these shows often I get meet clients who ask me to perform at birthday parties and other events.

Kyle: What are your goals as a juggler? What do you hope to accomplish.

Yannick: As an avid juggler, I want to be able to perform on the biggest world stages.

I dream of working in a big top circus and of helping the children of Africa to learn the circus arts. I also want to organize an African juggling festival that will attract the greatest jugglers in the world.

And finally to help my family is in great need because I’m
from a family with 10 children.

Kyle: Yannick, thank you so much for your time.

Below, you can watch a french-language news segment about Yannick and his work.

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