By Kyle Petersen

Baseball has the Yankees and Red Sox. Gangster rap has Tupac and Biggie. Juggling has Chris Bliss and Jason Garfield.

For those who don’t know, Chris Bliss is the star of the first truly viral juggling video. The video features Bliss, a juggler and stand-up comic, performing live interpretive juggling to three songs by The Beatles. The video was an instant success, garnering millions of hits overnight.

This confused many in the juggling community. The routine featured very basic three-ball juggling, intermediate level at best. While the video may have been entertaining to the layman, it certainly doesn’t match up to the skill displayed in other YouTube videos. Enter Jason Garfield, one of juggling’s foremost technicians.

Garfield designed a routine mimicking Bliss’ every move but with 5 balls instead of 3. Garfield even ripped the audio track off of Bliss’ video, complete with applause from the audience. His routine was also a success, although it did not win as many views as Bliss’ routine.

Now, because of the power of the YouTube Doubler, we can watch both routines at the same time. Click here to watch both videos simultaneously.

Photo by Brian Dubé

Brian Dubé has discovered a fresh talent in Gaby Lampkey. He writes on his New York Daily Photo blog:

In a typical evening ritual, I circumnavigated the central plaza of Washington Square Park looking for a music jam. I had a number of choices but I was drawn to this particular man who I had never seen before. He looked like a man passing through.
His voice was very good, his playing style confident and his repertoire quite extensive. The more I listened, the more I liked him, so I decided to make a commitment and sit down. I took a few photos….
Tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th of November, 2010. Gaby will treat us to a live concert at the Dubé Juggling showroom  in NYC. There are two ways for you to participate:
1) Watch the show with us. Space is limited. Doors open at 11 am. Direction are here.
2) Watch the live stream online from our website.  Tune in around noon, eastern standard time.
Gift Guide

Gift Guide

Do you have a juggler in your life? Are you in love with a unicyclist? Looking for a gift for your little daredevil? Gift Guides from Dubé Juggling has just what you’re looking for.

Gift Guides make it easy to shop by category. We have gifts for beginners, serious jugglers, kids, contact jugglers, unicyclists and daredevils.

To make things even easier, we’ve also sorted gift ideas by price. Choose from gifts under $25, gifts under $50, and gifts under $100.

By Kyle Petersen

Kinko the Clown

Kinko the Clown

Another election day has come and gone, as Americans wait for a new group of leaders to take over. The 2010 season has been particularly divisive; extreme rhetoric on both sides of the aisle has converted Congress into a bicameral three-ring circus. While we might object to the behavior of our elected officials, whatever you do, DON’T CALL THEM CLOWNS. Not in front of Keith Nelson anyway.

Nelson, who ran an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2008, was recently quoted by AOL News with his take on the 2010 election:

“If you look at the history of the American circus, you’ll find that it’s one of the most efficient and well-run industries,” says Keith Nelson, also known as Kinko the Clown of the Bindlestiff Family Circus, a New York City-based group that has traveled the world.

“Before you call anyone in Washington a clown, consider how hard a clown works, and that clowns make people happy. And at the very least, do no harm.”

In the clip below, members of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus discuss their feelings on the matter, and Kinko discusses his political future.


By Kyle Petersen

Marcus Monroe: The Complete Second Season

Dubé Juggling is proud to announce our newest DVD offering. Marcus Monroe: The Complete Second Season features Milwaukee native and inventor of the Knorch™ as he juggles and unicycles his way out of the Badger State and into our hearts.

Throughout the DVD, Marcus interlaces supreme technical juggling skills with showmanship and his trademark deadpan and offbeat sense of humor. Watch as Marcus juggles five flaming torches. Marvel as he rides a twelve foot unicycle with his head on fire. Be amazed as he sings a rap song about his favorite breakfast cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch).

The DVD includes a complete live performance, a step-by-step juggling tutorial, a highlight reel, plus tons of bonus footage.

But that’s not all! Marcus is starring in his own one-man off-Broadway show. This Friday and Saturday only, get tickets to see Marcus Monroe: Live in NYC and see why The New York Press calls Marcus “the rockstar of jugglers”. Click below to watch a preview of his show.

By Kyle Petersen

By now, many of you are aware of Kenny “K-Strass” Strasser, the legendary yo-yo artist who has been preaching a message of environmentalism in schools around the country using his yo-yo skills. In the clip below, K-Strass demonstrates his signature move, the Blue Flying Angel. Watch below!

Want to learn the Blue Flying Angel? YouTube user elephark has posted his own tutorial. Now you too can become a yo-yo master just like K-Strass!



By Kyle Petersen

Brian and Lucky

Brian and Lucky, Separated at birth?

As an icon in the juggling community since the 1970s, Brian Dubé has received hundreds of correspondences over the years. Most of these letters have been from others within the juggling community: fans, friends, well-wishers, critics and complainers. Occasionally, however, the letters he receives are due to a case of mistaken identity.

Lucky Dube (1964-2007) was a South African reggae music legend who produced more than 20 records over his career which spanned three decades. Although we don’t know for sure, we are pretty sure he was not a juggler. He was, however, beloved by fans throughout the African continent and beyond.

One such fan, a boy named George from Ghana, sent a touching letter to Lucky Dube. However, in a case of mistaken identity, the letter ended up not in the hands of a reggae master but in the hands of a juggling equipment maker:

Dear Raggae Master,

I am very pleasure to write you this letter. I believe as I am writing to you you are fine by the grace of “JAH”.

The main point of this letter is to encourage you and also ple begging you to send me Raggae CD. (Cassette DVD).

I am a boy of twelve (12) years and I like music. My favorate mis music is Raggae business (LUKY DUBE song). Anytime I heard your song I became happy due to the way you song sing, the way you present the words.

I have meet and like many songs, but your’s is different. Please raggar master I need C.D. cassette to hear more from you or to learn more from you. I know by the grace name of JAH, you will bring.

MAY “JAH” BLESSED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY,

GOOD-BYE

2ND JANUARY 2004.

As of right now, Brian is not considering a career in reggae music.

Copy of the letter, as received


By Robin Hu
The Sundia Shining Diabolo is a technological marvel and has the potential to push the boundaries for diabolo. It is different from a normal diabolo because it has a ball bearing axle.  This ball bearing causes the axle to spin separately from the diabolo cups, giving the diabolo a longer and smoother spin.

Tricks are not necessarily easier on the Shining, but because the diabolo spins longer, you have more time to prepare for your tricks and more time to recover if things go awry.  A significant advantage is that it is nearly impossible to get the string to wound up with the diabolo, which is very common with a fixed axle.  You can also perform lengthier trick combos without having to stop and speed up the diabolo.

If you are an advanced diaboloist, then you may be interested in how the Shining runs with 2 diabolos on a string.  My recommendation if you are serious about learning 2 diabolos is to get a set of regular Sundia Suns; 2 diabolos with Shinings is much more difficult and you will learn faster with fixed-axle diabolos.

Overall, the Sundia Shining Diabolo is a quality prop, though I recommend a ball bearing axle as a supplement to a fixed axle diabolo, not a replacement.



    

By Kyle Petersen

Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus: Dance On

Since 1977, The Big Apple Circus has been a fixture in New York City. I first attended the Big Apple Circus on my fifth birthday, and going to the circus soon became a birthday tradition in my family. To be sure, Big Apple occupies a special place in my heart. It was where I was first introduced to the circus arts; the first place I saw a real juggler and a real unicyclist. Years later, I think back at the important role that Big Apple Circus played in my development as a variety artist.

On October 21st, Big Apple unveiled its 2010 offering: Dance On. The show features a strong cast of some familiar faces and impressive newcomers. Clown Hall-of-Famer Barry Lubin is back once again as the lovable Grandma the Clown. Rob Torres also contributes to the clowning with excellent comedic acts featuring shaker cups and hat manipulation. Ethiopian acro-juggler Girma Tshehai dazzled the audience by juggling up to six silicon juggling balls within a Michael Moschen-inspired large clear plastic diamond.

All contained within a one-ring, European style circus tent, the show also features the standard circus fair: A strong animal act, in which goats mounted and rode on ponies; a high-flying aerial act and back-bending contortion. The strongest performers, however, were the members of the Hebei Wuqiao Acrobatic Troupe.

The troupe performed a number of acts. Their acrobatic ultimate wheel display featured a few mistakes but demonstrated mind-blowing skills, including a back hand spring while riding an ultimate wheel. The troupe also provided the show’s closing number: an acrobatic wild-west style rope spinning act. Their act was a special delight, gracefully combining manipulation, equilibristics and acrobatics.

Dance On will play at Lincoln Center in New York City through January, after which it will tour the northeast. Go to http://www.bigapplecircus.org/ for more info.

PBS’s new documentary series Circus featuring performers from the Big Apple Circus primers this November. Take a look at the preview below!

Watch the full episode. See more Circus.

Disclaimer: The author Kyle Petersen works for the Big Apple Circus as an instructor, though is not affiliated with the tent show.

By Kyle Petersen

Buskers: The Story of Street Performers

Buskers DVD

Dubé Juggling is proud to announce the newest addition to our DVD collection. Buskers: The Story of Street Performers is an in depth look at the lives of street performers across the United States. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always entertaining, this DVD explores the inner workings of those who make a living performing on the street.

Featuring outstanding performers such as Butterfly Man, Tony Vera the fire eater, Michael Moschen, A. Whitney Brown, Master Lee, Michael Davis, Jim Rose, Amazing Johnathan, Gazzo, Flying Dutchmen, Mad Chad Taylor and Johnny Fox, this DVD is sure to please any fan of juggling, street performing or the variety arts. Click here to order yours today. Watch the trailer below:


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