The Big Toss-Up in Winnipeg, A Canadian first!
May 9-10 saw the first juggling festival in Canada take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Two elementary school teachers, Perry Rubenfeld and John Matas, organized it and staged it in the gym of Radisson School. More than 300 people came, and the media was provided generous coverage.
Modeled on IJA conventions, weekend events included workshops, championships and a Saturday night public variety show. Of 35 people entered in joggling, Brent Bush won the junior division and John Matas was the triumphant adult. Peirson McLean, 10, won the juniors stage championship with only five months of juggling experience.
Dave Walley, a local physics and math teacher, took a scientific approach to the senior competition and came out a winner. His act mixed three ball tricks with a computer generated 4/4 rhythm that played through an amplifier and flashed colored lights.
Combat juggling matches eventually evolved into a new game involving offensive and defensive teams. Offense scored points for getting players across a goal line without losing their juggle, while the defense tried to stop them through traditional combat means.
The Saturday night public performance showcased the school's demonstration juggling team, competition champions and other variety acts. Plans are underway for next year's event already!
German jugglers took attendance honors at the 2nd Nordic Convention in Copenhagen. The parade through the city center was blessed with fine April weather. High distance passing highlighted games in the plaza. Marianne Stamp impressed the 202 registrants with graceful ring juggling. Circus Baldrian clowns tangled and untangled themselves. Felix was breathtaking as he passed clubs under his leg on an eight foot unicycle.
American performer Tony Duncan weaved a spellbinding act by rolling a single ball all over his body. The applause roared endlessly. Fellow Yankee, ventriloquist Steve Bernard, was also well-received. After the show people danced, drank beer and enjoyed fellowship until almost sunrise. What a night!
Much credit goes to the 19 Jugglers Against Gravity, who so generously hosted, fed and housed their guests for their fine convention.
The Second Annual Greater Baltimore Jugglers Association Mini-Convention attracted a crowd to the Wyman Park Recreation Center June 14 and 15.
A club passing workshop by the Kreisels (Ray, Karen and Glenn) and Rob Peck's hat workshop proved the most popular subjects. Dana Tison stopped action on the practice floor when he cascaded nine balls, and again when he kept five going more than nine minutes. Throughout the convention, intricate club passing patterns were practiced.
The Saturday night show began with a little music by Rob and Linda Peck. Mark Schiffner opened the manipulative acts with ping pong ball, tennis racket and bowling ball routines. Linda Peck, calling on the aid of eight able-bodied men, walked and juggled on the slack rope.
Ken Burke showed his "Burke's Barrage" to the audience, and afterwards to other jugglers interested in learning it. Mike Rosman, standing on the shoulders of wincing Russ Kaufman, did a club feed to Brian Boshart and Mark Schiffner. Scott Dineen demonstrated ball spinning in the Brunn style. The Kreisel Klan, Jack Kalvan and Sue Kirby did a fine group club passing routine. The Amazing Larry Vee closed the show with his unusual simultaneous tricks.
Door prizes provided by Andy's Odd Sports capped off the show, and then everyone moved outside for a lavish Flag Day fireworks display over Harborplace.
Jugglers were a big part of the highly successful First Annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival in Triune, Tenn., in June.
The Jugglery of Aerrors, Richard Potter and Thomas Caguin, entertained crowds with comedy club and torch passing. Ro Fields and Zuni included fire eating in their act. Ro even set, then broke, his personal world's record for bowling ball juggling on consecutive weekends.
For those who wanted to get involved, Ye Olde Juggling School obliged with teachers Robert Lane and David park. Technical wizard Mark Deutschmann often joined them and awed onlookers with up to seven balls. Linda Wood joined Mark for some club passing around volunteers.
The festival helped activate juggling in middle Tennessee again. Look for a club in Nashville soon!