Let’s Chat About Juggling
Juggling is actually one of the oldest universal forms of entertainment! The oldest known recording of juggling is from a tomb that is roughly 4000 years old! Juggling has been observed all over the world, as is evidenced by this quote from wikipedia:
The earliest record of juggling is suggested in a panel from the 15th Beni Hasan tomb of an unknown prince, showing female dancers and acrobats throwing balls. Juggling has been recorded in many early cultures including Egyptian, Chinese, Indian,Greek, Roman, Norse, Aztec (Mexico) and Polynesian civilizations.
In today’s post, we thought it might be fun to explore a little bit of the history of juggling as well as some of it’s modern variations!
Juggling in ancient China was performed by the warrior class. One tale that endures is of a warrior called Xiong Yiliao, who allegedly juggled nine balls in front of troops on a (soon to be) battlefield caused the enemy to run away in confusion without combat actually taking place!
In Europe, juggling was a widely accepted pastime until it fell into disfavour with the fall of the Roman Empire. Throughout the middle ages, history was largely maintained by clerics, who wrote of gleemen (jugglers) who would be accused of having unsavoury morals and sometimes of practising witchcraft!
In the 18th century Phillip Astley opened the first “modern” circus and soon employed jugglers. Since then, jugglers have been an inseparable part of circus troupes worldwide!
Techniques and Props
Juggling has evolved from many cultures to include many different practices. The most commonly refered to practise is “toss juggling” in which the performer keeps multiple objects (often balls, hoops, clubs or knives) aloft by timing the catch and release of their props. Our in-house football juggler extraordinaire Victor Rubilar takes toss juggling to the extreme by routinely maintaining FIVE footballs at a time.
Hooping or Hula-Hooping is performed by keeping hoops spinning around the performer’s body and performing various tricks or dance routines. Cigar box juggling is also a fantastic art form, and our very own Pandora Pink gives a hilarious (and amazing!) performance by manipulating 10(!) cigar boxes at a time. Contact juggling is an especially interesting art, since the idea is to manipulate the object (most often a ball) to look as if it’s defying gravity, or moving on it’s own without it ever losing contact with the performer!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our short exploration into the world of juggling!
Who’s your favorite juggler and why?