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Urbex/spelunking - a look around an abandoned Soviet-era circus theatre in Chisinau, Moldova.
And what a grand building it is. I have a feeling I recognise it, possibly from the film called Inside The Soviet Circus or something similar, but I think that was made just before this building was erected. Or maybe I've just seen this article before. Whatever it is, that looks a pretty impressive edifice in which to celebrate the circus arts.
And for those of you too blunted to read through the entire article, here's a link to some pictures of the place when it was still in use submitted by a local.
It feels familiar to me as well, but not so familiar that I’m certain I’ve seen it before.
Really does make me wish I could have seen a show there when it was at its peak though. Must have been a really interesting atmosphere.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seem that during 1920 to 1960 the primary big circus animal in American Circuses was the elephant, while in Russian Circuses it was the bear.
Ethics aside, using each type of animal has it's unique advantages and disadvantages. Which factors drove American circuses to choose elephants, while Russian circuses choose bears?
I'm going to guess that P.T. Barnum had a hand in popularising elephants in North America, since he made Jumbo internationally famous. And likewise the bear has been a symbol of Russian-ness for a very long time, has it not?
Bears don't take up much space or eat much. But they're a bit boring, not very impressive - the poor man's elephant. Also, bears aren't very intelligent and can't really stick up for themselves. Remember Nellie.. left the circus and even made the effort to say goodbye. Now that's a classy beast.
Bears need feeding pots of honey, whereas the capitalist north americans will have realised that they can sell the bags of peanuts to the public to feed to the elephants.
Bears are better as they can ride bicycles, while elephants have to drive cars.
Leicester has a juggling club, hurrah!!
I've kind of known about this for a few weeks, but now it's official - we have a new juggling club commencing 3rd September at the Y Theatre on East Street, nearby the railway station. It will run from 6-8 and is on a pay what you can basis, suggested contribution £3.
Not only that, I didn't have to do any of the leg work! Some young whippersnappers have taken up the cudgels on behalf of superannuated codgers like me, secured at least a year's funding, and all I have to do is turn up ... and bring the occasional tight wire or two.
Announcing the 2018 Boston Juggling Festival!
Jugglers and movement artists, rejoice! The 5th annual Boston Juggling Festival (formerly called JuggleMIT) is just over a month away! This year's festival includes 3 days of workshops, 2 shows, an open-registration 1-trick contest, a dedicated sand-court volleyclub play arena, and juggling games. So what are you waiting for? Come and join the fun!
When: September 14-16, 2018
Where: Walker Memorial, MIT
CATCH 2018 – The Cumbrian Juggling Convention (UK)
I went along to CATCH, it was great, you can read about my menu choices (and other less relevant things) here:
Thanks for the kind words about my show, the Old Skool Panel, and my promo quote!
Great review Jon (as ever).
Thanks for the mention of Jamie & I's contraption, after learning much from this prototype Jamie will be attempting to build a new, self-contained version that is more likely to be possible for normal human beings...we will also try and build some more things at some point, it's fun.
For those of you who didn't make it to Catch (and there were only a couple of hundred of us there) you unfortunately managed to miss one of the best conventions I've ever been to. Shows galore of extremely high quality; extra events like the Old School and Juggling History show that were fantastic for those of us interested in juggling history and anecdotes (holding Cinquevalli's cannon ball was a particular highlight, as was chatting over beers with Kris Kremo); flawless organisation and ability to work around things outside one's control by Rosie, her family and friends; Monte's food of course (although sadly we didn't get a chance to eat much of it due to moany children); friends galore; a library full of books and comics for our two (I think they spent at least a few hours in there every day while we could get on with other things), all surrounded by amazing places to visit (during the week we climbed a hill, swam in a Lake, jumped off waterfalls, visited Hadrian's Wall and enjoyed Appleby itself, including watching The Greatest Showman in a pop-up cinema in town.
Rosie of course should be congratulated and thanks to everyone else who worked so hard. Nice one!
I only got home a few days ago. I managed to squeeze in 23 castles, two Roman forts, Hadrian's wall, two stone circles, two henges and a 12th century priory.
Plus a 60' working Trebuchet.
Nice review, as ever, Jon, thanks.
It was not Rob's first time compèring. Although I heard other people saying it was, so perhaps he had been.... ahem... fostering that illusion for sympathy? *showbiz!*
I emailed you not long after the convention, by the way. Check your spam folder, or email me if you didn't get it. Or reply if you did, please.
I'm SO annoyed!
I've just found my copy of the Kris Kremo book, the book that I tried to find before catch. I wanted to bring it along for Kris to sign, but couldn't find it so I had assumed I was mistaken in thinking I had a copy.
The bloody thing was on the wrong bookshelf, it was in with my gardening books not with the juggling books for some inexplicable reason.
So I guess - "Yay! I do own a copy" but "Boooo! It's not a signed copy"
Juggler.net - Query
Whatever happened to the juggler.net email redirect service?
The most recent discussion I can find about it took place here:
Firefox will not let me follow the link the website as it is 'unsafe'.
I would like to create a juggler.net redirection account.
How can I make this dream a reality?
Any and all advice gratefully received,
Will Firefox let you go to http://juggler.net/email.shtml
If not, the most relevant bit of the page is:
To sign up for your free email diversion package, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us what you would like your Juggler.Net email address to be (eg email@example.com) your name, and the email address you want your email forwarded to. - Easy!
Ooh! We have a juggler.net question too:
We noticed when we mistyped the url, that the url redirect is case sensitive; ie www.juggler.net/leeds works, but www.juggler.net/Leeds doesn't.
Is there any way to turn off this case sensitivity or do we need to set up www.juggler.net/Leeds and www.juggler.net/LEEDS etc to all redirect to the Leeds Juggling Concention website?
Tried e-mailing the juggler.net volunteers a while ago, but not got a response yet
Oh don't forget Leeds Juggling Convention 17 November 2018*, more infrmation on website
* Provisional date
URLs on the internet generally are case sensitive (well, the bits after the '/' are anyway), so what you're seeing is normal, not just for juggler.net but for most of the rest of the internet as well.
Whether redirects can be made case insensitive depends on how they're done, and it looks like the details I've got for access to the system don't work any more (not surprising, I've not really had anything to do with juggler.net for several years) so I can't check.
The easiest thing to do would probably be to request multiple variations.
The usual trick is to do something like map all requests to lowercase (e.g. turn /Leeds and /LEEDS in to /leeds) and then redirect to that.
You could also map to upper (LEEDS) or ucfirst (Leeds).
So it's doable, but not common practice because most people just click on links that always have the correct casing.
I've put together a survey aimed at people who attended BJC this year. Please fill in if you have a chance.
This is to help future organising teams convince towns and venues that we are a worthwhile event - one of the ways of doing that is by showing we spend money in the local area! Your answers will also help future teams to improve BJC, and help work out what is worth spending money on.
Already really interesting data coming out of it. Rough calculations so far (scaling up the respondees total spend on attractions and accommodation to the number of over 18 attendees) indicate that this year's BJC was worth at least £25.5k to the local area. That is a good number to present to local councils/tourism boards etc.
I am enjoying the comments section of the form very much. Whoever it was that completed it most recently is my favourite comment so far ;-)
So I'm planning on a couple of reports... one very much aimed at local councils and tourism bureaus with the spending jugglers do and local impact we have, and the other for BJC orgs about what people want and don't want from a BJC.
The most sensible place to put these is the BJC wiki, so that's where they'll go.
Deadline... a couple of days? I need to write up before this baby arrives, which is anytime from now!
Done! For the question "will you come next year", you could add an option to specify "No because of EJC". I myself would come back in 2020 because there is no EJC there!
It cannot be guaranteed there won't be an EJC in the UK in 2020, the vote to decide where EJC 2020 hasn't taken place yet.
Walking Globe trick ideas requested
Most of you will remember that I asked for ideas for tricks on the walking globe a while ago. For those people who watched BYJOTY this year you will have seen some of where that has led. Bearing this list of tricks that I will post below in mind, what other ideas can people suggest? You will gain my thanks for any usable ideas which aren't just perform (Other prop) on walking globe.
Tricks in show:
Leap mount of walking globe (other mounts are available)
Jumping between two walking globes
Passing two hoops around the body in opposite directions
Skipping/Backwards Skipping/Crossed-Arms skipping on globe
Double skip dismount
Mounting a spinning globe and then staying on it by a) moving feet and b) not moving feet
Walking on two globes at one time
Performing a 1up 180 whilst on two globes
Under the leg juggle whilst on two globes
Turning 4 ball half shower whilst on globe
5 ball multiplex followed by 5 ball flash on two globes.
Tricks not in show but done elsewhere
Frog balance on globe
skipping whilst on 2 globes
jumping onto 2 spinning globes
no handed standing to sitting to standing
collecting 3 ball from floor whilst sitting (standing tried and not close)
one footed stand on globe (very difficult)
2 person 1 globe facing same way, facing each other and with one person turning
3 person 1 globe
4 person 1 globe (so far only for a few seconds)
moving globe by jumping
lying flat on globe
forward roll over globe
probably a bunch more I've forgotten
I'd like to see someone do a pommel horse circle on a walking globe
Is it maybe possible to use it like a trampoline and to slightly jump and fall into sit-jump back to stance?
Ouch. I think you're confusing walking globes with those Swiss inflatable aerobic balls... You'll find that walking globes are incredibly hard and sturdy, one would not want to fall with their buttocks on those...
Handstand with each hand on a different walking globe, as seen at Manchester BJC (photo on page 3 of The Catch magazine)
From the hand positions this looks faked, as in the globes would roll away if they weren't stuck in a hole. However handstand on a walking should be possible (and eventually two globes) just possibly not by Peter.
Really nice little act. I enjoyed that and whilst I think I've seen virtually all the walking globe skills in other acts it's good to see them all put together well.
BJC2018 – A review
This review is my personal thoughts of the last few days and may be idiosyncratic.
We arrived in two cars as my car had two walking globes init as well as part of an aerial rig and therefore only the front two seats were useable. By the time we had set up the caravan and oldest sons tent (which he pitched about as far from us as was possible), it was time to eat. Then I played the yearly game of find the water point (why is it never marked on the maps?). Eventually we were all sorted and we looked around the site, chatting to friends as we went. At some point we went to the gym and Peter did an hours practice (added a time waster move with two globes) which like many of the practices at BJC had Peter struggle with the 1 up 180 with 3 balls, whilst stood on two globes. He could run it fine when not running the whole act. As soon as the music started and he tried it two minutes in to the routine it became much harder. After that we did a bit more chatting before an early night.
After breakfast we did another hour practice with Peter(changed 4 ball on one globe with an under the leg throw to 3 ball, 2 globe and under the leg throw). After that I went to add a workshop to the board (walking globe, naturally) and the fire alarm went off. No idea what set that off but at least it was a one off. At some point during the day Jamie Fletcher appeared with my new toy, a red and yellow Salerno ring. I haven’t had a lot of success with it as yet but should have plenty of practice time and space in the near future to improve. Spoke briefly to Clare about BYJOTY to learn that only 3 had entered to that point. Spoke shortly afterwards to Christopher and suggest that he practice the act that he had performed the month before and then enter BYJOTY. He is one of the students at Concrete Circus and whilst it is an act in development, the experience and feedback from BYJOTY would be good for him.Various chatting and food happened until the start of the Spinning@ show.
For me the first half was basically filler. Whilst there was some good technical skill most of the acts were too long or too repetitive. The best of them was the rope dart but that act could have been shortened and maybe some of the tricks could have gone above the audiences head. Of the other acts,the only comment I’m going to make is since when has clearing up after yourself been an act?
Our friends the Kelsalls arrived during the interval which pleased my daughter particularly (and us as well as we then didn’t have to explain the compere to her) and they got to see a really good second half. Starting with Ben Cornish. Ben was having a bad time with one trick but his performing experience showed through. We also had a really nice Bar Flair routine by Sam, a pleasing, smooth and aesthetic hoop routine by Alice, a very competent (and much improved since I last saw it) hulahoop act from Lisa and Callum and for me the stand out act in the show the cigar box routine by Luke? Cigar box routines are rare anyway but to show great skills with 3, 4 and 5 boxes made it much better. The final part of the act was a standard made better by music that worked well (even though the music was for the next act, which didn’t help them I’m sure).
After the show chatting happened and then I retrieved my juggling case from the sports hall, where it had sat for a day. I did some passing with my sons, including some feeding and switching who was feeding.Considering that Peter hadn’t done two count club passing before that evening,that was a great improvement.
Again we started with an hour practice with Peter (changed the skipping part to have two jumps rather than one). After that some more chatting happened before I attended Euaun’s combat workshop. That was good fun and the only workshop I attended other than the walking globe workshop that happened immediately afterwards. I was impressed with the turn out to the workshop as there must have been about 25 who attended. I worked with the beginners, many of whom learnt to walk on the globe, whilst Peter worked with those who were more advanced. Nobody was killed or seriously injured which counts as a result in my books and actually quite a few people came up to thank me afterwards and it wouldn’t surprise me if Lancaster University juggling group buys a globe.
At some point in the afternoon I played the one game I played all convention. I don’t remember its name.
The show in the evening was the Open Stage. Devil Stick Peet compered and did a small act between each act which meant he now dominates the show in my head. Other acts that impressed were (in no particular order) Antonia and Keith with their passing poi (I liked the characterisation), The odd ball juggling person (Daniel?), the professional looking poi double act and the duo acrobalance. There were other acts and none of them were bad, I just can’t remember them at this time.
I did a bit more juggling and passing afterwards and thus this became the convention I have done most juggling at for a few years.
Up early again for another practice session with Peter(added 5 ball multiplex on 2 globes). After that I generally chatted although I did meet up with Barbara at some point to discuss aerial rig bags. We had the debate of going on the bus or driving to Margate and went for the bus. Arriving at Dreamland (so called because that is where dreams go to die?) we hung around and watched some of the games. I took part in the balloon dog making one although felt hampered because I felt obliged to pick up the pump and then it got in the way when I was blowing up the balloon with my mouth. David did creditably well in the unicycle gladiators before being taken off his unicycle by someone hugging him and then suiciding. Shortly after that we left Dreamland(with its hall with more hole than roof) and went across the road to the beach and promenade. We stopped for a while at a large set of steps where David proved that he can bunny hop and Olivia Kelsall showed that she is an up and coming artist. We chatted to one of the local families and tried to convince them to watch the show later. Our evening meal was pizza at a sea front restaurant. The door to the place was particularly difficult to open and as we sat outside the restaurant eating we gained much amusement as other people(including staff) struggled to get in and out. After eating and walking closer to the show venue we also had an ice cream and eventually reached the venue before the vast majority of jugglers but only just. This did allow us to have seats in the centre of the theatre.
For me the show felt very safe. By which I mean that most of the acts were well known and had appeared in the BJC gala show before. Jon Udry was slick and his dry humour works for me. Ben had an interesting and novel act, perhaps not quite enough juggling for me but still enough to keep it interesting. Jan Himself was very professional in an almost predictably weird way. Paul Zenon’s magic routine had a lot of standard tricks which were all well presented. The end of his routine I thought was a somewhat bizarre staged event at first but apparently that wasn’t the case and one of the stage hands took it upon herself to interrupt his act. I hope someone apologised to Paul afterwards. The second half was equally skilled. Loz because performed a routine which was both well choreographed and well programmed, I always think that glow props take a little bit away from the performer and their skills but Loz was visible enough that we could see much of her tricks. Helena Berry has an act that isn’t very forgiving and the drops grew more towards the end but this didn’t take away from the act which was original and skilful. The Berlin Passing Girls did a great choreographed act and probably inspired the girls in the audience into believing they should juggle more. Steve Rawlings has been in at least 3 other BJC gala shows and is always a crowd favourite. For me the highlight of his act was the bit that I haven’t seen before with the mouth stick bottle and balloon. Matthew Tiffany as compere did a great job as compere and introduced a song that is fairly hard to sing if you have all the words written out in front of you.
On the way back from the show I learned that if Steve Rawlings does his knife gag in a show and you are 3 then you will still remember it 9.5 years later.
Guess what, we started the day with another practice session(changed the skipping so there was a slick turn before the second jump). After that I had a long conversation with Jonathan the Jester and probably chatted with others. After lunch I visited the traders with my daughter who needed anew peddle for her unicycle. Roger managed to sell her an upgraded set of peddles (pink) but not a new tyre (also pink) just because she had a pink unicycle stem and was wearing a pink cardigan doesn’t mean that she is obsessed with the colour. 2pm was tech rehearsal for BYJOTY so we all went over there. Originally there were going to be 8 acts but one of them was clearly not ready and will probably do a better job next year. After watching the tech run I thought that it would be very close indeed between 3 acts, the two twenty year olds and my 14 year old son. It turned out that I was correct. If you congratulated Peter and he didn’t say anything back to you it wasn’t because of you. For someone who is happy to stand up in front of people performing he isn’t great at conversation. After that we treated Peter to a meal of his choice, so we ended up going to Pizza Hut.
We didn’t do an hour of walking globe practice. Instead we slowly packed away and said our goodbyes. Peter bought some balls from Oddballs with his voucher forgetting a silver medal. Eventually we left for the journey home. Around about J30 my car engine started making funny noises and got gradually worse so I pulled over just before J28. Fortunately one of the Milton Keynes jugglers saw us and took Peter home (the other 3 were in the other car). I got to play the very slow game of waiting for Mr AA Man and eventually got home some 9.5 hours later. A sad end to an otherwise great BJC.
I noticed that in this review I forgot to thank all the people who made BJC happen. You are all wonderful people and I enjoy spending time with you each year.
I enjoyed the act. I generally enjoy acts that have characterisation and have been thought through and yours met both those criteria.
I have to say how Impressed I was with BYJOTY, esp the astounding walking globe. I have not been that gobsmacked since Sam Goodburn wheel walked his uni. Very very good stuff. As always it was great to catch up with Nigel.
Nice review Nigel!
Pssssst Orinoco... you aren't waiting for me really, are you? Mine is going to be a good few days yet at least...
I also went to the BJC in Canterbury and wrote about my experiences!
Check out all of the action here: https://www.juggle.org/british-juggling-convention-2018-review/
p.s I enjoy reading other peoples reviews and experiences, add to the discussion with your own mini reviews!
Interesting that you tried to attend the preventing injury workshop. Frederique and myself were the only ones there unfortunately. Ben did it anyway and we found it useful and informative.
I am very surprised that so few people went along.
Fortunately (or unfortunately...) any injuries I recieve which prevent me from juggling are normally due to things outside of juggling (cycling accidents, mis-handling of tools etc...) or avoidable impacts from juggling combat.
I was very interested to hear what Ben said and would definately go if the chance came up again. It just didn't work out for me this time.
Ejuggle appears to be down at the moment :(
I'm hoping to finish my effort this evening (probably late evening).
Thanks Jon, as always I really enjoyed that.
Very interesting to see how you always have a completely different juggling experience to me: a rare attendant to shows or workshops and a frequent attendant at the lazy juggler bar!
My main thoughts / feedback / witty or non witty repartee in no particular order or coherency are as follows:
- Margate had excellent fish and chips away from the main strip. We skipped dreamland and the games completely and played adventure golf (curse you Andy Fraser for taking my title) and really enjoyed our day out and nearby Fish.
- I really enjoyed the gala show but thought too many of the acts were a little similar. It was probably the least balanced gala show I had seen for a while. I love Tiff, Jon and Steve, but all in one show with a talking magician and a talking Ben was a lot of wordy performances. Helena was really quite good though.
- Was the stage hand who interrupted Paul Zenon really not a poor acting planned part of the act? we couldn't tell
- Monte food = excellent. Much better when he has a full kitchen and helpers to work with. Rarely needed to leave site for sustenance other than drinkable water
- Lack of flushable toilets...at one point I think there were only 2 working on site. Thank goodness the portaloos turned up
- Waffles are not an acceptable breakfast. Why can we not get decent coffee anywhere ever at a BJC?
- Played two long games of Suburbia and Stone age with Brook, Cameron and Danny. Stone age seemed to be more popular. Also played a bit of seven wonders duel with various people. This is my latest favorite two player game of choice. Also Danny needs banning from all board games on account of being too good.
- Generally the organisation was a little lax. The volunteer board didn't seem to exist and on inquiring how I could help I was told 'go and see if anyone is on badge control now and you can fill in'. Well I did and a couple of hours later I was lucky to be replaced as the person after me had no relief after 2 hours. A simple printed schedule people can sign up to is so much easier.
- Sebs workshop on 3 in one hand scissor manipulations was great
- I felt really sorry for the unicycle hockey guys for pushing my patience. The Scheduling as you mentioned was awful but it wasn't their fault and I was temporarily very angry until I thought about this
- Love being able to drive to BJCs and bring my double duvet to camp with. Feel like a big southern pansy, but no regrets!
- I need to pass more with different people. I did no > 2 person passing other than 'Spider' and mostly passed with the same people. Made some progress on Funky 9 though. Also amazed at the number of people who can now acceptably run Holy Grail. A few years back this was a pipe dream and now it seems almost common. Need to regress a few years, quit my job and move to Cambridge to keep up.
"- Waffles are not an acceptable breakfast. Why can we not get decent coffee anywhere ever at a BJC?"
From which conjunction I conclude that you think decent coffee is an acceptable breakfast. I agree, but enjoyed a couple of veggie Full Montes in the week too. Seeing Bob Fromcanada around made me miss his great coffee stall that was at EJC.
I have never understood why people for whom coffee is so important cannot bring along the means to provide their own. SMH
I could... but given my campsite was at least 5 minutes walk from the main communal / juggling area, and that I would have to whip out a camp stove, boil my own water and bring my own fancy cafetiere in the first place this seems a rather extravagant means to an end.
Much easier to rant on the internet than self provide a simple practical solution. That being said I am sure there is a commercial opportunity there given the success of EJC ventures.
I could being the Leeds convention filter machine along, but it’s not PATed so insurance mght be an issue...
I do, thanks! Aeropress and hand grinder. But there is a bootstrap problem in that some people - not me, cough cough - need a coffee before they can be organised enough to make coffee.
Hi all, I'm James. I am London based double staffer, currently working on the second convention of the distracted arts. A half day flow and juggling event out in Egham. The event will be followed by the M25 fire night, which to celebrate the convention will have some performances before the general fire spin.
Welcome to The Edge. Here's the tag for your event:
(That means people can now find this thread from the event page, and vice-versa.)
(Who remembers double-staff fire sessions in Preston Park a million years ago. When my car was stolen, I was more annoyed about losing my 2 Barnes staves that were in the back, than about the car. Hey ho, life goes on, as Cougar sang....)
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