LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

20 Juggling Facts for the 20th World Juggling Day, June 20, 2015


"I loved this book"
5-star customer review of Circus Mania
on Amazon








1 - The earliest depiction of juggling is painted on an Egyptian tomb dating from almost 2000 years BC.


2 - Comedian W.C. Fields began his career as The Eccentric Juggler.



3 - Ancient Chinese warriors would show off to their enemies by juggling before battle.



4 - George Washington watched John Bill Ricketts juggle on horseback in America’s first circus.



Sand-filled juggling balls
won't bounce away when you drop them
5 - Juggler Paul Cinquevalli was nicknamed the Human Billiard Table



6 - Bounce juggling became possible with the introduction of rubber balls in the late 19th century.



7Clubs are easier than balls to juggle on a unicycle because they require less accuracy to catch.



8Charles Hoey was the first man to juggle with four clubs - but he couldn’t stop without dropping them, so the curtain had to come down while he was still juggling.


9 - Juggling burns 280 calories an hour.
The Melvilles show how to juggle with
the dinner plates in a great DVD called
Variety Turns of the Post War Years
Read my review here.


10 - Germans such as Salerno (Adolf Behrend) introduced the ‘gentleman juggler’ style that became popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, wearing formal evening clothes and juggling with dinner party items such as plates, bottles, loaves of bread, hats, canes and chairs.



11 - Enrico Rastelli (1896 - 1931) is considered greatest juggler of all time, being able to juggle ten balls at once.


12 - Jenny Jaeger is the only person ever to juggle with ten balls in daily performance.



13 - Antipodism is another name for foot-juggling in which the juggler lies on his or her back to spin and flip objects (or another person) with their feet.



Hoop juggling
at Britain's oldest circus building
the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome.
Read about the 100-year-old
venue in Circus Mania
14 - Foot-juggling with a person is known as a Risley act after the 19th century American pioneer of the style Richard Risley Carlisle.



15 - Britain’s first juggling superstar, Paul Cinquevalli made his debut at Covent Garden in 1859.



16 - Rings are the easiest prop to juggle in large numbers because they’re light and it’s easier to hold several.



17 - Scarves are the easiest item to begin juggling with.



18 - The International Juggling Association was formed in 1947.


19 - The word juggling comes from the Middle English word jogelen, meaning to entertain by performing tricks.

20 - Juggling is celebrated twice a year - with International Juggler's Day on April 18, and World Juggling Day on June 20 this year.

For more about jugglers, trapeze artists, sword swallowers, tiger trainer, clowns, ringmasters and showmen, read Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus (Peter Owen Publishers). Click here to buy Circus Mania from Amazon.

"Circus Mania is a brilliant account of a vanishing art form."
- Mail on Sunday.



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