Page 3 May 1978
REPORT ON BRIGHTON IJA CONVENTION APRIL 15 & 16, 1978
Around Christmas 1977 I started planning this event. Although I am quite a recent addition to IJA membership (1.5 years), and I had been corresponding with Lindsay Leslie, Bobby Menary, and Toby Philpott, it seemed we were out of real contact with each other and that it would be beneficial both to ourselves and to the IJA if we were able to arrange a meeting.
The Resources Centre which I chose as a venue was ideal because it was central, inexpensive, and a Community Centre with many activities. The posters were designed by an artist friend of mine, and I had fifty printed. These were for publicity for the IJA and to advertise a public show planned to offset costs.
Letters of encouragement came from all British IJA members, and I invited Herman Sagemuller, a German juggler and juggling historian to visit us. He accepted, expressing a desire to visit, while he was here, the grave of Paul Cinquevalli, a great German juggler of the Music Hall era, who finished his days in England.
As April 15th-16th approached I felt shivers of apprehension, but these were dispelled when Lindsay Leslie, Bobby
Menary, and Herman Sagemuller booked rooms in the hotel for which I had arranged. Lloyd Timberlake and Mark Robertson were staying at my house. On Saturday, April 15th, we all met at the Resources Centre. There were nine jugglers: Lindsay, Bobby, myself, Lloyd, Mark, Herman, Stuart Fell, John Leslie, and Toby Philpott -- this number exceeded my expectations. Saturday was a great day for meeting, discussion, demonstrating, and learning -- although all of us were jugglers, the difference in styles and techniques was extremely varied. Another friend was covering the weekend on video tape, doing interviews, filming us practicing, and finally shooting the public show on the following day. Saturday evening was spent in the lounge bar of the Hotel Metropole viewing Herman's splendid collection of photographs of European jugglers of this century.
dawned and we made our way to the hall to set the stage, seating, and
P.A. arrangements for the public show which commenced at 4:30 pm. Mike
Gelb and Magenta Wise showed up to swell the juggling numbers to double
figures. The show started at 4:45pm with an audience of about 200 mainly
young people and
children. There was an interval of twenty minutes halfway through and it
finished at 7:45pm. The public show was an unqualified success.
children. There was an interval of twenty minutes halfway through and it finished at 7:45pm. The public show was an unqualified success.
Accompanied by a band, the eleven jugglers contributed between them juggling routines with balls, hoops, plates, cigar boxes, tennis racquets, knives, clubs, fire clubs, and yo-yo's. The show was rounded out with feats of balancing, stilt walking, unicycling, tumbling, fire eating, and magic, plus escapology and a mock cajun band. Quite phenomenal! The curtain closed on everybody juggling.
As I said before, it was an exhilarating weekend enjoyed by everyone, and the "feedback" I received from members of the audience the following week was proof enough.
When the video tape has been edited, I will endeavor to show it to all IJA members.
-- Lynn Thomas, Convention Organizer
IJA member Hermann Sagemuller, who attended the recent European miniconvention and whose photographs appear on the next two pages, lives in West Germany and is a very active collector of juggling material. In addition he compiled and published a book on Michael Kara, the famous "gentleman juggler". I believe Hermann sells this book for about 10 DM; in addition, Hermann is always on the look out for juggling fans with whom he can exchange juggling material and information. Herman's address is Baldingen, Federal Republic of Germany.