Page 4 December 1982
Visiting Europe !
Gene Jones, IJA President
art of juggling is alive and well in Europe! Following in the wake of
the gigantic IJA Convention is Santa Barbara, the 5th Annual IJA
European Convention was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 10-12.
was a cozy and festive event attended by jugglers from 12 different
nations, who seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly. The convention was
highlighted by a spirited parade that took Copenhagen by storm and
aroused enough publicity to sell out the Public Show on Saturday night.
organizer Jens Christiansen and his two 'right-hand men,' Peter Johansen
and Flemming Olsen, did a fine job of scheduling events, and even
managed to put out a daily Convention Newsletter.
They dedicated the convention to the memory of the great Danish juggler Bob Ripa, who interestingly enough, made most of his fame and fortune in the United States.
the number of jugglers was slightly less than last year's convention in
London, this year's crew was most enthusiastic and cohesive. There were
numerous impromptu demonstrations, a lot of club passing, and even a few
language differences, no one had any trouble speaking the juggling
alphabet... for jugglers of the world have much in common.
European Convention offered a marvelous opportunity to explore
similarities and differences of jugglers from different
backgrounds. It also demonstrates that after many years of
operating almost exclusively in the United States, the IJA is now truly
an international organization. This fact is indicated not only by the
consistent success of European Conventions but also by the emergence of
the Japanese Jugglers Association in Tokyo, which already boasts a
membership of more than 30 jugglers. and the expanding IJA Roster, which
includes members from 21 nations.
seems to be a great curiosity on both sides of the ocean regarding
performance opportunities and artistic developments. This points out a
need for increased communication.
brief conversations in Copenhagen and a subsequent journey to Berlin and
Paris, it appears that the 'state of the juggler' in Europe is fairly
similar to conditions in the United States, with the great exception
that street performers do not have to travel great distances in Europe
when moving from city to city.
juggling is generally well received in Europe and there are fewer
hecklers, although differing currencies can significantly affect the
value of the 'hat take' at the end of a day.