Page 14                                             Winter 1988 - 89

The level of diablo skill was extremely high during that workshop, with Todd Strong of San Fransisco and red­haired Clair Hudman of Bristol (a.k.a. Winnie Parsley) demonstrating some moves they learned from the Shenyang Acrobatic Troup at the recent International Circus Festival in London.


The devil stick workshop featured Bruno Saxer from Bern, Switzerland, curling a horizontal handstick on his palm with ball spinning type moves. Gerard Clarte from

Paris, with a hand stick in each hand, manipulated two devil sticks with parallel moves and twirls.


Charlie Dancey of Great Britain conducted a terrific ball bouncing workshop. He and Haggis McLeod from Glastonbury pulled off a smooth side-by-side ten ball

bounce. Charlie, who's presently working on a five ball "Mills' Mess" bounce quipped, "By George, I've ALMOST got it!"


Jugglers kicked back for two evenings of entertainment at the cabaret. A hot swing combo opened the Friday night show. Playing her starched and stiff-lipped character The Tory Bastard, emcee Luci Gorell Barnes of Bristol dryly introduced the acts. Several included: Kim and Peewee of South Wales as a decrepit yet dignified couple performing a duet on penny whistles with their nostrils; whip cracker Markus Marconi from the United States snapping a cigarette out of a volunteer's mouth by the skin of his teeth; and belle of the ball Cindy Friedberg (a.k.a. Cindy Marvell) reciting poetry from Yates and Shakespeare while doing a five ball routine. She also brought down the house at the Public Show.


The Public show on Saturday night was an intriguing blend of international talent held in a beautiful 2,000 seat Victorian theater, with emcee Andre Vincent of London as ' Arry Pavarotti.


Notable acts included: flourescent-ball juggler Bogey, from Germany; Benji Marantz from Hawaii swinging fire at lightning speed; Monsieur Clac from France, a hand balancing dynamo; Alex Dandridge from London, who did the proverbial shoe-balance-on-the-head-and­drop-it-onto-the-foot routine; slick hat manipulator Jess Monroe; American Paul Morocco whose Fruit Family Love Story back-fired when the audience threw 30 pieces of fruit at him; Jon Held and Kezia Tenenbaum of Airjazz doing their Dueling Cigar Boxes; Rob Salafia from Boston, the "strings" behind a life sized puppet; lovable Billy Prudhomme from Louisiana tossing and bouncing five balls; Spanish Blues Brothers-style Bonni and Caroli performing a unicycle duet; and punkers Didier and Fabien of Chalons-Sur-Marne, France, who danced and juggled with cold, steely bravado.


Sunday was not a typical day of winding down, but rather kept the pace as the Shen­yang Acrobatic Troupe from mainland China demonstrated in the round to an exuberant audience. Hosted by the Bradford Jugglers, Todd Strong and the IJA, the entire workshop was a skills exchange be­tween the Shenyang and various convention jugglers.


A Saturday afternoon parade weaved past curious citizens and ended at the Bradford town hall, where hordes of spectators were welcomed by the honorable Lord Mayor.

A Saturday afternoon parade weaved past curious citizens and ended at the Bradford town hall, where spectators were welcomed by the honorable Lord Mayor.


So began the Games, an extraordinary forum for playful rivalry, with Dave Pope from Bradford as commentator. Even as the Olympians in Seoul were winning gold, silver and bronze medals by fractions of a decimal point, one couldn't help but smile at the common "medal" awarded to the Games competitors, or rather, PLAYERS: a teddy bear.


Julie Thornton of Bradford won a teddy bear for the women's diablo high toss because it went VERY HIGH! Then it was time for Martin from Germany, who won the men's diablo high toss because it went VERY, VERY HIGH!


There was the five ball endurance-in-the­wind, won by Haggis McLeod, and a unicycle race won by Billy Paul of Bristol whose unicycle may have reached a speed of 60 miles per week.


Michiel Hesseling from Amsterdam juggled five clubs the longest (a VERY LONG time). The long distance club passing contest resulted in a dramatic tie be­tween Haggis and Michiel and Mark and Paul from Amsterdam.


The Games' closing ceremony was a group finale: The Big Toss-Up.


Shenyang members Cui Hua and Huang Ya Li tossed, passed and swept diablos

around their gracefully poised bodies, commanding as strong a focus on themselves as on their props. Following suit, another member pitched a spinning ceramic pot into the air, ending the motion in forehead balances and neck catches. He then repeated these moves with a monster­sized mega-pot, looking the weight of a watermelon. Rob Salafia wowed the pot balancer with his own form of foot manipulation: tap dancing.


With eyes looking towards the next European convention, a brief business meeting focused on future proposals. The European Juggling Association - spearheaded into being by members of L' In­stitut de Jonglage from Nantes, France ­ provides morale and official support to organizers to guarantee the continuation and quality of the convention. Several prospect., for 1990 were voiced to Madame la Presidente, Sue Hunt, but no decision on a 12th convention site was made.


Skip a year? (Horrified murmurs throughout the meeting.) Hardly a chance! The organizational network has become too dedicated and efficient to even suggest such a travesty of juggling justice. And more important, the annual European convention has taken on a life of its own, with a spirit which breathes, "Jugglers Just Wanna Have Fun."


(Sandy Brown is an IJA director and performing juggler living in W. Germany. The 1989 European convention is scheduled to be held Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Maastricht, Netherlands. For more information, see the festivals listings.)

Cindy Marvell shows rings over Bradford.

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