Taken from the traditional word jogelen, which means entertaining by performing tricks, jugglers have been seen throughout history. From court jesters to magicians, the most traditional form of juggling is the toss juggling – throwing and catching your objects in rapid suggestion and on repeat. This can be done with any objects and can be done for entertainment purposes, as well as for art or for sports. Some consider juggling to be magic, some just talent but it is also said to be one of the least understood art forms around.
Traditional Juggling Objects
Some of the most traditional juggling acts and styles are those that include balls, rings or clubs. The balls are often round in shape and feel like bean bags, the clubs look very similar to bowling pins but are much lighter in weight, and the rings are large circular discs with the centres removed. These objects are tossed in succession at various speeds, and in various patterns and formations. This has also been used many contemporary art performances and some of these include juggling while contorting one’s body through various acrobatic positions, and catching, throwing or moving the balls with feet, back and hands. This is also referred to as contact juggling.
Weird juggling Objects
Juggling can be done with anything, and as performers moved to differentiate their acts from one another, the objects juggled have become weirder and often more dangerous. Objects such as knives and flaming torches are often used particularly for my circus performers looking for the wow factor with audiences. Performers have also been known to balance on ladders or stilts while juggling these objects, as well walking along tightropes. This takes the level of danger up a notch and has the audience sitting on the edge of their seats holding their breath.