- Roll title sequence. Cut to studio shot and leave music bubbling under
- Voice over: Please welcome your host for this evening... William
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your kind applause. Along with
the viewers at home, you join me once again for the most exciting
televised event of the year... right here, over the next half hour, we'll
count down the Top 40 Favourite Jugglers of 2005! This is the result of an
annual poll conducted on the internet, the most scientific and objective
way possible to guage a juggler's international mass appeal.
Not only will we be featuring the top 40 jugglers with expert comment and
star interviews, in the Jugglers Dropped segments we'll be looking at
those who failed to make the list, or those who have dropped out since
This year only 2 jugglers keep their same places from last year, 8 climb
and 14 fall. There have been 3 re-entries into the chart, 13 new entries
and 17 have left the chart. Those number don't add up, you cry! True, but
this year Olga and Vova Galchenko have seperate places rather than pooling
their votes... it all works out.
So sit back, relax and let's begin!
- Voice over: 40
At number 40 is a new entry. Diminuitive Japanese juggler Komei Aoki made
his first international appearance at the 2004 International Jugglers'
Association Festival. He competed in the Juniors Stage Championships with
possibly the fastest 3 ball juggling routine ever. It earned him a
standing ovation but the judges, disagreeing with the audience's stated
opinion, awarded him nothing. Instead they gave the Bronze medal he
deserved to a bland, instantly forgettable act, as the IJA judges are
prone to do.
This year Aoki returned to the IJA festival with a ring juggling and
manipulation routine based on "Luke's Ear Ring Trick" and took home the
Silver Medal. Watch out for Komei in the future as he will surely get
better and better... maybe a Gold next year?
- Cut to interview with Luke Burrage, the second inventor of "Luke's Ear
"Last year I won the IJA People's Choice Award but I voted for Komei
Aoki. If he had still been at the convention when I got the award I'd have
given it to him. I'm glad I won the award, but the trophy was a huge brick
shaped piece of wood that weighed a ton... better to let someone else have
to fly home with that in their bag..."
- Voice over: 39
Down 21 places from last year's 18 is the English juggler Luke Wilson,
the original inventor of "Luke's Ear Ring Trick". Luke now lives and
performs in Germany rather than Britain, the result of a very embarrassing
incident forcing him to leave the country (the rabbit was physically
unharmed, but it had to be put down when the emotionally damaged bunny
attacked it's newly adopted owners).
Luke's club juggling is hugely influencial in Europe and in the IJA 3
Club Competition he soundly beat Vova Galchenko. Luke is also an
accomplished magician who now works mainly with card manipulation after
the ban imposed on him by the Magic Circle from performing his previous
trademark routine featuring rabbits and rotary saws.
- Voice over: 38
New at 38 (though one of the Jugglers Dropped in 2003) is the only
juggler in the top 40 who isn't a juggler. Well, he can juggle, but Ryo
Yabe from Japan is primarily known as the best diaboloist in the world...
and if not the best, then certainly the top three or four.
In last year's World Juggling Federation Diabolo competition he was
beaten by two very surprised frenchmen but is returning this year, aiming
to win. Meanwhile he took the Seniors Gold at this year's IJA Stage
Championships, just four years after winning the Junior Gold medal. His
favourite colour is red and he enjoys reading, swimming and talking to
friends on the telephone.
Cut to interview with Matt Hall, juggler from California, USA.:
"I called Ryo the other day and his mother said he wasn't in. Strange
that, as he hasn´t returned one of my calls since I beat him in the the
IJA One Diabolo Competition in July..."
- Voice over: 37
Down 17 places this year is Russia juggling legend Sergei Ignatov. As a
boy Sergei wanted to be in the circus... not as a juggler, nor as a horse
trainer like his uncle, but as a flying trapeze artist. Unfortunately for
Sergei, he had a bad leg and all he could work on was juggling. Little did
he know he would grow up to be the most miss-pronounced juggler in
history. He was isolated from the influence of other jugglers in his
Soviet circus school so he worked on numbers juggling... and then more on
numbers juggling... and then more!
In his prime he could perform an 11 ring flash in his act (he always
forgot to make it look difficult, too) and in practice he could do an 11
ring pulldown, sometimes an 11 ring qualifying juggle (22 catches). This
year he took a break from performing to concentrate on his other passions:
painting, playing his clarinet and coaching other jugglers at intensive
workshops arround Europe.
Cut to interview with Norbi the Juggler:
"I held out a ring and a pen so I could get his autograph... but instead
of signing the ring he was all like "No, don't hold the ring like that!"
and he snatched it away from me and was all like "Grip like this and then
shoulder... arm... wrist... release!"... After showing me how to throw he
gave the ring back to me, then stalked off to show Thomas Dietz how to
juggle one ball...
I never did get his autograph."
- Voice over: 36
For the past two years on the chart we have been sure to find Ivan Pecel
and Scotty Cavanaugh. Scotty beat Ivan at last year's WJF Intermediate
Club Competition by just 0.01 points but failed to get a single vote in
this poll. That left the field clear for Ivan Pecel to get one over on his
old rival and we find him here at 36, though down from last year's 26.
Ivan now lives in Vegas and performs on cruise ships, taking time out to
work on his new business venture "Pecel Security" concentrating on piracy
deterents, and this year he will be taking part in the WJF competitions
once again. While his chances of beating the likes of Jason Garfield and
Thomas Dietz are slim to none, he aims to at least beat Chris Chiapinni.
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
Yes, we get to the first of those who have left the chart since last year
or didn't get quite enough votes to break into the top 40 this year. The
first interesting story is Chris Chiappini. He was on the chart in 2003,
and yet he was the only juggler to get a minus amount of votes this year,
therefore is classed as the farthest falling juggler to ever be featured
on this chart. This is undoubtably down to his WJF profile video which
featured him dancing on Francis Brunn's grave. Not cool.
Michael Karas was at 28 last year, but in 2003 was right up at number 10.
This year he got votes, but not quite enough to get him into the top 40.
Michael and Chris... goodbye!
- Voice over: 35
New at 35 is Peter Gerber from Regensburg, Germany. In the past year he
featured in a full length show following the lives of three jugglers
making their way through a circus school and trying to get jobs... but who
really cares about serious artistic endeavors?
So... he travelled with Thomas Dietz to the WJF where he entered the
Advanced Clubs Competition with the most original, creative, stylish and
entertaining routine of the whole event. He came last, of course, as the
WJF doesn't care at all for originallity, creativity, style or
entertainment. Everyone apart from the judges thought he should have
beaten Jason Garfield... including Jason Garfield himself.
Cut to interview with Thomas Dietz (talking through an interpreter, Peter
"We train together in Germany but we have to come all the way to Vegas to
compete with each other..."
- Voice over: 34
Down 21 from last year's 13 is Manu Laude from France... one quarter of
the Gandini Juggling Project, one half of Kuka with Jay Gilligan and one
hell of a solo artist. He used to have long hair and dance like a big girl
on stage... now he has cut his hair short and beats the crap out of all
comers at three club combat, for example, at the Berlin Convention
Celebrity Fight Club this spring.
Cut to interview with Jay Gilligan, most creative juggler ever.
"Sure, he beat me in the final, but I was two points ahead at one stage
so let him have two point for free, just to make it more exciting for
everyone. Turned out to be a bad move on my part, he hasn't let me hear
the end of it since."
- Voice over: 33
New at 33 is the top placing Japanese juggler on this year's chart.
Kazuhiro Shindo shaved "7441" into the back of his head, entered the IJA
Junious Championship and won. Unfortunately we couldn't track him down at
his home in Osaka, he hasn't been seen there since early July. USA
immigration say he definately boarded his plane to Tokyo... so if you have
seen Shindo please get in contact with the relevant authorities in your
country (numbers will be displayed at the end of this program).
- Cut to interview with Komei Aoki:
"I prane get Shindo right here. Then turn... Shindo! Shindo! Nothing
reft. Not Shindo here. Not here..."
- Voice over: 32
American vaudiville legend Bobby May is at number 32 this year, despite
being dead for many years. Last year he failed to make the chart though he
placed at 28 in 2003. His club juggling skills would would put many top
jugglers alive today to shame. The closing trick of his act was quite a
sight... he would balance on his head, spread his legs, then bounce five
balls off a drum while the band played "Yankee Doodle Doo". Just think how
that would go down at in the WJF Advanced Balls Final...
Over the past two years we have investigated claims by Karl-Heinz Zeithen
that Bobby May actually had two fake legs. It turns out this wasn't true,
it was a mistake in the translation from German. Bobby May actually had
two false eyes.
- Voice over: 31
New at 31 is Paul Taylor (known by many as Jugglingeek, known by a
confused number as simply "eek") from Leeds, England. Paul does a lot of
ring juggling and 3 ball juggling... specialising in BBB, or Blind Behind
Eek made it into the chart this year on the back of his online videos,
but more importantly his performances at juggling conventions in the UK.
Beginning at the British Young Juggler of the Year show at the British
Juggling Convention, he went on to perform at both Manchester and Durham.
Paul likes working with children and small animals... finding gerbils most
pleasant for most backcross tricks.
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
This year there are no juggling duos or groups at all, just individual
jugglers. The Flying Karamatzov Brothers from America leave the chart, as
do Jochen and Florien from Germany... goodbye!
- Voice over: 30
Breaking into the top 30 we find another new entry from Leeds and a good
friend of Paul Taylor. Matthew Tiffany first joined up with Paul to
release the "Tiffty vs Jugglingeek" online videos. Tiff then released a
solo video featuring not a single pirouette, quite a unique achievement
this year, instead focusing on numbers juggling, siteswaps and
Matthew also started performing at the British Young Juggler of the Year
show where he pulled off the hardest trick of the night, a 97531 right
into five mills mess. Like Eek, he has performed at many more conventions
since then. He aims to become the best ball juggler in the world and like
his idols (Ben Beever, Peter Bone, Thomas Dietz, etc) he works mainly with
siteswaps and numbers juggling, almost getting an 11 ball flash and a real
Tiff plays many musical instuments including the recorder, the kazoo and
- Voice over: 29
Down 5 at number 29 is the American juggler Dave Nager. Last year the
Dnaygs went to the WJF in Vegas and didn't win a single competition. This
year he has a plan that will surely win him a gold... teaming up with last
year's multiple winner Vova Galchenko for the Advanced Team Competition...
how can they lose?
Dave has performed at many conventions this year with a technical three
ball routine and after winning all the three ball competitions at last
years IJA festival you'd think he would cruise to victory at the smaller
conventions games. That is not the way the world works. At one convention
he finished his act with a 3 ball triple wirlwind pirouette... but dropped
out of the 3 ball Simon Says because he didn't know how to do the 3 ball
He also teamed up with Vova Galchenko this year to release a juggling DVD
which should be out before Christmas.
- Cut to interview with Warren Hammond, of the now defunct team Warren and
- Voice over: 28
From a high of 5th place in 2003, here at 28 is where we find Viktor Kee.
Kee is from the Ukraine and performs with Cirque du Soleil show Dralion.
His act includes contact juggling, dance, acrobatics, contortionism and,
of course, mad skills with 3 to 7 balls. Anyone who who has seen Dralion
knows he is undoubtably the star of the show... what most people don't
know is that when Viktor is ill or performing elsewhere he is replaced on
stage by Frank Turner. Frank is normally a lighting technician, but he
learnt Kee's routine throw for throw, move by move, after watching it
every day for the past 10 years.
Cut to interview with Gary Newgate, sound technician with Dralion:
"People think Viktor´s style of juggling is unique... it really isn't!
Frank is the only one who takes his place on stage but there are four or
five of us who could do it if we were asked..."
- Voice over: 27
New at number 27 is Toto. Toto is a juggler now but is best known for
being the sidekick of the Lone Ranger. Or was Toto the Lone Ranger's
horse? No, that was Silver. Maybe Toto was the horse as ridden by the Lone
Ranger's sidekick. I don't know, I've confused myself now by thinking
about it too much.
Anyway, Toto has made a name for himself by his really cool club juggling
skills, including great four club half pirouette variations and some real
impressive seven club runs. He turns up at European Juggling Conventions
sometimes but prefers to stay the rest of the year in South America where
sugar cubes are cheaper.
- Voice over: 26
Bill Berry from America is at number 26, down 17 from last year's number
9. His performing partner, Jonathan Root, failed to get a single vote this
year so leaves the chart completely. Bill is really thin, tall and scary.
He has tattoos all over and sticks swords down his throat. Why anyone
would vote for him at all is a question I'd really like to have
Oh right! He is a shit hot three ball juggler. That was it. Well, I hope
he feels good about it.
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
Right, there were so many jugglers who left the top 40 this year that
we'll do this in bulk: Philip Meyhoefer, Ofek Shilton, Josiah Jones, Jason
Perry, Rhys Thomas and Niels Duinker... goodbye!
- Voice over: 25
Another new entry at 25 is Marco Paoletti from Chile. The number of good
jugglers in South America is something almost completely unknown in the
rest of the world due to language differences and distance, but Marco is
changing that by releasing videos of himself and other jugglers online.
Marco learnt to juggle when he was just eight months old, making him the
youngest juggler in history. Unfortunately, disaster struck before this
amazing talent could be captured on film. At just nine months old, while
he was juggling, his mother dropped him on his head. Then, due to an
understandable phobia, it was another 17 years before Marco tried to
juggle again. He soon rediscovered his natural talent and now he is one of
the leading jugglers in Chile.
- Voice over: 24
New at 24 is our second French juggler, Mihn Tam Kaplan, considered one
of the most skillful and stylish three ball jugglers in the world. His
trademark skill is the "Bored Contortion", juggling three balls beside
himself with one arm behind his back... then he looks in the other
direction... then upwards... then he starts picking his nose.... The full
trick can be seen on the unedited "Bremen 3 ball Improv" video, though
most people have only seen the extensively shortened version available
Mihn Tam earned many new fans at this year's European Juggling Convention
in Slovenia by appearing on stage almost every night, either with a group
of his friends from Paris, or as a solo act.
- Voice over: 23
Last year he was a Dropped Juggler, but this year he is back in the chart
at number 23. Kris is the forth and last performing generation of the
Swiss Kremo circus family. He worked for 5 years with his father, Bella
Kremo, and when Bella retired Kris continued performing a harder variation
of his father's routine. Kris works with never more than three objects at
once, either three hats, three balls, three cigar boxes or a hat, a cigar
and a ball. The most entertaining aspect of Kris' performance is not just
his tricks but how perfectly they fit with his character on stage.
In January next year Kris Kremo will be performing in a special gala show
at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival in a duo act with none other than
Anthony Gatto. How a three ball master and a numbers juggling monster will
work together in the ring is unclear, but it will surely be a unique
event. When else have the two greatest performing jugglers in the world
appeared on the same stage at the same time?
- Voice over: 22
Up 3 places at number 22 is Sean Gandini from London, England. Sean and
his troup, the Gandini Juggling Project, have spent the year performing
arround the world at Jazz festivals. This market opened up when they added
a drummer to the group and promoted themselves as a musical act instead of
a juggling act. It has been so successful for them that Sean's partner,
Kati Ylahokkala, is releasing a solo album early next year, along with a
single release called "Seven Seven, Three Three Five".
This year Sean's predicted place in the top 40 was unsure because, as
votes were being cast, he announced his plan to perform a new piece at the
EJC next year.
Cut to interview with Owen Reynolds:
"I was going to vote for Sean but Howie called me, warning that if I
showed any more enthusiasm in Sean's work I'd be asked to join in with
"1,000,000 - the nine day juggling oddysy." I thought, sod that for a
lark! No way I'm counting even up to 40 ever again!"
- Voice over: 21
Maksim Komaro is this year's 21st most popular juggler, down from 15 last
year. Maksim is best known as being one third of the Peapot Juggling team
and this year's release was called "Headache", featuring lots of
headrolls, bouncing and balancing. Maksim's partner in crime, Ville Walo,
narrowly missed out on a place in this top 40 this time arround.
In the past year Maksim has kept up his high profile in the juggling
world by performing at conventions around Europe and even travelling to
Canada for the Victoria Juggling Festival. He also teaches master class
workshops where other people learn how to juggle as wrong as Maksim does
- Cut to interview with Mr Sam Po Lin, a Malaysian Private Investigator:
"I shot the toucan. It was a mercy killing."
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
Another bulk eviction from the top 40 list this year: Ville Walo, Chris
Fowler, Denis Paumier, Albert Lucas, Michael Menes and Scotty Cavanaugh...
goodbye! Also, Owen Reynolds, in a mildly ironic twist of fate, placed at
about 42 this year...
- Voice over: 20
New at number 20 is Israeli juggler Ori Roth. Many jugglers gain
popularity after posting videos online. Some are creative, some are
skillful... where Ori and his brother Anver stand out is that their videos
are really, really good fun. Their enthusiasm is infectious and there is
always a surprise in store... to set the tone, in their first video they
are visited by cartoon aliens!
Ori also directed and filmed a 7 minutes short film, a parody of Nike's
"Good vs Evil" football adverts, featuring top Israeli jugglers instead of
international soccer stars.
Oh yeah, Ori is a really good juggler too, and can juggle, on demand,
almost any 3 ball trick you want.
- Voice over: 19
Another re-entry at number 19 is the Israeli juggler Barak Reuben. His
early inspiration was Dave Kelly from Liverpool, but soon Barak surpassed
Kelly's own skills in weird three ball behind the back variations. Barak
is mostly known outside of Israel through his three ball videos released
online, considered by many to be some of the most skillful available.
Barak hasn't released any new videos recently as he is recovering from
surgery. The historic and groundbreaking operation removed his bottom two
ribs, then used the spare bone to increase the length of both his arms.
- Voice over: 18
Down 10 places at number 18 is Ben Beever from Manchester in England.
Known to many as Siteswap Ben, he literally wrote the book on siteswaps
and the mathematical manipulation of juggling patterns. His numbers
juggling skills are legendary, having flashed 12 balls in three different
This year Ben performed at many juggling conventions in England and was
in the opening show at the EJC in Slovenia. He is currently taking his
juggling in a new direction, working more on diabolo with a view to
developing a unified juggling theory that can explain and notate all known
- Voice over: 17
New at number 17 is Thomas Norbert Stanley Bunker Whitney. With possibly
the longest name of any juggler, he calls himself Norbi and most people
think that is far more agreeable. He learnt to juggle years ago but worked
far more on diabolo, developing a very fast style with unique tricks that
goes down well both on and off stage. After flirting with a bit of ball
and club juggling, Norbi settled on ring juggling as his skill of choice.
He managed to get into the top 20 this year on the back of his many
performances at juggling conventions including the British Juggling
Convention, Shefcon, Ieper Convention in Belgium and the EJC. Norbi
travelled to the WJF convention last year to take part in the diabolo
competition, failed to make the final, but ended up being a judge instead.
This year he is returning to compete in the Intermediate Rings event and,
as long as nobody else turns up, he is sure to win. Meanwhile he won both
a Silver Award and the Judges Choice Award in the British Young Juggler of
the Year show this spring and plans to win a Gold next year.
Norbi the Juggler Fun Trivia: One of his legs is longer than the other!
- Cut to interview with Jon Udry, British Young Juggler of the Year 2005.
"Hey, how come I'm not on this list?"
- Voice over: 16
100 years ago all jugglers wore fantastic ethnic costumes or circus
outfits when they performed. Then jugglers like Kara and Salerno started
wearing the same clothes as their audience and created the "Gentleman
Juggler" style, transforming how performing jugglers were perceived. Soon
the black trousers, white shirt and waistcoat became the standard costume
of all jugglers around the world.
Until Sean Mckinney that is. He performed at the IJA festivals, again
wearing the same clothes as his audience, casual "street" clothes, and
also used popular music with lyrics. Soon most young jugglers were
performing to music with lyrics and now the "pants and a vest" look is an
almost unseen costume on the juniors stage.
Last year he committed suicide, causing a flurry of dedications and
memorials. There is even a Sean Mckinney trophy that is awarded to
jugglers on a seemingly random basis at conventions in America. This year
he climbs one place in the chart.
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
Who dropped furthest to leave the chart this year? Well, Jonathan Root
was at 21 last year and doesn't feature, but Ben Jennings dropped all the
way out from number 19. Ben did get some votes, and only just missed out
on a place in the top 40... maybe we'll see him back next year. But for
- Voice over: 15
Another new entry at number 15 is Kristian Wanvik from Norway. Kristian
is a technical monster! And he juggles really, really high! This year he
appeared on the Peapot video "Headache", headlined the British Juggling
Convention show and released practice videos on the internet featuring mad
skills such as 7 ball pirouettes and really long runs of 5 club siteswaps.
Kristian wasn't invited to the WJF this year because, if too many good
European jugglers turn up to the event, Jason Garfield would have to
compete in the Intemediates category.
- Cut to interview with Paul Taylor, the Jugglingeek.
"I watched Kristian to see if I could learn anything from his amazing
technique. It turns out that I can't. It is almost as though Kristian
learnt to juggle properly."
- Voice over: 14
The highest new entry on the chart this year, Eden Zak, is also the top
placing Israeli juggler. Eden is arguably the best new bounce juggler in
the world. He performs with up to 9 balls and holds the 10 ball bounce
record. More interestingly, he is a very creative juggler, coming up with
many original tricks with just three bouncing balls.
At this point we should mention that he learnt to juggle in his garden
and try to squeeze in as many "Garden of Eden" jokes and puns as
possible... but we won't give in to the temptation.
- Voice over: 13
Down 10 at number 13 is the only female juggler on this year's chart.
Vova and Olga Galchenko used to juggle and perform together all the time,
but since the WJF convention last year they have gone their seperate
ways... most people voted for them seperately in this year's poll. Olga
Galchenko won the WJF Beginners Clubs, came second in the Womans Club
event and jointly won both team events with her brother. This year she has
performed as a solo artist at juggling conventions in the USA and won just
about every 5 club endurance too.
She missed the IJA festival this year but continues training with Jason
Garfield in preparation for the WJF competitions this December. And it was
pointed out to me the other day that she now has breasts, but due to the
sexist nature of this information it will probably edited out of this
- Cut to interview with Wes Peden, 2004 IJA Juniors Champ.
"But it's true!"
- Voice over: 12
Down 2 places at number 12 is Malte Steinmetz from Germany. Malte is a
really interesting juggler and performer, working mainly with clubs in his
own wierd and wonderful style. This year he has been working more on his
university studies than his juggling but has found the time to travel
around the world to conventions, including Rochester in America and the
European Juggling Convention in Slovenia.
At the EJC he was kept very busy hosting the Games with his long time
juggling partner Owen Reynolds, as well as performing on the main stage
and coming third in the Celebrity Fight Club night. He was also the head
judge at the Eurovision Juggle Contest, a competition to see who could
stay on stage the longest, entertaining both the audience and the panel.
- Cut to interview with Owen Reynolds, long time juggling partner of Malte.
"Malte and I are working on a DVD this year, but it won't feature any
juggling. We have actually been practicing our yoyo skills and have been
picked up by some world class sponsors. We are really excited about this!"
- Voice over: 11
Matt Hall from California is the first non-mover on the chart and stays
at number 11! Matt is one of the most enthusiastic jugglers in the known
universe and if he turns up at a convention he is likely to perform and
run more workshops than any other two jugglers put together. The result of
this is that he's a real favourite at conventions around the world,
including the Scottish Juggling Convention this year, and he's booked for
the Sydney Convention in Australia next year.
At the 2005 IJA festival he kept up his hard work, winning a whole load
of the Individual Prop Competitions, including diabolo and devilstick.
Then, after performing in the Cascade of Stars Gala show he was awarded
with the IJA People's Choice Award, a great big "thankyou" from everyone
at the convention.
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
For the second year running Olga Galchenko is the only female juggler on
the chart. Where are all the other female jugglers? Well, Gina Shvartsman,
Cindy Marvel, Francois Rochais and Kati Yla Hokkala all got some votes,
but not enough... sorry!
- Voice over: 10
Now for the real big story of the year... down 9 places at number 10 is
Jason Garfield. Yes, last year Jason held the number one spot, beating
even Anthony Gatto, but now he only just scraped into the top 10. How
could things have gone so badly?
This time last year Jason was organising the World Juggling Federation
convention and competitions, promising it would be the biggest and best
juggling event in the world with a great line up of stars, world records
being broken much, much more. How could one man doing so much for juggling
fail to be the number one? Unfortunately for Jason, the WJF event, while a
fantastic convention for everyone who attended, failed to deliver on much
of what was promised, with many special guests failing to turn up, no
world records even attempted, and more focus on dance video games than
many other traditional convention activities. Then there was the TV
broadcasts with the Garfieldian commentary by Penn and Ben...
This year Jason has kept himself in the public eye by releasing videos of
himself, but while other jugglers' videos make others admire them even
more than before, Jason's had the opposite effect. By his obsessive,
childish and unsportsmanlike attacks on Anthony Gatto, jugglers around the
world started respecting him less and less. Not evening winning his own
competitions or releasing all those WJF videos and DVDs helped him that
much, so here here he is.
Still, number 10 isn't too bad.
- Cut to interview with Anthony Gatto, worlds best juggler:
"Aaaahhh... that is all."
- Voice over: 9
Making a huge 21 place jump up the chart this year is Peter Bone from
England. Peter only goes to a few conventions and never performs. Neither
does he release many videos online... so how does he get so high on the
chart? Well, his skills speak for him, and they speak pretty loudly.
This year he has worked on club juggling and can regularly qualify seven.
But numbers juggling with balls is where he really stands out. Imagine
being able to flash 11 balls 10 times in a row without a drop, then
flashing 12 balls on your first attempt, and you'll know what it feels
like to to be Peter Bone. This year he broke all the top end records in
practice with 18 catches of 11 balls, 13 cacthes of 12 balls and, just as
this poll was brought to a close, he became the first person in the world
to ever flash 13 balls. Now all he needs to do is get these skills on
video so the rest of us can see them!
- Cut to interview with Ben Beever, former top British numbers juggler.
"Like Bruce Sarafian and Bruce Tiemann, my main function is now to goad
Peter into flashing 14 balls. He says it isn't possible for him... but who
else is going to do it? Me? At least I know 13 is possible now, so I'll
probably manage it next month..."
- Voice over: 8
Stephan Sing climbs 6 places to number 8. This year the ball manipulation
master has performed around his native Germany, including the Berlin
Juggling Convention. He stars in a new instructional DVD produced by Alan
Blim and also teaches at the Juggling Katakombs.
Online he effortlessly keeps a high profile by the old video "Bremen 3
Ball Improv" which remains a strong favourite among 3 ball jugglers
At the moment Stephan's wife is expecting a baby and has convinced
Stephan to start growing his hair again to look more like a responsible
Cut to interviw with Philip Meyhoefer, Stephan's juggling partner:
"Our new act will use over 40 different kinds of juggling balls, from
saggy beanbags, through footballs, and all the way up to walking globes.
The final sequence involves fire juggling balls too. You'll see it next
year in the EJC gala show."
- Voice over: 7
Francis Brunn died last year but is still as inspiring as ever. He is
considered the greatest performing juggler to ever grace the stage and,
while many of his individual tricks have been repeated, nobody has ever
matched his acrobatic flair and deadly precision. In his early career he
worked with numbers juggling, performing with up to ten rings. Then he
started dedicating more and more time to controlling just a single ball.
After spending the rest of his life on the manipulation of footballs,
spinning balls and small bouncing balls there was nobody who could come
close to his level of perfection, and it will probably be a long time
before anyone matches or surpasses him.
Francis was the one of the last world superstar jugglers but the first
that was recorded by good quality movie cameras. Paul Cinqevalli and
Enrico Rastelli were undoubtably bigger stars in their time, and in some
ways better jugglers, but the performances of Francis Brunn are easily
available on VHS and online, earning him many more fans among new jugglers
today. This year he climbs to his highest place on the top 40 so far, up
from last year's 16.
- Cut to interview with Chris Chiapinni, World Juggling Federation star.
"I'm a great fan of Francis Brunn, I visit his grave quite often to show
my respect. Sometimes I take my juggling props..."
- Voice over: 6
Dropping 2 places this year is British juggler Luke Burrage. There is no
point describing Luke's juggling as nobody is that impressed with it...
instead he makes it this high in the chart just by showing off a lot. Not
online, as he only bothered releasing one juggling video...
Luke performed at many juggling events this year, including the Scottish,
Sheffield, York, Freiburg, Birmingham, Nottingham and Ellesmere Port
convnetions, the British Unicycle Convention and the British Juggling
Convention. He hosted the Dutch Juggling Championship and then organised
the first British Young Juggler of Year show. In May he hosted and
headlined the Rochester convention show in America, then travelled to the
Berlin convention to both open and close the gala show.
At the EJC he hosted three main stage shows, as well as performing many
acts in those same shows. He came spectacularly last in the Eurovision
Juggle Contest and second in the Celebrity Fight Club, beaten by one point
in the final by Jay Gilligan.
Devestated by his loss, Luke vowed not to attend any more conventions for
the rest of his life and moved to Berlin with his girlfriend. He is
currently working on new material to perform next year, a DVD release, a
new website and his first book on juggling.
- Cut to interview with Nathan Rae, Luke's twin brother.
"I was on holiday in Sardinia and this guy came up to me out of nowhere
and said "Hey, you are Luke!" So I said "No, I'm not, Luke is my twin
brother," and he kept saying "Ha! That is just the kind of joke you would
play on everyone, pretending you are someone else..." What a moron."
- Voice over: Jugglers Dropped!
For our final Jugglers Dropped section we'll check out some legends.
Bobby May and Francis Brunn made the top 40 this year, but many other
great jugglers of the past failed. Enrico Rastelli, WC Fields, Paul
Cinquevalli and Bob Bramsom all got votes, but not enough to get them a
featured place... sorry.
- Voice over: 5
Up 2 places at number 5 is the one and only Jay Gilligan. Jay is the most
creative juggler in the world, a title earned by continually creating more
juggling tricks, skills, routines and shows than any other juggler. He
travels the world as a solo artist but also with Manu Laude as "Kuka". At
the IJA summer festival he revived the "Flying Wallendas Family" for
another group juggling piece for the gala show. He teaches at a circus
school in Sweden and this year he performed a full length show called "The
Fighting Machines of North Hollywood" with two of his students at the EJC.
At the EJC he was the surprise headline act in the last main stage show.
He ran a three club combat workshop explaining his philosophies and
techniques on this unique martial art. Then he demonstrated just how
devestating his combat skills are by winning the Celebrity Fight Club,
beating Luke Burrage in the final by just one point.
Jay is also living in Berlin at the moment, performing as one of the
Seven Fingers in the show "Loft" at the Chamaleon. There he performs his
trademark experimental juggling routines to a very enthusiastic mainstream
audience, closes the show with an amazing duo club juggling routine and
even does a bit of unicycling.
Interestingly, Jay has opened up his creative sessions to outside
suggestions, so if you have ever had an idea you would love to see Jay try
on stage, check his website for more details. He has a DVD out featuring
Kuka's Pop Juggling act, plus loads of other great features.
Cut to interview with Malte Steinmetz, German club juggler.
"In case anyone cares, that Fight Club final was a three juggler match,
and I wasn't that far behind."
- Voice over: 4
Down 1 at number 4 is the wonderkid club juggler Vova Galchenko. Last
year he dominated all the events he entered at the WJF convention, winning
everything except the numbers competition... yup, he won the clubs main
event, the 3 and 5 club 360s, the 5 club tricks and, with his sister, the
6 and 7 plus team competitons.
This year he plans to do just as well. He no longer juggles with Olga but
has created the team "Vnaygs" with Dave Nager. He also intends to enter
other events now that, after a long break, he's started practicing with
balls again. But it isn't always smooth sailing to victory for Vova...
this year he was beaten at the IJA 3 club competition by Luke Wilson...
Even so, Vova is undoubtably one of the best technical club jugglers in
the world, with only Anthony Gatto rivalling his pirouette combinations
with 5 clubs.
And he has a new DVD coming soon!
Cut to interview with Benji, owner of the International Juggling Cyborgs
"Mwah haaa haa haa haaaa.... and now... his soul... is mine!"
- Voice over: 3
Up 2 at number 3 is Toby Walker from Wales. Toby is a very creative
juggler with 3 to 5 clubs and singlehandedly popularised the technique now
known as "lazies". Aside from his creative pursuits he is best known for
being a technical club juggling monster! He juggles 7 clubs easily, though
often has trouble stopping, and has more 5 club tricks than anyone else,
including his trademark 5 club mills mess.
At the WJF last year he earned many new fans by coming second in the
advanced clubs event and winning the club endurance. At the EJC he
performed on the main stage, pulling off an amazing trick at the end of
his act: he balanced a ball on a club on his head, juggled 4 other
clubs... then dropped the club into the pattern to juggle five clubs and
leave the ball bouncing on his head! Bonkers!
Also at the EJC he was the proud winner of the "Golden Rumpel Award" at
the Eurovision Juggle Contest, staying on stage over twice as long as
anyone else, entertaining the audience and judges with his amazing club
juggling, as well as some novel ideas with glowballs, balloons and a fire
torch. In the end he ran out of material and still the judges hadn't held
up their cards, signalling they wanted him to go on even longer than he
Toby has a new DVD in production called "Toby the Best, too".
- Cut to interview with Sean Gandini, head of Mediacircus Productions.
"Seriously, we'll release the DVD soon... just as soon as we finish the
Siteswap DVD... and the directors cut of the Bouncing in Paris DVD..."
- Voice over: 2
Sticking at number 2 is Thomas Dietz from Germany. Thomas remains a
strong favourite through his many appearances at juggling conventions
across Europe, Asia and America. We say "appearances" because even when
Thomas doesn't perform on stage he can still be a convention highlight,
just by juggling in the gym or taking part in the games. In the Berlin
convention gala show he did a poi swinging act, just because he could.
At the WJF he won the ball numbers event, the 7 ball tricks event and did
well in all the other competitions. This year he aims to attempt a 9 ball
qualifying run, but not in the numbers competition, instead as part of his
Advanced Balls routine. If that doesn't show you how skillful and
confident this guy is, I don't know what else will.
At the EJC this summer he proved how entertaining he can be when he
premiered a new act based on a racing video game. He didn't enter the EJC
Celebrity Fight Club because Malte scared him too much at the Berlin event.
Aside from all that, people are still enjoying Thomas' old online videos,
though many are wondering when his new DVD will be out, if ever. And
finally, Thomas Dietz, after juggling 5 clubs for about 50 minutes, is the
only juggler to hold an official record that has been held either in the
past or at present by Anthony Gatto. Confusing, but work it out...
- Cut to interview with Gabi Keast, editor of Kaskade, the European
"In the new edition of Kaskade we have a special interview with Thomas
Dietz and how he successfully auditioned to join the Blue Man Group, then
we reveal why he turned them down. It is quite a story!"
- Voice over: 1
After one year away, Anthony Gatto is back at number one! Last year he
slipped down to number 6 and we commented it was because he had performed
at no conventions, released no DVDs or videos and generally held himself
apart from the juggling world. In the past year he seems to have taken
this to heart, and has gone a long, long way to earn himself the top place
in the Most Popular Juggler of the Year chart.
Even though Anthony has stayed away from conventions he created a new
"Fan Section" on his website including a very active forum where he chats
and shares advice with other jugglers. He has three new DVD releases
available or in production including Legendary Moments, To Be The Best
Three and an Alan Plotkin documentary about Anthony's life. On top of that
he has broken more world records with 7, 8 and 9 balls, 6 and 7 clubs and
If that isn't enough, Anthony has lately been releasing video clips on
his website at the rate of two or three a week, featuring those world
records, more amazing technical juggling tricks and hypothetical WJF
routines. Also he has shown off his skills with football juggling, head
bouncing and mouthstick work. And his kickups... are amazing.
As the only juggler to win the Golden Clown at the Monte Carlo Circus
Festvial he returns to their aniversary event next July to perform
again... but this time with Kris Kremo. I know we mentioned this before
but it really is worth mentioning again.
So, no matter how good you think Anthony Gatto may be, be sure to know
that in the future he will only get better and better. Congratulations to
Anthony for once again being voted the world's favourite juggler!
- Cut to interview with Jason Garfield, last year's number one on this
"Yeah, well, it isn't as though he can do 7 clubs and then catch them all
in his hands, three in one and four in the other. It isn't on any videos,
so he obvioulsy can't do it!... what? He does it in a video from Burrage's
old website, and had to because he was bouncing a ball on his head? Fuck,
that was the foundation of my whole video! His juggling skills are
untouchable... best go back to insulting his wife instead."
- Show final montage with music bubbling under end monologue.
So, that brings the top 40 chart to a close for another year, I hope
you've enjoyed it. If you are unhappy or disagree with the results, you
know what to do... get voting next year! If you disagree or are unhappy
with any of the content of this countdown, well...
My name is William Williamson, thank you and goodnight!
- Roll end credits.
----== posted via www.jugglingdb.com ==----
Actually she doesn't continue training with Jason Garfield. She broke her
training with Jason in July 2005. Now she hardly juggle at all. I don't
know how she is going to compete this December. Olga says she is going to
enter only the Beginners division.
Ah, just in time, hoped my earlier post wasn't too provoking. I think
that was 20 minutes well spent and paid for by work. And this year, I
knew almost everyone you put in the list, and a couple of diaboloists as
well, super. Glad I'm up to date now.
thanks for that luke - entertaining and informative :8)
now i just need to work out how i could possibly justify buying a ticket
to the monte carlo circus festival...
Really? That's a real shame. She's one of my favorites and, most
certainly, my daughter's favorite juggler.
Well, she's young. Maybe she will change her mind..
Not really something you can change your mind about. She's so incredibly
busy that she has no time
to juggle. I'd say its a pretty wise decision to enter beginners/not at
all if you are in her position.
Oh and great list Luke, 17 eh? cooool.
Haha, preaty funny.
Not really something you can change your mind about. She's so incredibly
busy that she has no time
to juggle. I'd say its a pretty wise decision to enter beginners/not at
all if you are in her position.
Oh and great list Luke, 17 eh? cooool.
----== posted via www.jugglingdb.com ==----
A heck of a lot of work went into that. Thank you. Where do the votes
come from? The only thread I can think of is the "Please fill in my
juggling survey" thread, but you didn't post that did you?
I only just read your last year's top 40, when it was mentioned in a
recent thread. There are some notable changes: I'm not surprised Gatto
got back to no. 1, thanks to his recent activity online; Peter Bone
deserves the giant leap he made, and I suspect it would be an even
bigger jump if the voting happened after his recent acheivement; Jason
Garfield didn't do a lot to help his popularity this year, so no
surprise there either really.
Imagine that, reading rec.juggling keeps you up to date on the opinions
present within rec.juggling, ha ha. Thanks Luke.
Thanks again for writing such an entertaining post. Just like 2003 and
2004, I loved it. Maybe one of these days I'll break the top 10. Or
maybe I'll drop completely out. Either way, keep them coming because
it's all good. See you at BJC this year, right?
I also hope she will.
I believe Ivan Pecel won the three ball prop competition in
Buffalo...didn't he? ...not Dave Nager.
I really hope that Sean will be remembered for more than just his style of
The 'seemingly random basis' upon which Sean's trophy is awarded is
explained on seanmckinney.com
In the description on the website it also states that we would like to
bring this award to the EJC in the
future. We truly hope that it will be a welcome addition to the worthy
and respectable awards already
There really hasn't been a 'flurry' of dedications and memorials. I think
this statement may be
misinterpreted as meaning that Sean's death has been glamorized to the
point that every Tom, Dick,
and Harry has created their own semi-meaningful 'memorials'. Sean's
trophy is awarded in two
separate ways (see seanmckinney.com) and there is only one dvd
highlighting Sean's juggling at this
point. As far as I know, these are the only ways that Sean's juggling is
being honored in the juggling
community (at least the only ones that are supported by Sean's family). I
just don't want people to
think things are going overboard.
I feel completely confident in saying that Sean would be thrilled to rank
number 16 on this list. Sean
was never happier in his juggling than when he was being appreciated by
other jugglers. His friends
and family are so happy that he is still entertaining and inspiring
others. That's what his competition
is all about.
Soon, Sean will be able to entertain and inspire a whole new audience. I
have signed a contract to
have several clips of Sean's juggling available for download on
I have yet to find any video of Komei Aoki anywhere on the net. Does
anyone know where I can watch this guy juggle?
Umm, eh? That's somewhat taxing for my head to take this morning. I
think I understand, might have to draw a diagram somewhere. Maybe that's
what makes you two such marvellous jugglers.
(like the videos, keep them coming)
ssshhhhhh! thanks, now everybody knows.
Great post Luke, caused many a chuckle.
It also give me an oppurtunity to showcase a spiffy new feature for the
IJDb. If you look at Luke's original message you will now see that the
names of jugglers link to their videos within the IJDb video database.
> - Voice over: 15
> Another new entry at number 15 is Kristian Wanvik from Norway. Kristian
> is a technical monster! And he juggles really, really high! This year he
> appeared on the Peapot video "Headache", headlined the British Juggling
> Convention show and released practice videos on the internet featuring mad
> skills such as 7 ball pirouettes and really long runs of 5 club siteswaps.
> Kristian wasn't invited to the WJF this year because, if too many good
> European jugglers turn up to the event, Jason Garfield would have to
> compete in the Intemediates category.
Ha ha probably yeah, actually he said that for the 2004 WJF he and Jay
Gilligan sent in profile videos but because they were in a different
format Jason probably couldn't watch them and nothing happened after that,
it would have been something to see Jay in the WJF.
> - Voice over: 11
> Matt Hall from California is the first non-mover on the chart and stays
> at number 11! Matt is one of the most enthusiastic jugglers in the known
> universe and if he turns up at a convention he is likely to perform and
> run more workshops than any other two jugglers put together. The result of
> this is that he's a real favourite at conventions around the world,
> including the Scottish Juggling Convention this year, and he's booked for
> the Sydney Convention in Australia next year.
Yay, looking forward to that! We'll be sure to add this to his credentials
when he is announced!
That's a really neat feature Colin. I think I found a problem though. If I
click someone's name to go to their videos and then click another
rec.juggling post in the original thread (in the left hand frame), it will
go back to the videos page instead of the rec.juggling post I clicked.
Maybe it's just my computer.
Well done anyway.
Not only taxing, but wrong. Ori and Avner share only one quarter of
their genes, not the one half that siblings share. Their fathers share
half of their genes, their mothers share half of theirs. That means that
of the half of Ori's he got from his mother, his aunt has half, and
Avner has half of those, making an eighth (just like normal first
cousins). Add to that the eighth that they share through their fathers,
and it makes only one quarter. They are as related as half-siblings.
This all assumes that the fathers are not related to the mothers by
anything other than marriage, which I would hope is the case.
ObJuggle: Um... I was surprised to get a few rounds of (6x,4)* the other
20th place! congrats!
I somehow didn't vote for you, although you're:
1) a jugglingfriend of mine.
2) my favourite passing partner.
3) a beta-tester of my beanbags, though you don't get them for free :)
4) probably the best beanbag juggler in israel.
I hope you'll forgive me, one day...
Instead I gave a vote to Robert Shilton (Robi). He's one of my favourite
people, who also happens to juggle. Is that a proper vote?
> This all assumes that the fathers are not related to the mothers by
> anything other than marriage, which I would hope is the case.
That's the case.. :-)
> ObJuggle: Um... I was surprised to get a few rounds of (6x,4)* the other
Nice.. it's a nice trick...
I like it, but I think it's a little too common. I always prefer to see
new tricks, or patterns that are more than just plain siteswaps. But I'm
not yet good enough with five balls to do anything really imaginative.
So I'm working on the standard five-ball stuff for now, and working on
finding a good style with three. It's working well for me: whenever I
get tired I can relax by playing with three balls, and when I feel
unimaginative I can switch my brain off and practice five or six balls.
----== posted via www.jugglingdb.com ==----
A little too common? An easy way to get out of usual and common stuff with
(6x,4)* is to make the throws from the outside and the catches on the
inside. A bit trickier, but it definitely looks different. If you can
manage a reverse cascade, you should give it a try...
Ori Roth wrote:
> Rory Parle wrote:
>> Ori Roth wrote:
>>> Rory Parle wrote:
>>>> ObJuggle: Um... I was surprised to get a few rounds of (6x,4)* the other
>>> Nice.. it's a nice trick...
>> I like it, but I think it's a little too common. I always prefer to see
>> new tricks, or patterns that are more than just plain siteswaps. But I'm
>> not yet good enough with five balls to do anything really imaginative.
>> So I'm working on the standard five-ball stuff for now, and working on
>> finding a good style with three. It's working well for me: whenever I
>> get tired I can relax by playing with three balls, and when I feel
>> unimaginative I can switch my brain off and practice five or six balls.
> Yes.. that's a good way to train both 5 and 3 balls... but I think that
> if you really want to do something solid you should train, in a training
> session, only on him, and maybe do a very short stops where you can do 3
> balls. Just my opinion..
You're right, but only if you consider it training. I juggle just for
fun, so if I learn anything at all it's only as a means to that end. I
did once spend a two hour practice session doing nothing but the
five-ball cascade to try to break my record, which was then about 25
catches. It was not much fun, but I really wanted to get 30 catches so I
kept at it until I managed it. Most of the time I don't feel like that.
I work on something usually until I feel I've made some progress, or
until I feel like I'm getting nowhere, or until I get bored, or inspired
by something else, or someone else, or I get talking to someone, or
watching someone, or I hurt myself. Given all of those things that can
interrupt me it's a wonder I ever learn anything at all.
The problem is that I'm so bad at five balls that even if I think of
something that would be new and interesting I won't be able to do it.
Not yet at least.
Part of my thinking recently has been "would I stand up in front of a
group of jugglers at a renegade show and perform this trick?" That is,
would it be new enough to be interesting to them? At the moment I don't
think there's anything I do for which the answer would be yes. Unless
you count sitting on the shoulders of two friends while juggling a
five-ball cascade, which I did last weekend at the Tralee convention.
Thanks a lot for all the feedback!