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The Greatest Juggling Tricks Of All Time (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this article, I examined a wide array of nearly unbelievable tricks performed by Enrico Rastelli, Alexander Kiss, Ernest Montego, Alberto Sforzi, and several others. Response to that article was greater than just about any other piece I’ve written for eJuggle, so I’m glad to share even more of what I consider to be some of the greatest juggling tricks of all time.

Paul Conchas (born Paul Hutt) was probably the greatest of the heavyweight jugglers of the late nineteenth and earliest twentieth century. His most famous feat was balancing a cannon, complete with the carriage and wheels, on his forehead. For me, his most impressive trick was juggling six solid steel cannon balls.  He apparently demonstrated to the audience that these weighed 56 pounds (25.4 kilograms) each! This wasn’t just a staged trick for a photograph, but something he regularly performed. This sounds completely impossible, but then again, so do many of the tricks included in this series of articles.


Conchas Conchas2

Many jugglers, such as Enrico Rastelli, Rudy Cardenas, and Evgeni Biljauer mastered the skill of bouncing two balls on the head at the same time. As I mentioned in part 1 of this article, Alexander Kiss learned to juggle four sticks while heading two balls. However, two jugglers took head bouncing one step further. Both Paolo Piletto and Konstantin Nikolskij bounced three balls on their foreheads in performance.

PilettoPaolo Piletto

Russian superstar Albert Petrovski was able to bounce a ball on his forehead while flashing ten rings in performance.

Petrovski2

Anthony Gatto has succeeded in flashing 11 rings with a head bounce in practice. Gatto has also managed to run 7 clubs, 9 rings, and 9 balls while heading a ball, all which can be seen in the video below. The video also shows Anthony’s world record of qualifying 8 clubs!

Pavel Evsukevich has managed to flash 11 rings while balancing another ring on his forehead. See this and other great tricks below.

Combining a head balance and ball bounce was first done by Youri Borzykine from Ukraine, who bounced a ball on a platform located at the top of a pole that was balanced on his forehead. He performed this while juggling five large balls and walking on a large rolling globe.

Borzykine

Click here to watch video of Youri Borzykine performing this trick.

Valentino Bihorac, Artem Khomanko, Lauri Koskinen, and Ryunosuke Yamazumi also perform with the ball bounce / pole balance.

Click here to see Valentino perform five rings with the ball bounce / pole balance near the end of the video.

Click here to see Artem Khomanko juggling five clubs on stilts while doing the ball bounce / pole balance.

Click here to see Lauri Koskinen juggling five rings with the ball bounce / pole balance.

Click here to see Ryunosuke Yamazumi juggling five large balls while doing the ball bounce / pole balance.

At the beginning of the twentieth century Kathi Gultini demonstrated the unbelievable skill of balancing a couch on her head while juggling four couch cushions. Once again, this wasn’t just a photo opportunity. It was a well-known part of her act.

Gultini1

Many jugglers have combined juggling with playing musical instruments, but the greatest example of this probably belongs to Franco Piper. This early twentieth century performer was able to juggle four banjos and play them at the same time!

FrancoPiper

An extremely unique trick was performed by Bert Holt. He hung from a rope that was held in his teeth while juggling four sticks, balancing a bottle on his forehead, balancing a bottle on his foot, and spinning a ring on his other ankle. He also juggled six rings while spinning a ring on each ankle while swinging on the teeth-held rope. Unfortunately, Bert fell and broke his back when the rope broke during a performance, ending his career.

BertHolt

Holt

Many jugglers, such as Willy Jaeger and his daughter Jenny Jaeger, perfected multiple balances. Perhaps the most incredible example was that of Bruski, who balanced five poles with balls perched at the top of each while idling on a giraffe unicycle. Note that all five balances are “active” balances, not “static” balances using broad bottomed pedestals.

Bruski

One of the most unbelievable combination tricks ever performed was achieved by Angel Bojiloff and is now done by his son, Angel Jr. It involves juggling three rings in one hand, spinning four ungimmicked plates with the other hand, spinning a ring on one ankle, and spinning another ring on a mouth stick, all while lying on a slack rope. Below is a picture of Angel Sr. doing the trick and a video of his son performing it.

Bojilov

Gentlemen jugglers such as Kara and Salerno performed many amazing feats, but one of their competitors, Charles Hera, achieved one particular trick that seems impossible. Kara would light a candle while it was flipped out of its candlestick before being caught again. Hera would flip seven candles out of a candelabra and catch them all back in place! Supposedly gentleman juggler Adanos later learned this same trick.

Hera

In Part 3 of this article, I’ll address some team juggling tricks as well as some more classic and modern solo tricks that are among the greatest ever accomplished.

3 years ago by in Featured , Opinion/Theory/History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the | RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
About

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twelve books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA). His favorite color is purple and his favorite food is filet mignon.

2 Comments to The Greatest Juggling Tricks Of All Time (Part 2)
    • David Cain
    • I spoke to Bruski’s son about the trick pictured in the article. The mouth stick was not an active balance. I was wrong concerning this fact in the article.

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