So recently, Junming Lin posted the following video of him doing a 12 ring flash.
Crazy, right? As you can see, part of the challenge is just launching that many rings to begin with. My biggest stumbling block in trying to learn 7 is that I’m finding it very difficult to cleanly release 4 rings from one hand. As you can see in the video, Junming approaches this by starting with 4 in each hand, then 2 in hip holsters at his sides, and 2 in his mouth. His pattern is synchronous, meaning that he is throwing from both hands at the same time.
Shortly afterwards, Pavel Evsukevich released this video. Pavel is one of my favorite jugglers to watch these days, and also happens to be an incredibly nice guy. I met him and got to spend some time with him at the 2012 IJA Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Pavel is choosing to launch 5 from each hand, with 2 rings in hip holsters to start. But he also demonstrates a 10 ring qualify, 10 rings with a balance, 13 catches of 11 rings, and perhaps most incredibly an 11 ring flash with a ring head balance. You’ll also notice Pavel does all of these asynchronously, meaning his hands throw out of synch with each other. Not necessarily better or worse, but different.
Wes is one of the most popular jugglers performing today, and this video will give you an idea why. Aside from being an outstanding technical juggler, his acts are full of so much creativity. I’ve watched him perform with non-jugglers, and had them ask me, “What is that he just did?”, and the answer is usually, “I have no idea. Nobody really does. That doesn’t have a name; that’s just Wes doing his thing.” Watch how he makes use of the entire stage, incorporates body movement, has a wide variety of throws and catches, moves between props, mixes props, etc. etc. I think this was filmed at the 2012 St. Louis festival, where I first saw him perform live.
I was backstage for the 2013 championships, and this routine completely floored me. I was familiar with a few of the incredible acts that were competing, and I wasn’t familiar with Kyle going into the competition. I sure am now. This routine emphasized a point I’d been realizing for some time: circus school really matters. I know many jugglers who have not attended circus school, and some who have. While I know great jugglers of both kinds, those that did generally put together much better routines, whether or not the juggling itself is better. The choreography, the mood, the theme… just beautiful.