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Multi-tasking Jugglers Teach Audience Their Tricks

Harvard Juggling Club

By Brian D. Goldstein, Contributing Writer

Visitors to the Harvard Juggling Club’s performance this weekend may find themselves coming away with more than just a smile.

The members of the Juggling Club don’t just juggle. Their audience-friendly shows often involve jokes, pulling audience members into the act and even the occasional juggling tutorial.

The club’s performances usually begin with members briefly juggling individually to introduce themselves and show off their specialties. Then they take a tag-team approach, with members joining in intricate patterns with many jugglers tossing balls at once.

“Numbers” juggling often starts with one person tossing a few bags, but can soon grow to four, five, six or even seven bags and by the end of the show may include three-person juggling patterns.

The expertise of Juggling Club members runs nearly the full gamut—expect to see bags, as well as balls, clubs, sticks and yo-yos at Arts First. The “Devil Sticks,” performed by Katherine E. Aidala, consist of two small sticks that are used to toss and spin a third longer stick, while the “Diablo,” or Chinese yo-yo, is the specialty of Zachary B. Stone ’03, according to Club President Bradley P. Burns ’04.

The club members learn what works best from their past shows and by watching other jugglers perform, and change their act accordingly.

Improvisation is a part of their practice as well. Burns says members gather for an hour and a half each week to enjoy Sunday afternoons in each other’s company. During these sessions, club members trade tips and tricks and prepare for their public performances.

At Arts First, expect to see expert juggling that gets more interesting as audience participation increases. Audience members may soon find themselves not just watching but also learning to juggle.

—The Harvard Juggling Club will perform in front of the Science Center at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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