Juggling as Kinetic Art

As a Beatles fan, and a juggler, I was intrigued to run across this astonishing performance from comedian Chris Bliss, who started his showbiz life as a juggler. Juggling as a tribute and a celebration… It’s actually quite moving.

Performed in front of an audience to the music of the Beatles’ Golden Slumbers, he provides a sustained exhibition of proficiency and emotion.  It cheers me up whenever I see it.  I’ve watched this three-ball juggling display several times now, and I twitch sympathetically in my chair with every behind-the-back throw.

My efforts as a juggler are mostly long past, but for brief moments after watching this, I’m inspired to get the orbs moving around once more.

After Chris Bliss’s video circulated, certain other jugglers were miffed at the attention he received.  One fellow in particular, Jason Garfield, decided that he could do much better, so he decided to use the same music and do a five-ball juggling routine.  Shot in a gym, the video is poorly lit, but there’s no denying the amazing technical ability of the performer.  He went so far as to incorporate the audio from the Chris Bliss performance as well as its closing visuals.  He obviously feels underappreciated.  The motivation is a little sad.

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4 Comments on “Juggling as Kinetic Art”

  1. qazse Says:

    Agreed. The genius of the Bliss performance was the vision, Garfield comes off as myopic.

  2. secretmojo Says:

    What a fantastic example of the difference between a dancer and a gymnast. Bliss’s performance honored the music; Garfield used the music to show off. Both impressive, but Bliss was the whole package, even with 2 balls fewer.

  3. fencer Says:

    Yes… athleticism versus connection with the material and the audience. The burr under Garfield’s saddle was that he didn’t have an audience standing by, I think. (Not sure where the horse metaphor came from…)


  4. […] Finally, I must mention a video that literally had me laughing in joy. Similar to Fencer’s juggling links (which still get me to this day), these two demonstrations (top of page) of a funky instrument called “the stick” had me clapping my hands (yes, it’s true) and yelling at my screen: “My god, that is so. fucking. coooooool!” […]


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