Juggling in the Winter Sun
At the end of February there was a great event, not a convention but an unusual gathering of jugglers within the Tropical Islands resort near Berlin. It was great to relax in the spa, watch the flamingos or swim in the various themed indoor or outdoor pools. The flumes were definitely a hit with the jugglers although we were probably not the most popular with the lifeguards as we tried to toss our props about at every given opportunity.
The main gathering point was at the end of the South Sea, which is on the opposite side of the park to the entrance. So once you drop off your bags, don your swimsuit and trek through the amazon and flamingo enclosure you find a large pool – the South Sea – with a large ship docked in the centre. To the right is the trade entrance with a large garage door and storage areas – a perfect large empty space for training juggling, bouncing, diablo, staff, contact hoop, lasso and hat manipulation. Numbers juggling was also no problem with a ceiling approximately 60 meters high!!!
On the Friday evening there was a small core group and we spent some time alternating between swimming and training before hitting the tropical lagoon bar where one guy was attempting acrobatics on the supportive pillars behind us. We later returned to an impromptu lasso masterclass by a talented American Entertainer called Brie. The lights were lowered and we bedded down on the sun loungers. I personally had just taken a beach towel as I was aware of the 26 degree temperatures in the building, however others appreciated their sleeping bags as the temperature did drop slightly during the night.
I was woken up at 5am with the unphased staff cleaning around us and refreshing the pools, my face slightly sore having been pressed against a juggling club used as a makeshift pillow. It wasn’t long before people started stirring and a new day had begun. The open space soon filled with talented people, many quite happily throwing advanced tricks with 7 balls or 5 clubs. There were plenty of people passing and one lady performing very beautiful hoop rolling patterns on the lower level.
As the day progressed the building filled with scantily clad people. Each and every lounger had been claimed, and the pools became unbearably crowded with quite an even mix of both Polish and German speakers making the decision to either swim outdoors or juggle very easy.
As the day drew to a close, and the masses started to depart the pools and spa cleared and were once again filled with exhausted jugglers – just gaining their second wind! That evening there was a fight night competition hosted by Luke Burrage, the man himself. It was a delight to watch and a few of the regular customers crowded around the edges to see what was going on. This was soon followed by a mix of open stage and games. We were treated to a mixture of silly games including running across the beach with balls on our feet, two girls trying to knock cups off their heads with straws and some sand juggling – which actually worked really well! The artists struggled with kickups as each prop vaulted into the air came with a large cloud of sand. However, this only
added to the show as it the sand only confirmed the fact the jugglers were truly experts. The final act was performed by three amazingly talented younger artists with a mixture of club passing and stealing – an impossible act to follow!
It was certainly a great event and the beach backdrop was a perfect break from the winter weather. See you all very soon!
Want to see more?
Check out Luke’s VLog: https://youtu.be/9_qBbP3_ciM
Upcoming events in Berlin:
Feuer Camp Berlin Convention 19th – 21st May 2017 Germany (Deutschland)
Berliner Jonglier Convention 2017 14th – 17th Sep 2017 Germany (Deutschland)
But where were the Polish jugglers?
Tropical Islands and Berlin are right on the doorstep of anyone living in and around Poznan, where there
is an active juggling scene. So why is it that People of Poznan are more likely to make a long trek across to Ostróda or Kraków for a large event, ignoring similar events much closer, such as these, where there is a very active and international juggling scene. Why do we dismiss these events? Is it because we are worried about the language, culture or cost? Perhaps we are missing out on a huge wealth of international talent and skill sharing? Perhaps if we strengthen our links with the juggling community in Berlin, we can strengthen our own community in Poland with new ideas, skills and disciplines?
That was certainly my conclusion when I met up with jugglers including from Germany, Austria the UK and the USA in a very unique environment. Tropical Islands is certainly not the place you would initially think of as a juggling destination, but with waterfalls, rapids, jacuzzis and flumes it is certainly a unique jugglers paradise.
Do you know of any events or artists that would like to appear in the blog?
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