For almost thirty years, Gandini Juggling has been setting the bar for juggling performances across the world. Their work blends with performance art and truly pushes the limit of what can be done with juggling as an art form.
Although the skills on display are spectacular, too many of the routines feel quite similar
This show sees a cast of six talented jugglers perform tightly choreographed routines inspired by or reacting to eight classic songs. An excellent and simple theme for a skill that relies as much on rhythm as it does concentration. Each song has a clearly different impact on the jugglers; there’s playful, sexy, and comical takes; and one number feels like a religious revival in the vein of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You music video. The songs are also integrated into short dramatic vignettes that top and tail each section. These are intriguing, often funny and give the cast a chance to add some personality to the performance. Some are stronger than others but each gets to shine.
Highlights include an amazing ball-spinning routine that seemingly defies gravity and would stun a Harlem Globetrotter, a fun take on seduction, and a few wonderfully surreal interactions between the cast.
This really is juggling at its best but unfortunately, although the skills on display are spectacular, too many of the routines feel quite similar. Each of the sections are perfect displays of juggling finesse and would be amazing on their own but, after the first couple, there’s a bit of repetition going on and I can feel the audience response start to flag.
It may be that the only real failing here is that audiences never truly understand the level of skill involved in a juggling show. As we leave the auditorium, one gentleman comments that the cast dropped the balls a lot. Considering there are six jugglers onstage and that there have to be literally thousands of throws in this show, to have only nine (yes, I counted) unintentionally dropped balls is nothing short of spectacular.