209 festival logo

The 2009 Berkeley Juggling and Unicycling Festival

that's not a moon, it's a juggling festival


  • Friday, September 18th 5pm to midnight
  • Saturday, September 19th 9am to midnight
  • Sunday, September 20th 9am to 5pm


Berkeley High School
1980 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA

Greetings! The 2009 Berkeley Juggling and Unicycling Festival is nearly here, and we hope you can join us for our most exciting festival yet.

We have a new, larger venue, later hours, a show packed full of talent and, best of all, you! Whatever your game and however well you play -- whether you're just throwing that thrilling first beanbag or working on throw seventeen in a 5-ball Mills Mess, learning to pass or practicing 8-club three count, jumping downed trees or tottering along a wall on your girlfriend's unicycle -- the Berkeley Juggling and Unicycling Festival is the place to be. Meet some of the best jugglers and unicyclists on the West Coast and watch in awe as they ply their craft. Pass along the joy and teach someone a new trick. And if you're lucky enough to be just starting your journey with the circus arts, you couldn't find a better place to pick up the basics. Read on, and join us September 18th at Berkeley High School to kick it all off...

Locations, Maps and Transportation

i can take you as far as tashi station...

As you may have heard, we had some last-minute hiccups with our venue this year. Never fear! The variety show will maintain its traditional stage at King Jr High School, but we managed to secure a larger, more centrally located gym at Berkeley High School for daily juggling, unicycling and general fun. This relocation, though undoubtably an inconvenience for those of you accustomed to driving straight to King, means that we can finally keep the gym open until midnight on Friday and Saturday!

In addition to the extra space and late hours, our new location puts us closer to downtown Berkeley with it's pleathora of shops and restaurants, and is a mere two blocks from the downtown BART station. We encourage all attendees to carpool and use public transit if at all possible. Saturday morning, Berkeley has a large Farmer's Market just across the street with great food and a public plaza for any attendees who want to sample local produce and the Bay Area sunshine.

Berkeley High School

primary festival venue

berkeley high map preview

1980 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA

King Jr High School

variety show stage

king map preview

1781 Rose St.
Berkeley, CA

Variety Show

great show kid, that was one in a million!

The Berkeley Festival's public variety show has become a community event, attracting over 400 attendees last year! We work hard to provide a show with a variety of acts from the full spectrum of circus arts, and this year promises to be our best ever: after a two year absence, Frank Olivier will be returning as emcee, and together we have assembled a selection of performers from the incredible pool of talent here in the Bay Area.

The show is family friendly, fun for all ages and the best entertainment value you can possibly imagine! All show proceeds go directly to funding the Berkeley Juggling and Unicycling Festival and supporting circus arts in our community. This year, we are partnering with Climate Theater to make our event even greater! Aside from arriving with your props and positive spirit, attending the show (and convincing your friends to join you!) is the best way to support our efforts.

BJUF Variety Show

When and Where and How Much?

  • Saturday, September 19th at 7:30pm doors at 7:10pm
  • King Jr High School, 1781 Rose St., Berkeley, CA
  • $10, General Admission
Frank Olivier Emcee Extraordinaire

Franklin Olivier developed his unique off-beat brand of humor in San Francisco's comedy clubs, and has shared the bill with Dana Carvey, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and many others. After three years on the Broadway hit show "Sugar Babies", Olivier has a growing number of television appearances including The Tonight Show, Comic Strip Live, and shows for PBS, HBO, BBC, Disney and more. He also headlines Las Vegas, comedy and theater festivals, and performs countless corporate shows.

Louise Lovelle Artistic Silk

With a background in music and theatre, Louise began training aerial silks in 2005. She performed on both coasts with Firefly Aerial Acrobatics and taught silks and static trapeze at The New York Circus Arts Academy. She currently resides in the Santa Cruz mountains with her rockin' husband, Corbin Dunn. She can be found teaching silks classes at Gravity Arts in Santa Cruz.

Chris Garcia Draco the Juggler

Draco the Juggler (Chris Garcia) was influenced and taught under the style of Matt Hall, a Japanese teacher and amazing juggler at his school, Silver Creek High. Draco was the vice president and president of the SC Jugglers his junior and senior year. After high school he became the 2008 CA Diabolo Champion upon winning first place at the Cal State Yoyo Contest in San Francisco. He is now head organizer of the UC Santa Cruz Juggling club and head organizer of the Santa Cruz Juggling Festival.

Ryan Woessner Freestyle Unicycle Champion

Hang onto your hats, Ryan, the current World Freestyle Unicycle Champion, is about to blow you away with a demonstration of freestyle unicycling at the highest levels!

Michael Davis Classic Juggling Comedy

Michael Davis is the original comedian/juggler of the New Vaudeville. For over 25 years he has entertained audiences with his wit and skill on the television, broadway stage and countless corporate comedy shows.

Poetic Motion Machine Group Movement and Juggling

This eclectic and versatile Juggling Quartet combines stunning new age club passing with creative choreography and hilarious antics in an awe inspiring new stage routine that won them the 2009 IJA Team Championships Bronze Medal.

Kaori Matsuzawa Artistic Unicycling

Kaori Matsuzawa has been riding unicycles for 13 years with unmatched grace. She was a competitor and a unicycle coach in her native Japan, and is now a full-time student at a California university. Kaori has won world championships in individual free style and pairs freestyle, and has been runner-up in group freestyle. She was also featured on Dan Heaton's "Defect" DVD. Kaori occasionally teaches unicycling in different countries and states.

Jean Paul Valjean Eccentric Object Balancing

Jean-Paul was born in Algeria, Africa to fourth-generation circus performers (trained in the European tradition) who passed on their art to their family. At the young age of 5, he made his debut as the youngest high-wire performer in the world in London, England. This was the start of a long and distinguished career showcasing his talents in numerous European and American circuses and variety shows. In terms of his current work, he prides himself on his shows being a variety act for all age groups–sophisticated humor for the adults and sight humor for the younger set.

Noah Malone Technical Juggling

Noah Malone is 14 years old and has been juggling for nearly three years; moving quickly from basics with a set of gift beanbags to practicing two hours a day. Noah won a five ball best trick competition medal in 2009, and came in second place at the World Juggling Federation 2007 training camp.

The Athletic Playground Acrobatics

Practitioners of functional, organic movement coupled with a deep mind-body awareness for fitness and fun. The Athletic Playground will be showcasing the fruits of their labor.

SJRI Juggling Research

The Stanford Juggling Research Institute presents their latest findings from the cutting edge of geeky, scientific juggling. We'll award a special prize to audience members who draw correct casual diagrams for all the patterns SJRI juggles.

Dan Holzman Comedic Object Manipulation

Perhaps best known for his riveting performance in a supporting role in the cult horror classic, "It's Alive", at the tender age of eleven, Dan is also a first class juggler, a crack comedian and rather inventive with a simple can of tennis balls,

Schedule and Workshops

but with the blast shield down, i can't even see... how am i supposed to free mount?

You're never too old to learn something new! No circus arts festival would be complete without an assortment of workshops, and we have something for everyone again this year, from complex passing patterns and whip cracking to mountain unicycling and good old fashion balloon tying (just don't put your local clown out of business!)

While the general festival times noted below are fixed, please understand that the workshop schedules may need to be adjusted during the festival. We generally announce workshops to the gym as they begin, but please check with the front desk throughout the day for updates. If you'd like to run a workshop, contact us and we'll work with you to find a time.

Friday, September 18th

5:00pm Festival Grand Opening
5:00pm - 10pmOpen juggling, passing, etc outside or in the gym
6:00pm Unicycle repair workshop (Tom Holub)
6:30pm Beginners Juggling and Unicycling (props provided)
7:00pm Unicycle Basketball demonstration and pickup games in the gym
8:00pm Juggling master class (Jason Garfield)
10:00pmRENEGADE SHOW! (contact us to perform)
12:00m Gym closes - after hours juggling continues at the Prop Box (see front desk for address)

Saturday, September 19th

9:00am Festival resumes!
9:00am - 7pmOpen juggling, passing, etc outside or in the gym
10:00am Big wheel unicycle rolling party to the Berkeley Marina
10:00am Slacklining (Dylan Fairbanks)
10:00am 180's, 360's and body throws (Jason Garfield)
10:30am Beginners Juggling and Unicycling (props provided)
11:00am Clubmotion: Club Wrist Traps (Johnston bros)
11:30am Understanding Siteswap (Jordan Campbell)
11:30am Beginner to Intermediate Hooping (hoops provided) (Natasha)
12:00n Advanced Diablo skills (Chris Garcia)
12:00n Unicycle Trials course opens
1:00pm Right and Left Handed Passing (SJRI)
1:00pm Mountain Unicycling basics (Tom Holub)
1:00pm Beginning to Intermediate Balloon Twisting (Alex Corby)
1:30pm Beginning Doubles Staff (Noel Yee)
2:00pm Movement while passing in a 3 person feed (Poetic Motion Machine)
2:00pm My First MUni Ride, Tilden Park (carpool/shuttle from King school)
2:30pm Beginners Juggling and Unicycling (props provided)
3:00pm Beginner/Intermediate whip crafting and cracking demo/workshop
3:00pm Beginning Contact Juggling: Learn the basics of balancing, rolling and isolating a ball.Beginner/Intermediate whip crafting and cracking demo/workshop
3:30pm Beginning Club Passing (Jordan Campbell)
4:00pm Club Multiplexing, beginner/intermediate, advanced topics at 4:30pm
4:00pm Beginning Poi and Poi Practice: Get the tips and trick that will set you on the road to technical poi.
5:00pm Freestyle Unicycle master class, Ryan Woessner, freestyle world champion)
5:30pm Club Swinging (Brian Thompson)
7:00pm Gym closes to prep for show
9:30pm Gym reopens after show is over
12:00m Gym closes - after hours juggling continues at the Prop Box (see front desk for address)

Sunday, September 20th

9:00am Festival resumes!
9:00am - 5pmOpen juggling, passing, etc outside or in the gym
10:00am Mountain Unicycle ride, Joaquin Miller Park (carpool/shuttle from King school)
10:00am Clubmotion: Scissor Theory (Jeremiah Johnston)
10:30am Beginners Juggling and Unicycling (props provided)
10:30amHoop Isolation (Brian Thompson)
11:00amPoi - Stops and Stalls: Learn the theory and practice of stopping your poi and add punctuation to your spinning.
11:00am Unicycle Trials course opens
11:00am Ball Spinning
11:30am Beginning Contact Staff (Noel Yee)
11:30am Beginners Hoop Dance (Jacque' Quirk)
12:00n Acrobalance basics (The Athletic Playground)
12:00n Intermediate/Advanced Club Passing and Theory (Chuck Fernald, jugglingfan.org)
12:00n Contact Juggling Show and Tell: Bring a ball and a trick and let's talk about whats new in CJ.
12:00nBeginning Partner Poi: Get started spinning poi with a partner. If you can spin a 3 beat weave and a butterfly you are ready to start doing them with a friend. Bring a friend... or we'll provide you with a new one! (Greg Maldonado and Maragaret Wommack)
12:30pm Top Hat manipulation and perhaps rope spinning (Larry Kluger)
1:00pm Juggling Competitions and Games!
1:00pm - 4:00pmUnicycle games, hockey, basketball, ultimate frisbee, tug-of-war, etc
5:00pm Festival ends - see you next year!

Construction Zone: Learn to Juggle

you've taken your first step into a larger world

At the BJC, we firmly believe everyone can, and should, learn to juggle. Newcomers, the Construction Zone is for you! A juggling festival is the perfect place to learn how to juggle, whether the thought just came to you or you've been wanting to learn for years. We have a special area set aside that we call the Construction Zone, replete with basic props and helpful volunteers, where you can quickly move from your initial drops right into that thrilling first cascade.

Jugglers: volunteering in the Construction Zone is a great way to meet people and give back to the juggling community. Do you remember how exciting it was to get that first exchange? To finally get a cascade running? Now you can help others find the joy of juggling. Please see us at the front desk if you're interested in helping us staff the Construction Zone.


elegant props for a more civilized age

We're lucky enough to have several vendors onsite to satisfy all your prop and equipment needs.

Serious Juggling and the WJF will be on hand throughout the weekend. Supporting our vendors is another great way to show your support for the Berkeley Festival; buy props for that new juggler in your life today!


help us, you're our only hope

In addition to lots of hard work by the festival organizers we owe a debt of gratitude to the Berkeley Unified School District for providing our home five years running. We would also like to give a special thank you to our non-profit sponsor Climate Theater, support them whenever you can!

Of course, none of this would be possible without you, the attendees! Y'all are the reason we put this thing on year after year, so do us a favor: have a great time and come back next year!