söndag 4 december 2016

Review - Pink on the inside - exaggerated macho juggling and pink tricks

It is extremely rare to see juggling shows in Luleå, but some time ago it was possible to see the one man juggling show "Pink on the inside" by David Eriksson in Luleå, with a following panel discussion about gender afterwards.

Since I have seen many other juggling shows, my first reaction was "oh no, not another apple juggling think" when he picked up his apples to juggle. But it was some new things to it, but the first half of the show I must say that I thought he was mostly annoying in a weird way that I have a hard time pointing out. But I got some flashbacks from my childhood when I went to the summer cabarets at Liseberg with the Swedish magician and comedian Carl-Einar Häckner, since their styles somewhat reminds of each other.

At the panel discussion afterwards I got the feeling that I was not the only one that felt strangely annyed by the first half, so it might have been good that there was no break so that we had to stay and get the effect of the transformation to the pink side that came later.

Picture from Umeå Teaterförening

The show consisted of both a lot of juggling but also a lot of "tricks", that sometimes were very highlighted and sometimes just extra decoration. It must have taken a lot of time to set up the stage and I am impressed by the number of things that just magically seemed to be a the right place at the right time. I also really liked the backdrop that consisted of toilett paper rolls, mostly because I really like when everyday objects that everyone can relate to are cool to use in circus shows.

Picture from pitfestival.no

From the panel discussion I think my opinion about being macho is along the lines that it is ok to be macho, but there should be no value in it like it is today where you might be perceived as less manly if you are less macho. I think it should be equally ok to be macho as not to be for both genders.

Picture from Cirkulart

For the show, I think it was a very current theme, but sometimes a little bit too exaggerated, but I do recommend to see it both for the juggling and for the discussion afterwards.

fredag 2 december 2016

Aerial in black and white

R's and my friend Wilhelm visited us at training some weeks ago to take more photos with his analogue cameras. He has a blog where he uploads his pictures along with information from the camera that can be found here.

So for the first time R and I tried to both climb the silks. I know that partner silks are possible and done by a lot of people, but we just gave it a go and climbed one silk each! So much fun to both be there at the same time!

When this photo was uploaded someone commented that it looked like we were playing some kind of vertical Twister and I couldn't agree more, but Twister i fun. I think much of the partner things I have done feel a little like Twister where two bodies have to share a small space and cooperate in the movement.

When I started out doing acro things with R it could sometimes feel a little awkward to move around like this but after a while at elast I got used to it and are now trusting R and myself a lot while doing bot aerial and acro yoga.

This photo captures the joy of acro yoga and partner acrobatics!

I think this is the best photo of me in the collection! It captures how it really feels when aerial is done the right way - like a weightless flying!

I like the pictures a lot and think they make both me and R look good, so I wanted to include this photo that shows how it looks in between the great photos where we resat and discuss what we can do differently. In circus there is a lot of trying, failing, resting and evaluation before reaching results!

måndag 26 september 2016

Analog acro yoga photography at Medieval picknick

Some weeks ago there was a Medieval picknick with the SCA club Frostheim. I dressed up in my jester costume, played some nyckelharpa, talked to nice people and learnt some viking chess resembling game.

We also managed to do some acro yoga on a sheep skin, which was captured on a very nice analog photo.  It is a little more than a year now since I tried acro yoga for the first time, and when I look back I can really see the development and things that seemed impossible then are easy now, and that is one of the things I like the most with circus!

The fact that my flyer is more than double my age also proves that almost anyone can start doing acro yoga!

fredag 9 september 2016

Medieval days in Luleå - workshops, fire perfomance and midnight sun!

Every summer the Medieval club Frostheim arranged the fantastic event of the Medieval Days at the open air museum Hägnan, close to the World Heritage of Gammelstad in Luleå. It was an amazing location with old buildings bathing all night in the midnight sun.

Together with Phire I hosted a jester and juggling workshop twice a day to let both children and adults try some equipment. I sometimes think that the parents think it is as fun as the children, but need an excuse to start picking up things and trying them. 

Cleaning after circus workshop. Photo by Robin Forsman
The poi with the colorful tails was always popular, as well as the spinning plates. Among the 9-12 year olds quite many had tried the diabolo before and was able to pick up some new understanding and skills of that. Some years ago I did not enjoy teaching as much as practising myself, but this time it was very fun to teach and spread circus to people that maybe otherwise would not ave had a try. I think it is important to let people try juggling and circus sin order to raise both the status and appreciation of circus skills.

When I was not holding workshops I was enjoying the other things the Medieval days offered. I looked at amazing handcrafts, listened to music, watched people's great costumes and clothes and talket to all the nice people. I watched heavy fighting, attended dance workshops and played nyckelharpa to another dance workshop. One night we had some spontanious acro yoga workshop!

The other nights we were having barbecue, singing songs, listening to the band, trying out medieval drinks, dancing, and talking in the big house to escape the mosquitoes.

Doing acroyoga performance with Riia. Photo by David Granberg
The last evening Phire had a fire show that was among one of the best we have done together so far. I did an acro yoga routine, a fire fan dance and a partner poi choreography and was very happy with all of that. 

I some ways I was more nervous for this fire shows since the audience had seen many other fire shows before and could actually compare more fair than the general audience. I was also worried that the fire would not give the same effect in the sun, since the sunlight never disappears, but it turned out just fine and it was nice to not freeze while performing. The fact that one of the best jesters in Sweden was in the audience would maybe have made me nervous, but since we had been hanging out during the week I was surprisingly relaxed about that. I often think that since I dont judge people that are not as silled as me, people more skilled than me probably don't judge my performances either.

Fire fan dance. Photo by Kristina Espmark
Performing together really does a lot in getting closer as a group as it both puts some pressure and stress, and require a lot of cooperation. Being a part of a group has really helped me to move forward in circus skills, expand my comfort zone and doing circus with great people!
Group photo with all performers from Phire! Photo by Phire

lördag 3 september 2016

Stockholm Juggling Weekend 2016 -reunite with friends and playing juggling games!

I am back after a long time with no see, but there has been quite a lot of juggling!

I spent the summer working in Göteborg which made it possible to go to Stockholm for Stockholm juggling weekend, a small juggling convention co-arranged with the Swedish national unicycle championships.

I also had a reunion with my friend from the time at circus school at Greentop, who came all the way from Ireland to visit the convention. She said it was cute that the convention was so small, but that it was nice because you got to talk with everyone, as we were just about 20 participants.

Jugglers practising at Stockhom Juggling Weekend! Photo by Rebecca.

I spent the days mostly passing clubs since I really like to do that but too seldom I have someone to pass with. I tried Brunos nightmare, and almost learned Roundabout. I took some time to get my head around it but after a while it got better, but I both want and need to practise them again.

I am always happy that people have the patience to teach me things, and I think in juggling (and maybe most things) it is a lot of  "pay it forward" when it comes to teach people new things. When I started learning how to pass clubs I always felt bad because I was always the one dropping but now I am more confident with just trying new things over and over again to learn them.

Practising Roundabout. Photo by Rebecca

When I was not juggling I watched some unicycle competitions with unicycle hockey being the funniest! At the evenings we watched juggling videos lying at a crash mat eating crisps.

I would say that the best things with conventions are all the juggling games! Maybe I appreciate them even more since I usually dont have enough jugglers around in Luleå to be able to play them. We did Jolleyball, Gladiator, and a (for me) new game that was like gladiator in teams, and of course some regular games!

Juggling fight! Photo by Rebecca

tisdag 26 januari 2016

Preparing for Riga after a nice start in Luleå!

I have now moved back to the north of Sweden! It is so nice to back and continuing my studies and meeting all my old and new friends at the university circus club Phire!
I started my first full day in Luleå with creating a staff routine with my partner poi partner E that we then performed in the evening at the dinner for graduates from Luleå University of Technonogy!

Back to a snowy Luleå University of Technology

We went to a martial arts room with mirrors and since we had such a short of time we did a speed version of our usual method for creating choreographies. We also practised our old partnerpoi choreography and it went on without any mistakes at all. It seems like I will never forget how to do it!

We also played around with our encore with some special poi that involved glasses and water that was supposed to look like champagne.

A blurry picture when I still have the nice hairdo and clothes from the LED show at the graduation dinner.
Later at night at the venue I met up with the rest of Phire to do some fire mingle before the stage LEDshow. It feel so nice to be back! Luckily this was just before the cold hit Luleå so it was not too cold, and we wore our medieval clothing made from thick wool.

I am not sure which one I like the most from fire mingle or stage show. During fire mingle there is a lot of room for improvisation and interaction, but in the choreograph there is other possibilities to create things that needs some planning and practising.

Phire is doing fire mingle before the show! 
The days after the fire show it got really cold. I was a little bit unused to this after some time at the Swedish west coast in the south.

Now I am preparing for going to Riga on Thursday to attend the Nordic Baltic Circus Network workshop in how to work with objects. I am so excited to go there and develop my understanding, get inspired and meet other circus artists!

lördag 9 januari 2016

Circus games! Let's play!

At the Höstglöd camp I organized some circus games and I wanted to share some game ideas!

I first got contact with circus games when I visited the British Juggling Convention, although I had played some games at Greentop as well. At the Swedish juggling convention there was also some games, and the rest are just silly ones that I have come up with, sometimes together with others in the juggling club Phire at Luleå University of Technology.

So here are my list of silly games, general game ideas, some games grouped after discipline and some thoughts on organizing the games.

So many props - so many possible games!!!

Ellinor's list of silly circus games

Poi and club fighting game (Hogwarts game)
Rules: Each participant takes a poi in one hand and a club in the other hand. Then while spinning the poi the aim is to use the club to hit others pois so that they stop spinning. When someones poi stops spinning (for any reason) that person is out. This game can be done either as a gladiator game or as a duel game.
Winner: The last person with a spinning poi.

Trivia: I call this the Hogwarts game because me and J invented it as a battle between Hufflepuff (I was wearing a Hufflepuff shirt) and Slytherin (J had green poi), and in the magical battle the poi is the spell and the club is your magic wand!

Diabolo with the nose
Rules: A race where the participants race by putting their diabolos on the ground and making it roll forward only by using their nose.
Winner: The first person to cross the winning line

Club thrust
Rules: The participants stand on a line and have one club between the legs with the handle poiting forward. Then they put the other club on top of the handle of the first club and make a thrust motion with their hip so that the club flys forward. This game just looks ridiculous.
Winner: The persons who's club flies the furthest.

Pass the juggling ball
Rules: This game is done in teams where each time lines up along a lin. The first person in the team then out a juggling ball under the chin and tries to give it to the net person in the line, who pass it on to the next and so on. If they drop they have to start over from the last person who had the ball.
Winner: The team where the last person gets the ball first

Club crown gladiator
Rules: Everybody puts three clubs in a triangel so that the handle is always under the "body" of the next club. Then they put this "crown" on their heads and walk around, trying to knock down other people "crowns".
Winner: The last person with a crown.

People playing the crown game gladiator at Swedish Juggling Convention 2015

Crash in the air game
Rules: This game is quite the opposite of club passing and done in pars. The pairs stand with equal distance between them and trow their clubs/balls/other and make them crash in the air. If they crash, they are on to the next level and one person takes a step back and they throw their objects again. If their objects meet and crash in the air, they are on to the next level, but if they miss, they are out.
Winner: The pair that can make two objects crash from the furthest distance.

Gesture game
Rules: This game is played in pairs. The leader shouts a word, for example "Hello" (or candy/pain/driving/fotball/Churchill and so on) and then say "3,2,1 pose". On "pose" everyone has to do a pose that they think about when they heard the word. If the two participants in the pair made the same gesture, the are on to the next round, but if they made different gestures, they are out. For example for the word "hello", the pair could do either hand shake gesture or weaving gesture or something else as long as both people in the pair do the same.
Winner: The last remaining pair.

Everything or nothing
Rules: This game can be done with many different things, like coins, grapes, fruit or something else. Every participant bets three of the decided thing. Then the game is to juggle the things the longest. If you drop, you are out and has to put your "balls" eg coins/fruit in a bowl and the winner wins the whole bowl!!
Winner: The last woman/man juggling.

I have played this game once with coins at the BJC and there was an impressive amount of coins for the lucky winner. For Höstglöd camp I made this as the last game to use up all the remaining dried banana crisps, so every participant got 3 crisps to bet into the game, and the winner got all of them!

Rings and heads game
Rules: This game is played in pars; one thrower and one catcher. The throwers line up nehin a line and the catchers stand opposite them. Then the throwers are going to throw the rings so that their catcher can catch it on their head. If they make it, they are on to the next round and the remaining catchers take some steps backward and the game is on again. If the catcher miss the ring, the pair is out.
Winner: The last remaining pair!

Unicycle gladiator game at the British Juggling Convention 2014

General game ideas that can apply to almost every discipline

Since there are always different people with different skills here are three general ideas that can be applied to almost any skill.

Simon says 
Rules: In this game, the leader gives instructions to the participants to do different tasks, but starting some of them with Simon says. If the task starts with Simon says, then the participants should do the task, but if the leader just say the task then the participants should NOT do the task. If someone do the task anyway, or forgets to to the task when they should, they are out.
Winner: The winner is the last participant left.

This can be done in different disciplines such as juggling, diabolo, devil stick and so on, but also is acrobatics and acroyoga. Make sure everyone knows what the leader means with all the trick names, and don't pick too difficult tricks to start with. In the beginning it is not fun to be out just because you failed the trick but did it right according to Simon.

Endurance game
Rules: Endurance game is simply an endurance challenge about who can do something the longest? If it gets to easy, then add some challenge like "continue to do it while making a turn/sit down/one one leg".
Winner: The winner is is last woman standing!

Endurance game ideas: 3-ball juggling, 4-ball, 5-ball... devil sticks propeller/helicopter

Gladiator game
Rules: The aim of the gladiator game is to  do something, but at the same time crash it for the others! For example riding the unicycle, but at the same time crash/poke others so that they fall of their unicycle.
Winner: The last participant doing the thing!

Gladiator game ideas: unicycle, balancing a club in the hand/leg/face, hula hooping, poi butterflys, jumping one one leg holding the other, propeller with devil sticks

This ball passing could be turned into a game as described above with moving further and further away from each other.

Juggling and circus game ideas


  • Endurance juggling
  • Simon says juggling
  • Juggling fight
  • Club balance endurance
  • Pirouette game
  • Passing in pairs and move further and further away from each other

Trow and run game
Rules: Trow a juggling ball/club/ring as far as you can, but you need to run after it and catch your own object.
Winner: The one that run the furthest.


  • Thow back and forth in pairs and move further and further away from each other
Skipping rope
Rules: First everybody trow the diabolo up in the air and then doing one skipping jump with the sticks and string before catching it. Then everybody does two skips and so on. If you dont do the required number of jumps, or fail to catch the diabolo, you are out.
Winner: The person that can make the most skips while the diabolo is in the air.

Hit the box
Rules: Everybody are standing behind a line and trying to trow thir diabolo in a box. If their diabolo are in the box, they are on to the next round when the box is moved further away from the participants. After a while you can have a person running around with the box to make it even harder.
Winner: The last person hitting the box when everybody else is out

People doing juggling club fighting game at BJC 2014 (unknown photographer)


  • One handed butterfly endurance

Devilstick/flower stick

  • Propeller endurance
  • Helicopter endurance
  • Propeller/helicopter gladiator
  • One handed tick-tock gladiator


  • Handstand endurance 
  • Handstand against the wall endurance
  • Headstand endurance (maybe with some tasks after a while)
  • Simon says acrobatics

Yogamat walking game
Rules: All the participants starts behind a line on their rolled yoga mats (the need to be tied together with a rope or something). Then they walk towards the finishing line a little like you would walk on a walking globe.
Winner: The first person to cross the finishing line

Don't touch the ground game
Rules: This game is played in teams of three persons that compete in who will cross the finishing line first. To get there there is going to be one person flying and two basing. The bases are not allowed to move when the flyer is on top of them, meaning that the bases must take turs so that the flyer can "climb" forward without touching the ground.
Winner: The team whose flyer first crosses the finishing line.

Aerial games

  • Climb p a rope the fastest
  • Hang in a rope/other aerial equipment endurance
The climb the rope game is included because in most Swedish school gyms there are like 5 ropes (that are not aerial ropes but for training purposes) that the participants can climb.

In the hanging endurance competition, make sure everyone is hanging low and in a safe way so they don't hurt when they let go.

Club balance endurance game at British Juggling Convention 2014

Some thoughts on organizing the games

For the games to be entertaining to watch and not have too much waiting time here are some organization things to think about.
  • Organize some sort of price and a designated prize giving person or point
They could be big prices or just candy, but having a prize makes it more of a competition! It is good if there is someone responsible for handing out the prices at the side of the games so the winner knows where to go. At Höstglöd the prize was either banana snacks or a cookie, so it doesn't have to be fancy.

  • Nice competition music 

Something upbeat or just Eye of the Tiger!

  • Have a premade list of what games to include

It might be obvious, but plan the games ahead. Try to have a nice mix between juggling, diabolo, acrobatics, techinical games, silly games, games that everyone can join in to and so on.

  • Announce upcoming games so that people have time to get the required equipment (if any).
  • If things gets too easy for the participant, make it harder

Either try one of these or let the audience decide something they want to see.

Ideas to make it harder: Turn around, one one leg, with closed eyes, start walking around, faster, slower, switch sides/hands/partner/equipment, go down to the knees/sitting/lying down.

Let the games begin!