January 27, 2011
Sydney. Jan 21 - 27

I flew out of Tokyo winter and into summer in Sydney on the 21st. Thanks to the hospitality of Jewelz and her family, I had a great time staying in Cronulla in the Shire south of Sydney. We were on the beach in a minute’s barefoot walk, and two minutes’ walk from some excellent coffee and cheap shopping for sandals and $6 dresses. And with the RSL next door, there was an entertaining happy hour with the veterans one afternoon.


The Sydney Juggling Convention was my aim and I went with hoops and enthusiasm. The atmosphere was casual but intense at the same time. Of course there was talent in abundance. Jugglers do make me swoon, and I kept finding myself just standing there, staring at all the motion and concentration in the room. It was like a drug.

I swore I’d learn to juggle in an environment full of inspiring tossers. But I didn’t. I managed better than I ever had, though, and especially when I was hooping at the same time. Weird. I bought a set of clubs because there are these mechanical moves called legos that are mind-twisting and teasing to get right. Even if I can’t juggle my clubs (yet), I can enjoy them in interesting ways. Plus, clubs are really fun to swing and a challenge to pack into a suitcase. Who could want more?

Despite desiring a juggling breakthrough, I was there to hoop and make friends. I did both.


We hoopers took over a section of the gymnasium for our play and training. We ran the gamut from serious circus stars to fun-seeking spinners. I discovered the differences between circus hooping and hoop dance (I’ll share that revelation in a separate post soon). I learned drills which will become a firm foundation of my hoop practice. There were numerous corrections and suggestions for improvement in my hoop stance and style. It was hard and fulfilling at the same time. And it wasn’t all serious. There was lots of trick sharing, laughing and general jolly play. One afternoon, we rolled hoops down our backs in a long line, then passed a hoop foot-to-foot around a circle of a dozen of us lying in the ground.

During the convention, I taught a few ad hoc workshops including off body, hand and isolation hooping with Lisa and a morning warm-up featuring my favorite Kundalini sequence combined with Jewelz’ leading the Tibetan Five Rites. I spun so fast and furious during the rites that I popped the blood tiny vessels in my hands. That was freaky.

After three wonderful days at the convention, I was on my own for Australia Day, as Jewelz and Lisa were teaching a workshop, so I went into Sydney and wandered around the harbour area, listening to bands in the Rocks and sitting in the shade of the botanic garden with an ice cream and a long phone call to Tod.


Really I was just waiting for the Amanda Fucking Palmer concert to start. I love Amanda Palmer. She is hot and smart and sings like I do in my dreams. Her show was fabulous and the backing band, Mikelangelo & The Black Sea Gentlemen, were equally incredible. There was a working barbecue on stage, she drank VB (what were they thinking) pulled out of an icy eskie, and wore an Australian flag corset.

I was lucky to discover that one my new juggling friends, Adam, was also going to the concert so we met on the stairs outside the venue and went in together. Another stroke of good luck had us sitting next to each other thanks to an observant usher. We squealed, shouted, and whispered, squeezed hands and generally enthused wildly through the entire concert. Neil Gaiman read three of his short works and I closed my eyes and imagined he was reading to me - never mind the other thousands in the opera house. I loved hearing you read about megafauna; thank you, Mr. Gaiman. And thanks, Adam, for being an awesome concert date.

The next morning, Jewelz and I packed up our luggage, shouldered our hoops, and headed to Tasmania. The main event was about to begin - Circus Fest!

Posted by kuri at January 27, 2011 06:30 PM

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