Juggling with Vladik

Meet Vladik. One of the best jugglers in the world.

Vladik Miagkostoupov. Source: Vladik.com

There’s nothing like hearing about the life of a performer straight from a performer himself. Watch the interview Vladik  Miagkostoupov gave in the Cirque du Soleil Dralion show, and it many ways it says it all.

But it doesn’t say everything. In the art of juggling, there are what is known as the juggling basics, the one ball, two ball, three ball, and many more. Like all in the circus who end up becoming famed performers, the best in the world, their childhood years are ones of hours of daily practice, to get where they end up as highly paid entertainers.

Vladik Miagkostoupov, 12 years, juggling practice. Source: YouTube

Juggling as a child, one thing is obvious, you’re in an empty court, for hours at a time, on a daily basis. They often miss school activities, the sports, the socializing, their friends. Life as a future circus performer, like Vladik’s, was exactly as you see it: a lot of time spent alone. But he liked it.

This is perhaps one of the best behind the scenes juggling videos I’ve watched, as it really shows the intense practice time that goes into learning the ins and outs of professional juggling. It also shows the importance of noticing how many balls are being used at a time, something audiences rarely pay attention to or understand, how many turns, and the complexities of this particular circus genre.

Vladik Miagkostoupov: "Juggling Baryshnikov". Source: YouTube

Vladik’s introduction to the world of entertainment meant learning to master the skills of being a professional entertainer. He learned to walk on and off the stage, to point his feet, to hold his hands out wide, to take his bows. 

I’ve watched many young circus performers learn from their parents. Sometimes they are in schools for only months at a time. By the time he was 18 Vladik had already won first place in the International Jugglers’ Association, or (IJA), juniors division, and opened for the New York City Rockettes at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Was it his choice? He was lucky. He liked what he was doing, not all do. Many circus parents will say that they want to ‘give’ their children the one thing that they know how to do best.

In some ways it’s like leaving them  the family business. For some, sure, the children become a duo or more act with their parents, traveling with them around the world, and performing with them as a family act.

Interview with Vladik Myagostupov. Source: YouTube

Vladik is a solo act who now composes his own music.  His expertise with balls in the air and turns have turned into a highly choreographed dance act that utilizes props and artistic moves, complicated choreography, all which turns his world of juggling into a complex show in and of itself. 

This past summer in 2014 Vladik tied for the IJA first place ball thro category throwing 9 balls, making 23 catches. He’s also won other global awards. Check out his bio at his website www.vladik.com

Read more about circus in RBTH blog "Clowns in the Desert">>>

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