Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Julians Acrobats

[post 013]

I already threw a lot of stuff at you in post 008 about the comic uses of human pyramids (On the Shoulders of Giants: From the 2-High to the 1200-High). Since then I discovered these two short but very cool clips of the Julians Acrobats from 1902-3. It's not comedy, but the series of rapid-fire two-high, risley (foot juggling of people), and tumbling moves is fantastic. The clips are similar and very likely shot at the same time, but with some different tricks in each one. You gotta love the group choreography.

You can read more about the Julians on the interesting web site where I got these clips: Palace of Variety, put together by Charlie Holland, a British juggler and circus educator, and the author of Strange Feats & Clever Turns, "an anthology of illustrated articles on remarkable specialty acts in variety, vaudeville and sideshows at the turn of the 20th century." I don't know this book, but hope to pick up a copy when I'm in London.

The site is not extensive, but does contain some choice goodies, including a series of illustrations of the Hanlon-Lees in Le Voyage en Suisse from a children's book, as well as this poster of a three-high column collapse by the Trevally Acrobats, which I am retroactively adding (in a larger-size version) to post 008.

Check it out!

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