Greg Kennedy has been juggling for as long as he can remember. His show, Science, Engineering and Art: A Juggler’s Perspective, is coming to Quesnel this weekend. Greg Kennedy/Innovative Juggler photo

Innovative Juggler performing in Quesnel Sunday

Juggler Greg Kennedy blends art and science in his innovative juggling show

Greg Kennedy doesn’t remember a time when he couldn’t juggle.

“A lot of people think of juggling as throwing and catching,” says Kennedy, who has made a career our of his innovative juggling techniques. “I view it differently.”

Rather than tossing and catching, Kennedy sees juggling as an exchange of more objects than you have hands passing through your hands. “That could be a ball rolled on a surface or bounced on one of my sculptures or even swinging the physical pendulum in different ways,” he says.

It wasn’t until his high school and college years that Kennedy started training more seriously as a juggler — and it wasn’t until his early twenties that he first worked on an original trick, blending his juggling skills with his background in engineering.

READ MORE: Quesnel band No More Cries releases new album

The trick involves eight balls rolling in a clear half sphere. Instead of throwing and catching the balls in the air, the idea was to use the the surface in different ways. The end result was the balls moving around the curved space in beautiful patterns. He worked on the trick almost obsessively for 18 months before performing it in the Intrnational Juggler’s Association Championship in 1996. He won gold.

While he worked as an engineer, he developed a following in the juggling community; some of the following developed from his championship win and others from evening shows in Atlantic City or at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

In February 1997, a friend offered Kennedy a three-and-a-half-month position working as a juggler in Japan. He took a leave of absence from his job — and never went back.

Kennedy worked on his performance and his tricks and eventually was brought on to take part in the Cirque du Soleil show Totem. He worked on the show for five years, touring with his wife and kids. After more than 1,600 shows with the organization, Kennedy left in 2015.

But his act remained. Cirque du Soleil liked the act so much that Kennedy trained a young friend to do the performance, and he still gets a monthly royalty cheque for the show.

He says the development of the tricks — which involve sculptures, pendulums, curved tracks, and more props he designs himself — is his favourite part of his work.

About a month ago, Kennedy released his newest trick, which involves rolling large balls around his body, in a manner similar to palm rolling. The balls are 10 inches in diameter, so rather than use just his hands, his body is the surface he uses instead.

Another new piece involves curved tracks that stack up vertically. “So I can put balls [on the tracks], and they create wave propagation with [the tracks] moving balls up and down from one level to another.”

Kennedy has been developing his work for the last 20 years. “The development is the reason I do it. I really enjoy the creation process. I really enjoy sharing it with people when I perform, but it’s the actual creation of the pieces that drives me,” he says.

He will be in Quesnel this Sunday (April 14), performing his show Science, Engineering and Art: A Juggler’s Perspective.

“In my mind, science and art are one subject, they’re not two separate things.”

From Philadelphia, Kennedy is performing in schools around the Lower Mainland before he drives up to Quesnel this weekend. He says it will be his first time so far north in B.C., and he’s looking forward to the show.

The show will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Chuck Mobley Theatre at Correlieu Secondary School. Tickets are available at Bo Peep, Circle “S” Western Wear, the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre, the Visitor’s Centre and at the door.


Heather Norman
Community Reporter
Send Heather an email
Like the Quesnel Cariboo Observer on Facebook

Just Posted

Quesnel RCMP welcomes new officer

Reserve Constable Cam Percy will begin working part-time in the fall

Molly’s Comedy Cabaret kicks off busy long weekend at Sunset Theatre in Wells

Theatre also showing The Fred Wells Show and premiere of One Man Avengers

Eco-Sprouts launches with fish release

A half dozen kids released Chinook Salmon into the Fraser River on June 19

High-speed Internet access coming to Bouchie Lake, Ten Mile Lake and rural Quesnel

ABC Communications Ltd. receiving $298,406 from the Province to help fund upgrades in 12 communities

Column: this and that for seniors

Columnist Ginnie Dunn Webb writes about the Wordspinners’ latest project

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read