Second annual Juggling Festival features Miclon, Grobe, Tardy brothers

Michael Miclon.

Michael Miclon.

Featuring some of Maine’s best-known jugglers, the second annual Juggling Festival begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10. The festival includes a day of participatory activities in the college’s Alumni Gymnasium and an evening performance in the Olin Arts Center by Michael Miclon, Fritz Grobe, Matthew and Jason Tardy, and Bates’ own Awestruck Juggling.

Open to the public at no charge, the event is sponsored by the Juggling Club. The club invites jugglers, performers and spectators of all ages and abilities to the festival. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival’s daytime portion features contests, games, workshops and a raffle. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

Awestruck Juggling consists of  seniors Brent McCoy of Hardwick, Vt., and Dan Berkley of Woodcliff Lake, N.J. “We’ve been throwing things in the air and at each other since our freshman year,” McCoy says, adding that they have performed at the Lewiston-Auburn Fete des Artes and various Bates venues. McCoy teaches juggling and balance for Circus Smirkus in Greensboro, Vt., and Berkley has applied to the San Francisco Clown Conservatory.

Mike Miclon, aka The Standup Juggler, has brought his high-energy antics to stages around the world. He has performed at the Kennedy Center and the White House in Washington, the Fiesta Americana in Naples, Italy, and the Victoria Jungfrau Hotel in Interlaken, Switzerland. He renovated and runs The Oddfellow Theater, a distinctive performance space in Buckfield, Maine.

Fritz Grobe gained international recognition with the juggling and dance ensemble “blink.” He won a gold medal at the International Jugglers’ Championships in Las Vegas and set a world record for juggling 15 objects between two people. He has opened for rock singer John Mellencamp and performed at The Annoyance Theater, Chicago, and Circus Space, London. He and Miclon perform together with The Odd Company.

Working as TWO: High Energy Juggling, brothers Jason and Matthew Tardy also hail from Buckfield, where Miclon discovered them doing comedy at a community talent show. They have been featured in Juggling Magazine, have performed at the Spring Juggle-In at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y., and have appeared on PBS’s “True North” and CBS’ “Sunday Morning” television programs.

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