The Bath Upchuck is an annual one day circus convention organised by Bath University’s juggling club Gravity Vomit and is almost upon us, next Saturday 25th February 2017. It is held in the university’s large sports hall, which provides a great space to practise. Naturally the high ceiling provides jugglers with perfect opportunity to perfect their siteswaps with larger numbers of clubs, balls or rings. There is also plenty of room for hoopers, poi and staff spinners too.
The event is split into a day session that is reserved for general practise, workshops and socialising with others who have a common interest. And of course, like any good circus meet up the day ends with the much loved games, such as gladiators and endurance. Whereas the evening is a real treat with the nighttime performances. Top performers in their field showcase their acts. This must be a daunting prospect for the performers because they are showing their skills to people who understand the techniques and theory behind them.
Our First Upchuck
So this was us in 2011, enjoying our first Bath Upchuck experience, with our local circus group The Boscombe Spinners.
I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who has not experienced a circus convention to give it a go. Vaudeville Hippie has enjoyed being a part of the circus community for several years now and many of our friends are through our shared love of practising object manipulation.
We have been to several gatherings of circus skills enthusiasts and I must say that they are the friendliest events I have ever experienced. Southern Lights Festival, that ran from 2007-2011 in Dorset, was an excellent example of this. This is because conventions and festivals provide a space for experienced professionals and newcomers to practise side by and share ideas about the props and tricks they feel most passionate about. Or simply to pick up tips and advice about the technical issues they are struggling with. The sharing continues through the many workshops that are on offer at these events and nothing beats the thrill and satisfaction of learning a new trick.
One Big Family
It only takes a couple of visits to these circus events before you realise it is made up of a close knit community people. After a while faces become familiar from one festival to the next convention. We made friends with the people we camped next to at our first Play Festival and the following year camped next to them again and continued the fun where we left off from the previous year.
The evening shows and end games really help to consolidate this family feel with friendly banter using well known circus heckles, but also admiration and support for the performances.
So this year why not get yourself a set of juggling balls, poi or hula hoop and join in the fun!