• Remembering Rastelli by Gandini Juggling
  • Remembering Rastelli by Gandini Juggling

Remembering Rastelli

A tribute to Rastelli and to classical juggling
Remembering Rastelli (1999) was distinctive in the company’s work with Gill Clarke in that it was the first Gandini Juggling piece to respond directly to a biographical or narrative source.

In this case, it was the life of juggling pioneer Enrico Rastelli. Rastelli was a prominent juggler during the early twentieth century, initially working in a circus before moving into Italian Vaudeville theatres during the rule of Mussolini.

The key juggling ‘vocabulary’ in this piece was centred on three extended club ‘rhythm’ sections, which consisted of a combination of three-object patterns combined with varying rhythms stamped out by the jugglers’ feet and by the striking of the objects against various parts of their bodies. This material was punctuated by complex ring-passing patterns and manipulations, classic Rastelli- style tricks, and deconstructed club patterns in a section called ‘Houses’. This featured both passing and club swinging, often in a slower tempo than usual with club patterns, and was characterised by the stop-start use of the clubs, odd grips, wrist traps, and multiplexes. It is interesting to note that the company’s use of these patterns in ‘Houses’ anticipated a movement in club juggling that is currently enjoying a surge in popularity.

In spite of the bright white stage and costumes, the tone of the work was by far the darkest and most austere of Gandini Juggling’s work to this point, and there was little of the light, gentle nuances of personality seen in previous perfor- mances. This austerity also contrasted sharply with the more overtly spectacular tricks inspired by Rastelli; these tricks included balancing multiple objects or complex ring passing with jugglers standing on the shoulders of others.

(orginal text from Juggling Trajectories, Gandini Juggling 1991 – 2015 by Thomas J M Wilson - link to shop)


Ballroom and Rings scene from Remembering Rastelli:

Rhymthm section of Remembering Rastelli:

Full length video of Remembering Rastelli Premiere in Stockton:

The team

Director: Gill Clarke
Choreographer: Gill Clarke / The Company
Lighting Desinger: Sean Phillips
Music by: Shirley Pegna
Performers: Sean Gandini, Jay Gilligan, Sharon Haddock, Alix Wilding, Kati Ylä-Hokkala


Commissioned by Stockton Trust and London’s Circus Space