Michael Moschen, Juggling Genius

by jdroth on 19 April 2011

Michael Moschen is one of the world’s most accomplished jugglers. Moschen is especially adept at contact juggling, a method in which the juggler doesn’t toss props into the air, but keeps them close to the body.

When he was twelve, Moschen and his brother (and next-door neighbor Penn Jillette) learned to juggle from a library book. Jillette later turned his attention to magic (and became half of the famous duo Penn & Teller), but Moschen stuck with juggling. Over time, he polished his skills. A lot.

You may never heard of Moschen, but most folks my age have seen his work. Remember the 1986 film Labyrinth? Remember how David Bowie got all fancy juggling a crystal ball?

Well, that’s not David Bowie doing the juggling. That’s Michael Moschen.

How good has Moschen’s juggling become? So good that in 1990 he won a $230,000 MacArthur “genius” grant to perfect his performance even further. Now he’s able to astound audiences with routines like “The Triangle“:

But Moschen doesn’t just juggle. He digs the math behind the art. According to his website:

Mr. Moschen is deeply involved in understanding and sharing the physical and mathematical principles that underlie his work, and is a sought-after public speaker. He presented the Keynote Address for the National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics in 1996, and in 1998 for the Association of New York Teachers of Mathematics. He has lectured on innovation and creativity at such prestigious institutions as Carnegie Mellon, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Lincoln Center Education Program.

Want to learn more about the awesome Michael Moschen? You can read more about him at his website, and YouTube has dozens of videos highlighting his skill.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anita April 20, 2011 at 00:02

Thanks for sharing this. Very impressive!


2 Katy April 20, 2011 at 07:51

That is so incredible! The rhythm, the angles, his concentration. He certainly deserved his genius grant. And yes, very mathematical.




3 Kevin April 20, 2011 at 10:58

OK, you now officially have incredible taste. I’ve been a huge Michael Moschen fan since seeing him on PBS. I even bought that episode. I even have 3 crystal-ball juggling balls (somewhere…)


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