• The Artistic Directors

  • Associate artists

  • Directors and Dramaturgy

  • Press Reviews

  • Workshop training

  • Work with us!

The Company

Formed in 1992 by world-renowned jugglers Sean Gandini and Kati Ylä-Hokkala, Gandini Juggling continues to be at the vanguard of contemporary circus, reinventing and reinvigorating juggling for the 21st Century.
The Company
"At the forefront of British Circus' quiet revolution"

Gandini Juggling celebrates juggling in all its facets, exploring not just what juggling is, but what juggling can be. Currently an ever-evolving ensemble made up of a virtuosic core group of jugglers, they regularly expand to include up to 20 performers for specially commissioned events and performances.

Ferociously prolific, they are constantly creating new works, which range from radical art/juggling fusions to accessible theatrical performances, from choreographic studies to commercially commissioned routines.  

Since their inception the Gandinis have performed over 5,000 shows in 50 countries. They continue to perform at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues throughout the world. These venues range from Contemporary art museums in France to Opera houses in Germany, from theatres in Lebanon to tents in Argentina. Closer to home the Gandinis can be seen performing at the UK’s major outdoor festivals and theatre houses including London’s Royal Opera House, The Royal National Theatre, and in 2016 a collaboration with the English National Opera and Philip Glass.

In creating their work Gandini Juggling collaborate with a wide range of cultural leaders, initially teaming up with the pioneering and influential dance artist and choreographer Gill Clarke. The Gandini’s continue to be influenced by a range of disciplines, which include amongst others, composers, ballet choreographers, fashion designers, computer programmers, sound designers, set makers and mathematicians.  They have spent several seasons working with symphonic orchestras, choreographing juggling patterns lightly meshed to canonical classical works and have had music specially composed for them by leading composers Tom Johnson and Nimrod Borenstein.  

In addition to performing, Gandini Juggling are very much in demand at leading circus schools. Teaching workshops, creating performances and supporting the next generation of circus artists Alongside this, Gandini publish their own books and DVDs, continuing to support the wider understanding of the beautiful possibilities of juggling, for jugglers and non-jugglers alike.  

The Gandini's have an insatiable thirst for making juggling pieces and a fiery desire to collaborate, communicate and provoke.  They aim to reposition juggling as a versatile, engaging and malleable art form for our times by engaging in a complex dialogue with the audience, demanding the viewers’ engagement, transcending cultural barriers and stimulating imaginations.  All whilst assuming a mutual maturity and imbuing the viewer with a questioning intelligence.   

The Gandini's journeys have always been countercurrent, an individual voice in the global circus scene, with quotidian risk-taking and fearless upturns. 30 productions and 23 years later, Gandini Juggling are creating some of the most vibrant and challenging performance pieces in the world.

Gandini Juggling are currently touring Smashed, Cløwns & Queens, Director's Cut, 4 x 4: Ephemeral Architectures and 8 Songs

The Artistic Directors

The Artistic Directors
Artistic Vision:

The Gandini's have an insatiable thirst for making juggling pieces; a fiery desire to collaborate, communicate and provoke.  They aim to reposition juggling as a versatile, engaging and malleable art form for our times, engaging in a complex dialogue with the audience, assuming a mutual maturity and imbuing the viewer with a questioning intelligence.

The company creates pieces which are never still, never sedentary and which demand the viewers’ engagement - with an aim to explore new artistic possibilities, allow insights, stimulate imaginations. The Gandini's journeys have always been countercurrent, an individual voice in the global circus scene, with quotidian risk-taking and fearless upturns.

Sean Gandini:

Sean Gandini is one of the pioneers of contemporary juggling. Working as a performer, choreographer and director he has, for over 25 years, pushed the boundaries of juggling as a discipline and as an art form.
Growing-up in Havana, Cuba, Sean was fascinated by Magic and Mathematics, but at the age of 16 he began juggling, prompting a life-long fascination with all aspects of the art form. Sean’s professional career began in the 1980s, regularly performing in London’s famous Covent Garden and touring with various theatre companies – including the pioneering Ra-Ra Zoo. In 1991, with Kati Ylä-Hokkala, he co-founded Gandini Juggling and together they have been at the forefront of experiments into what juggling is and what juggling can be.

Sean is a prolific creator. Whether working with the technicality of ‘pure’ juggling, crafting spectacular street art shows, or exploring the ways juggling might blend with other art forms, Sean is guided by a natural curiosity and delight in the myriad possibilities of throwing objects into the air.
This has led to the creation to a diverse array of shows, including the playful Sweet Life; the fiendishly complex celebration of the London Olympics Twenty/Twenty; and their smash hit, the darkly humorous and theatrical homage to Pina Bausch Smashed.

Throughout his career he has collaborated with many other acclaimed artists, including pioneering American musician Tom Johnson and the influential British choreographer Gill Clarke. More recently Sean has collaborated with choreographer Ludovic Ondiviela to create the ground-breaking juggling ballet 4 x 4 (Ephemeral Architectures), set to original music by Nimrod Borenstein. In 2016 Sean worked as juggling choreographer on English National Opera’s acclaimed production of Philip Glass’ opera Akhnaten. Sean regularly teaches in many of the world’s leading Circus Schools, inspiring the next generation of jugglers.


Kati Ylä-Hokkala:

Kati Ylä-Hokkala is one of her generation’s iconic jugglers. As a co-founder of Gandini Juggling she has built a reputation not only as a highly-skilled technical juggler but is also renowned as one of the leading innovators in dance-juggling.

Kati’s professional career began in the 1990’s, performing with the influential Ra-Ra Zoo. In 1991, with Sean, she co-founded Gandini Juggling. Since then she has been instrumental in the company’s experiments into the possibilities of juggling, including working to create unique ‘two-person sharing' juggling patterns.
A former rhythmic gymnast, Kati’s distinctive ability to combine movement with extremely complex coordination is second-to-none. In this she has crafted an intimate and extensive knowledge of the relationship between dance and juggling. Knowledge that has ensured that Gandini Juggling’s work is always of the highest technical standard. Kati’s own performances are always accompanied by a unique calm precision, a precision that comes from decades of throwing whilst standing on one leg. Kati has used this same calm precision to steer Gandini Juggling for the past 25 years.

Kati has performed in all of Gandini Juggling’s works since 1991, performing in over 2,500 shows throughout the world – in art galleries and palaces, in town squares and in stadiums, in intimate theatres and on the stages of some of the world’s most iconic venues. In recent years Kati has co-directed many of the company’s pieces.

Associate artists

Associate artists
Gandini Juggling have been fortunate enough to work, and continue to work, with some of the world’s most exciting performers.

Core Group:
Sean Gandini / Kati Ylä-Hokkala / Owen Reynolds / Iñaki Sastre

Jugglers:
Antoni Klemm / Arron Sparks / Carlos Romero / Cecilia Zucchetti / Chris Patfield / Dani Rejano / Dominik Harant / Doreen Grossman / Francesca Mari / Frederike Gerstner / Guido van Hout / Harm v.d. Laan / José Triguero / Kim Huynh / Malte Steinmetz / Maartje Bonarius / Martin Schwietzke / Michael Bell / Niels Seidel / Onni Toivonen / Tedros Girmaye /

Guest Jugglers:
Anne-Agathe Prin / Biniyam Tesfamariam AKA Bichu / Chris Sly / Christelle Herrscher / Guy Waerenburgh / Ian Marchant / Joe Hague / John Blanchard / Jon Udry / Jorge Silvestre / Marianna De Sanctis / Mehari Tesfamariam AKA Bibi / Nathalie Berthod / Petros Tesfamariam AKA Mitty / Sam Veale / Sebastian Valade / Toby Walker

Previous Jugglers:
Alice Devestelle / Alex Dandridge / Alix Wilding / Annette Gilwa / Ben Craft / Ben Richter / Catalina del Castillo / Cecile Poncet / Christoph Mitasch / Goronwy Thom / Dave Evans / Denis Paumier / Ellie Wagner / Haggis Macleod / Ilka Licht / Jay Gilligan / Jeremy Robins / Joelle Huguenin / Karen Bourre / Lindsey Butcher / Luke Wilson / Manuel Mitasch / Manu Laude / Maksim Komaro / Mike Day / Rob Horsman / Sakari Männistö / Sharon Haddock / Simon Mylius / Thomas Rose / Tomoko Tokushige /

Associate Artists:
Abby Grewcock – Costume Design / Alexander Whitley - Choreographer / Andrew Grant – Lighting Technician / Bob Pearce – Clown / Gemma Banks – Costume Design / Gabriel Prokofiev - Composer / Gill Clarke – Choreographer / Guy Bellingham – Juggler and Musician / Guy Hoare - Lighting Designer / Howie Bailey – Juggler & Visualist/  Ilona Jäntti – Aerialist & Dancer / Jean-Ba Laude – Lighting Designer / Jennifer Kershaw – Lighting Technician / John-Paul Zaccarini – Dramaturge / Ludovic Ondiviela - Choreographer / Lydia Cawson - Costume Designer / Mark Jonathan – Lighting Designer / Merlin Shepherd – Musician / Rauli Kosonen / Acrobat / Simone Rebello – Composer & Musician / Steve Williams – Composer & Musician / Tom Johnson – Composer / Thomas JM Wilson – Archivist and Publications Author / Zsolt Balogh 

TECHNICIANS:
Chris Swain / Guy Dickens / Martin McLachlan 


Directors and Dramaturgy

Directors and Dramaturgy
Over the years, Gandini Juggling has collaborated with various directors and dramaturgues who have had a lasting effect on the work of the company. More information about these integral relationships will soon be available in a publication by Thomas Wilson, celebrating the last twenty years of Gandini Juggling and documenting pivotal performances such as Stop Breaking My Balls.

Gill Clarke worked with Gandini throughout their first decade and has had an enduring influence on the company’s work.

Gill by Peter Slade

John-Paul Zaccarini helped open the company up to more theatrical works and continues to work as a dramaturg on current shows, Smashed and CLØWNS & QUEENS.

Maksim Komaro directed ‘Motet’, a collaboration with Circo Aereo, which has toured extensively including a North American tour in the winter of 2012.



Press Reviews

Press Reviews
30 productions and 23 years later, Gandini Juggling are creating some of the most vibrant and challenging performance pieces in the world.

Here is what the press have to say:

'AT THE FOREFRONT OF BRITISH CIRCUS' QUIET REVOLUTION'

The Guardian

‘A show of elegant, wistful beauty’
★★★★ The Guardian

‘A splendid blend of talents imbued with both elegance and wit’
★★★★ The Times

‘A clever, cool and wondrous show that gives delight’

★★★★ The Stage

‘A phenomenal display’
★★★★ Everything Theatre

Interviews with Gandini Juggling:

- Artistic Director, Sean Gandini, speaks with Aesthetica Magazine about Pina Bausch and the mathematics of dance.  

- ‘Thought Circus wasn’t for you? So did Dumbo.’ Read Sean’s interview with Ideas Tap to learn the basics of juggling.  

- Lyn Gardner from The Guardian chats to Sean about exploring ideas, emotion and narrative with juggling. You can also read Lyn’s review of our other touring show Cløwns & Queens; ‘a constantly shifting dance of desire’  

- Author of Sideshow Magazine Circus Magazine, John Ellingsworth, talks to Sean about how the company’s work has changed over the years.  

- Catch the Gandinis on the BBC London News – ‘The Gandini Juggling troupe makes Royal Opera House debut.’ (2012)

Workshop training

Workshop training
Exciting participation project coming up soon. Watch this space to be first to know!

One of the most joyous occasions in Gandini’s touring life is the occasional encounter with a good juggler who informs the company that they did a workshop with the Gandini's many moons before. This seemingly obvious realisation pushes the company to embark on an educational drive.

As the company expands they find that there is a shortage of performers with the specific skill sets they need as well as the fact that there is a shortage of female jugglers. So to plant seeds for the future the Gandini's aim is to inspire, educate and motivate acting as highly experienced facilitators, teaching in not only the world’s best circus schools but providing workshops in community centres and cold church halls...

The Gandini's have a range of workshops available, aimed at both professional jugglers / performers and those that are new to the art form. Do not hesitate to contact us for further information. 


Work with us!

Work with us!
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