The Definition of Juggling


You are absolutely right about that. I feel that there is a spectrum of relevance of the context though, where juggling is pretty high on the spectrum. This is one of the actual conversations I wanted to have form the beginning. How important is the context really, since it is quite easy to point out that it is often present and determine how the word juggling is used and not.

Let us take for an example, two city people out in the sticks, and a cow comes walking down the road. One of the guys might think “hey look, a cow!” where as the other might think “there is an animal approaching”. So the same thing is labeled by different terms, due to the different internal context of the observers. I feel that if they start talking to each other, the label situation is fairly easily resolved. With juggling on the other hand, we have had ENDLESS discussions, over how different people label the same thing. Just look at this thread, or in plethora of other places. We have way more to untangle than the cow people. If we in the end, reach a point where our understanding is so developed that we can easily resolve a dual labeling, “just like any other word”, I will be the first to yell hurrah! In my naive mind, I thought that was exactly what I had done with my infamous “12 page document”, but it seems as if there is still some way to go in that matter.

Yeah! he is fantastic!


One thing I have to say about Arthur Lewbel’s (or anyone elses) attempt to make a dictionary definition at this point, without having discussed the underlying issues properly, is that we are dealing with a very complex situation. If it was not very complex, we would have had the answer a long time ago. I was just listening to Bret Weinstein talk about something completely different, but what he said resonated profoundly with my exact feelings about the process that we are going through, with the definition of juggling. Here it is:

We have this bad habit of wanting to know the answer now, so we leap at partial answers and we do not understand that we are signing up for downsides of these things, that are disastrous. Wisdom involves delayed gratification. Unpacking the issue carefully is the way not to get sucked into these movements that are pursuing ends that we should never wish for. I do not think there is a shortcut to it. You have to go carefully. We have to look each other in the eye and say that we have real stuff to work out and its not gonna come by some simple rule of thumb, but let’s discuss these things rather than decide that we know the answer and then automatically pursue it.


(moved from the drop thread, since it belongs here)

Great! finally we understand each other then. I agree that we choose to juggle, but after that decision has been made, we are forced by the consequences of that decision and what it contains. I want to point out again that “forced” was a term I made up to be able to talk about a property that exists in the situation where an incoming object is switched for the object already in the hand. Or when a task is “approaching a collapse” of some sort (ex: baby is about to cry, husband is hungry/will divorce, gotta get to the job in time) which forces us to attend to it, within a narrow time slot of opportunities that we can choose from. The word “forced” suggest a certain meaning, and I feel that it gives the gist of the situation better, than “planned” which, although present, only was initial. Personally, I think it is ok to disregard the decisions made in order for the juggling to be possible initially. We can disregard getting our props out of the prop bag, we can disregard breathing, standing, looking, having the lights on and so forth. I guess I am cutting it as narrow as I can when I also disregard the aspect that we make the decision to juggle to begin with. So I chose the word “forced” to represent this concept. Perhaps not perfect, but good enough, and we have now cleared up what is meant by it.

I fully agree with all of this. There are a number of different concepts at play here. Is it not reasonable then, that we categorize them separately? I suggest we leave the specific activity of juggling alone for a bit, and instead try to describe the different concepts that are at play in the various forms of activities that exist in the genre of juggling.

Yes, but it is a different type of force than force 1 and 2. Because if the musician does not hit the notes perfectly, one might still recognize some kind of song, it does not cease. In the case of the juggler, the juggling will collapse if not kept within the constraints of force 1 and 2. I would liken it to the juggler who juggles with a syncopated rhythm, when a steady rhythm is desired. So the force then is not about succeeding to keep the pattern from collapsing, but to keep it in a certain rhythm, and that is what the musician attempts as well. So lets call that force 3 for now, which would then be the force that keeps us within our intent, within the spectrum that reaches up to, but not into, collapse. We would say, the juggler’s pattern is not clean maybe? the musician is out of rhythm?

Sure, I would agree that you have to put your hand in the right place, and you have to throw to a place that is within your reach. I am not sure this is essential in our description though. Would you include in the definition of playing a guitar, that you have to hit the string with your pick? Is it not something we can disregard?


I would like to continue the discussion and unpacking of the specific activity of juggling. When I started trying to untangle all the terms and concepts relevant to the definition, the main break through was when I discovered that the way the word juggling had been used, in literature and around the iconic examples of juggling, was as a genre AND a specific activity of that genre.
There is one activity of juggling that is central in the genre: Throwing and catching more objects than the amount of hands, in repetitive cycles. Ball spinning for an example, is an activity in the genre of juggling, but it has the title “ball spinning”. Throwing and catching in repetitive cycles on the other hand, generally is referred to as “juggling”. Unlike ball spinning, this activity does not have a sub categorical title. I thought (perhaps naively) that this would be the only activity that was represented by the word juggling, and that all the other activities in the genre would have sub categorical titles. I am starting to suspect that there are a number of “juggling activities” without any other established terms to represent them, not just one. It depends on to what depth we want to look for differences. I would suggest, at least to begin with, that we go deep. So, rather than trying to define the specific activity of juggling, I am now trying a different route. It will be an attempt to describe the different concepts and phenomenon that are central to juggling, or closely related. By doing so, we can not be wrong, we are just describing concepts as distinctly as possible, and giving them temporary names, of our choosing.

First we can divide the activities of the Genre of juggling into categories depending on the status of their title:
Activities that are referred to as juggling, without other title (examples: the throwing and catching type - could be called vanilla juggling or default juggling perhaps. Also maybe we would place (4,0)(0,4) here? 501?)
Activities that have a sub categorical title (examples: cigar box juggling, ball spinning, club swinging etc)
Activities that have a sub categorical title, but seldom in use (examples: multiplexing?)
Activities that have a sub categorical title locally but not widely established (examples: mini juggling, micro juggling, broken down juggling)

We can also identify a couple of different properties:

  1. Object/task recycling - Attention returns to the same object or task that has been attended to previously in the sequence of events
  2. Hand/control point recycling - The instrument used to attend to the task is used over and over in the sequence of events
  3. Always something in the air, always something active - There is always activity somewhere, tasks to attend/incoming objects
  4. Approaching collapse - There is an urgency to attend to a task, before it is too late in some regard
  5. Chosen throw/chosen attendance to a task even if no collapse is approaching
  6. Triggered switch - when something is attended to, another task starts to demand attention
  7. Unbroken chain of triggered switches - Every task in the sequence, is connected by triggered switches
  8. More tasks/objects that the amount of hands/control points - The amount tasks are more in number, than the amount of control points
  9. Multiplex - More than one task attended by one control point
  10. Ignored approaching collapse

Vanilla juggling (Unbroken chain of triggered switches. Switches objects at every incoming object. Never two objects in one hand)
Properties: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
Notes: Patterns such as 504 has chosen throws (the 4)

Multiplex juggling A (Unbroken chain of triggered switches, but can ignore switches, as long as there is still one object incoming. Examples: 1 up 4 up, Gatto plex, Martin’s)
Properties: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Notes: patterns such as 1up 4 up includes chosen throws (the multiplex by the hand that does not have an incoming 1up),

Broken down juggling or multiplex juggling B (broken chain of triggered switches. Examples: Georgian shuffle, Grace)
Properties: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

Mini juggling (less objects than hands)
Properties: 1, 2,

Micro juggling (less objects than people)
Properties: 1, 2,

Object gathering (ring, plate, club gathering)
Properties: 2, 3, 5, 8, 10

Conveyor belt juggling (recycling of control points but no recycling of objects)
Properties: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

“Lemming juggling” (Imagine three lines of jugglers, all holding one ball each hand. The front row of jugglers, stands at the edge of a cliff. The first juggler in the furthest left line has three balls and starts by a throw straight up. When the ball comes down, it gets switched out by his first hand that throws to his second, where the ball gets switched out again. This time, he throws to the juggler who stands next to him, who repeats exactly what the first did, and so forth, down the line. As a juggler has thrown his balls, he takes one step forward and falls off the cliff. The next in line then steps up. When the throwing reaches the end of the line, that juggler throws it back to the start as his last throw, before he step off the cliff. Recycling of objects, but no recycling of control points)
Properties: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

lemming + conveyor belt juggling (Same as above, but with a conveyor belt at the beginning, and last juggler throws his ball into a bucket. No points of control are recycled, no objects are recycled, but there is a sequence of triggered exchanges.)
Properties: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

We could then also categorize the nature of the task. Is it a throw/catch? rolling on a surface? manipulated/always touching the body? always touching another object? etc. It seems to work with any tasks that has a control phase followed by a phase of decay/approaching collapse, in cyclic intervals, where either the same task is regained control over before it has collapsed, or a new task is started before the previous task has reached collapse.


I know that the term “Conveyor belt juggling” was a half joke (half in that the situation was a bit absurd, but serious in the half that it was an example to illustrate a serious question), but then this showed up, which is pretty darn close!


When I first started thinking about what the word juggling meant, the first distinction I made was that it was an activity. Therefore, I called juggling a genre, since it was one of the subsets of the larger set, “activities”. This genre contained many different activities, one of them inconveniently seemed to also be represented by the word juggling. I have come to realize that there are a few problems with calling juggling a genre. The first is, that it seems to me after discussing this with a number of people, that the word genre is interpreted differently, by different people. The other problem is that, whereas I saw juggling as a genre of the larger set “activities”, you could also look at it the other way. Juggling then becomes the set, that contain several activities, genres. If we make the comparison to, for an example film, it contains different genres: Drama, action, comedy, etc. The comparison to juggling then becomes that it contains things like ball spinning and cigar box juggling. So those are the genres of juggling, and not the other way around. This is how I have been treating the word juggling since, so I think it is time to leave the word genre behind, and instead talk about juggling as a set of activities. It describes what I have been trying to communicate more distinctly, and has hopefully less variations of interpretation. The new phrasing would then be:

Juggling is a set of activities, as well as one of the activities of said set.


Here is a summary of the development of Juggling, that I initially wrote on facebook. I am posting here, so that it will not get lost.

It is impossible to define juggling properly without understanding its historical and cultural development. When Enrico Rastelli got famous around 1925, the focus of juggling shifted, to focus on throwing and catching in repetitive cycles. This specific concept of object handling has then been developed greatly. But the reality is that the evolution of juggling is only partly an expansion of this concept. It is just as much a REDUCTION of another concept, namely ENTERTAINING. In short, the evolution of juggling looks like this:

We start with juggling being synonymous with entertaining. The concept includes many things one can do to accomplish this:

Singing, dancing, magic, animal taming, acrobatics, story telling etc.

What happens then, in the evolution of juggling, is a REDUCTION, not an expansion. Examples:
1st the birth of Circus (1768), which is the first division of disciplines in a performance context. Concretely: YOU (pointing at one of the performers in the cast) do the horse tricks, YOU (pointing at a 2nd) do the acrobatics, YOU (pointing at a 3rd) do the CLOWNING etc. Before circus, performing was more general, and any feats could be included in the repertoire. Circus, gave each discipline a distinct spot, and the opportunity to specialize in that area, rather than to generalize, which was the previous M.O.

A 2nd example of the REDUCTION in the evolution, is when performers from India start to appear in Europe around 1820. For some reason, they became referred to as jugglers, and the feats they performed, as juggling. Examples of activities were throwing and catching with balls, cups and ball (magic), substitution trunk (magic), spinning rings on one’s toes, and more. Many other activities that formerly belonged in the set of activities known as juggling, seems to depart.

A 3rd REDUCTION is due to the fame, success and inventions of Paul Cinquevalli (ca 1890), who specifically pointed out the difference between juggling and magic. He established that juggling was based on skill and practice, and that there were no secrets or gimmicks involved.
This resulted in anything magic, departing from the bucket of activities that were considered to be juggling. The feats of Cinquevalli’s juggling were greatly focused on balancing tricks and prop based tricks. Writing a letter, pouring a cup of tea, putting your coat on, putting your hat on, lighting your cigar etc, were all feats done “the juggler’s way”, using throwing, catching, balancing, flipping, spinning, bouncing etc. Inventing and developing feats based in the nature of an object, and its common use, is an example of an EXPANSION of concept, in the development of juggling.

Now to Rastelli, who greatly contributed to another EXPANSION in juggling. Rastelli, who got really famous around 1925, focused on throwing and catching many objects, in repetitive cycles. His fame and success resulted in that this became the focus and main activity in the genre of juggling. He did many things outside of this concept, such as rolling a ball on another ball, flipping a candle into a holder, or manipulating a ball using a stick held in his mouth. But it was the throwing and catching that became the main focus, and eventually became the central activity in the set of activities. Inconveniently, the activity of throwing and catching in repetitive cycles is referred to as “juggling”. That is the situation we are in. We have a set of activities, which I have broadly just outlined the history of, and we have a specific activity of that set (throwing and catching), both represented by the same word.

You have to look at the historical and cultural aspects of the development, otherwise you are missing the point. The development of juggling is a parallel development between:

  1. REDUCTION of anything entertaining
  2. EXPANSION of specific concepts such as balancing, every day object tricks and throwing and catching
    This has resulted in juggling representing both a set of activities, and activities of that set, to much confusion.


Perhaps this has been discussed earlier, I have read most of the thread above but not every fb discussion etc…

Why is the “relationship to default” not used in other definitions? For example

Art is anything with some kind of connection to the default artwork, which is the Mona Lisa.
Circus is anything with some kind of connection to the default circus, which is a show with multiple acts presented on a round stage including horses and feats of human skill.

Did you find a clever loophole that nobody else has exploited before, are there other examples of definitions that use this way of describing, or is there a good reason why other things are not defined by setting a default?


I do not know if this has been used in another context. I have poked a little bit at both the definition of art and the definition of circus, and I thought juggling was a good test subject.

The “default form” of juggling was something that I stumbled upon, when I realized that if someone asks “can you teach me how to juggle?”, the three ball cascade is generally what is being taught. This is not something I invented, it is merely an observation, and I am asking if you agree?
That has been a basic premise for me, to get rid of preconceptions and just observe. I did not think this would be difficult to ask people to look from that perspective, but some just seem to resist even trying that, no matter definition. There seem to be way more ego, and stubbornness than I had anticipated, to even discuss simple observations of juggling knowledge/literature. I really did not anticipate that someone would argue whether for an example, Francis Brunn was a juggler, but I was clearly wrong there. And the argument is not even if he is a juggler or not, the argument is, is he considered to be a juggler or not?

I then also recognized that the image from the tombs at Beni Hasan, could possibly be a three ball cascade, and I thought that was a peculiar coincidence. Again, it is just an observation.

When I sat down with the list of “things that are juggling” according to literature and to the icons of juggling (which are the main reference points) and tried to find some kind of common link between them, that was very hard. I want to point out again, because I feel that this is something often forgotten, that I attempted to find a definition according to those references. It is not more or less true than that. The argument that I saw, was that no one has disputed that Rastelli, Brunn, Salerno etc, are jugglers. And no one has disputed that the history books on juggling are juggling. Playing a guitar or singing on the other hand (which are activities that used to be juggling) are mentioned in our literature as “what juggling used to be”. To me, that built a case strong enough, that I can use Brunn etc, as reference.

When I studied the history of juggling, I noticed that juggling has not evolved from the three ball cascade or even toss juggling. This is a quite recent focus of juggling culture, something that was established in the 20s. But I can not deny that it is the central activity of juggling today. So what to make of that? I observed that a lot of the non-toss juggling activities could be found elsewhere, as activities NOT represented by the word juggling. An identical thing could be juggling (as in, represented by the word juggling, in language) in one context, but not in another. Toss juggling seemed to be an exception. So I drew the conclusion that toss juggling is the only activity of juggling, that does not need context. When I again looked at the list of things that are juggling, and looked for common links, and realized that the only thing that does not need context, is toss juggling, (which is always juggling), I decided to try to concretize context (as, being in the juggling culture) as a relationship to toss juggling, to have a firmer anchor than just saying juggling culture/history/development (which is the “actual” truth). If toss juggling is always juggling, it is always in the juggling culture, and therefore everything juggling will have that relationship to it. Whatever is juggling will be related to toss juggling AT LEAST by existing in the same culture as it, but often some other object handling property. That “other property” is not a defining factor though, since the exact same activity can exist elsewhere and not be juggling, and there are plenty of examples of this. I also thought that 3 ball cascade is the default for reason I mentioned earlier, so I thought it could be useful to bake that truth into the mix and make it even more precise. All toss juggling will be related to the 3 ball cascade anyways, so I did not think it mattered which one I used as a anchor, and the three ball cascade was the default in terms of language, so I chose that. That is how I came to the conclusion that juggling is activity+context, unless it is toss juggling, which needs no context, since it has become the central. Perhaps we can even say it has become the context. What do you think?


Here are some thought about context:

From the perspective of communicating using language, not all sound is represented by the word “music”. What I mean by that is, if your neighbors washing machine goes on in the middle of the night, you do not wake up and say “what music is that?” You address it as a sound or a noise. Even if that same sound could be ambient music in another context.
The same goes for movement, which again, from the perspective of language, is not all dance.
You could look at the definition of juggling from the same perspective. If so, all object handling is not juggling, but in a certain context it will be, without any further addition than the context itself. How do we explain that? For sure, someone smart has already thought of that, and can articulate it. We probably do not need to invent everything.

If we look again at the comparison between juggling, music and dance, and start with music. You sometimes hear the remark “that is not music, it is just noise”, when the piece in question is treated like music, listened to like music, compartmentalized as music. It is almost as if music is called music because of our categorization. Music consist of the raw material: sound, and depending on how we treat/view/categorize it, it becomes music.

Looking at dance, we can run it through the same process. The raw material is movement and with our added treatment, it becomes dance.

The comparison then to juggling asks the question, is juggling the raw material object handling, and depending on how we treat/view/categorize it, it becomes juggling?
You could say that is not juggling, and I might agree. But if it is not juggling, that is what it is drifting towards. And if it is not juggling, then what is it? Some new, unidentified art form?


In terms of the specific activity of juggling, here is my latest attempt at a wording:

Juggling is to cyclicly attend to decaying things, thus preventing them from doing so.
Its most prominent form is to keep a number of objects in the air. They are falling down (=decaying). By cyclicly catching and throwing (=attending to them), they are prevented from falling down.


Dance is movement, looked at through a lens which is the cultural context (its history, references, typical examples, iconic images, discourse, roots and development) of dance. In other words, dance is movement, looked at and treated as dance (dance defined by extensive and ostensive definition). The raw material of dance is movement and there are no inherent differences in the properties that make up dance and the properties that make up movement. The difference between the two, lays in how we approach, look at and treat it.

Music is sound, looked at through a lens which is the cultural context (its history, references, typical examples, iconic images, discourse, roots and development) of music. In other words, music is sound, looked at and treated as music (music defined by extensive and ostensive definition). The raw material of music is sound and there are no inherent differences in the properties that make up music and the properties that make up sound. The difference between the two, lays in how we approach, look at and treat it.

Juggling is object handling, looked at through a lens which is the cultural context (its history, references, typical examples, iconic images, discourse, roots and development) of juggling. In other words, juggling is object handling looked at and treated as juggling (juggling defined by extensive and ostensive definition). The raw material of Juggling is object handling and there are no inherent differences in the properties that make up Juggling and the properties that make up object handling. The difference between the two, lays in how we approach, look at and treat it.

This is what the art form of juggling either is, or will become. We can assume this, because many other art forms has gone down that path.


i wonder how this all relates back to the art vs. sport debate? because clearly you can find so many similar parallels to your text here about juggling as an art form related to movement as an art form (called dance) vs. movement as a sport (for example tae kwon do, etc?)… so it brings up some sort of question about juggling’s place in our culture as a society, which then further to that could point at some understanding of the usage of the word itself? i guess partly what i mean is, i agree with what you wrote or can understand what you mean and i think its a good thought, but to what degree do people need to understand juggling as an art form before they can see any object manipulation in the right context as juggling? or is this idea bigger and stronger than that, and its just some sort of universal phenomenon beyond people accepting it as an art form or not? i could be completely off base here, didn’t sleep much last night with sindri up many times. but i think you wrote this concept in a but clearer way than when you first proposed it to me privately!!!


The art vs. sport debate I think is fairly easy to resolve. If we look at the definition of sport:

“an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Since juggling is an activity, we can say that juggling in a competition, is a sport. What I wrote, was about juggling as an art form, as I noted in the end. There is no dilemma in juggling being a sport or an art. Juggling is an activity, that can exist in either context. The definition of sport clearly explains that - sport is an activity in a certain context.

We must also remember that there are two ways that the word “art” is used, as a description of something.

  1. As a producer of a piece of art
  2. As something that has been deeply developed

Compare for an example the art of chess(#2), the art of fencing(#2) with sculpture(#1) or painting(#1).

I think that most arts can exist both in category 1 and 2. Often, #1 requires #2. But some things almost exclusively refer to #2, like fencing. I think in juggling, saying “the art of juggling” has been mostly used as a means of making it feel important. As far as I know, there has not been a discussion about it, but it is something we should discuss. I wrote a bit about it when I was working on the definition, and could post that as a start of a new thread, if there is interest.

Juggling is an activity that can exist in several different places in society. As an art form (both #1 and #2 of earlier), as a sport, as recreation, as a social game (for an example passing, where no one is competed against, but that the joint success of all participants is the goal), as a warm up, as entertainment, as exercise, and the list goes on.

If I paint the fence around my house, it is not referred to as (a production of) art. If I am a very skilled and knowledgeable painter, perhaps I am using my skill and knowledge from the art of painting. Either way, it does not result in a work of art, until it is placed in the context of art in the way I described earlier. I think the same is true for juggling.


This post and the one earlier. Finally this happened. <3 Quite long route to this point but I am happy that you have arrived here. Now finally this thread makes me happy.


That is a good question, and probably part of the problem for people that struggle understanding all of this. I think a healthy thing for many to realize, is when they reach the limit of their current understanding. The times I have run into people suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, or ”mount stupid” (google those) are too many to count, and it is often too painful or impossible to point out. This is in regards to understanding of art, language and juggling history.


i can’t think of anything to add at the moment, but wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write these very clear responses!!! we can dive more into this on our podcast at least, if not here soon if i get a chance to say something useful…


yes, and this points at the audience for these conversations in general… its part of the “culture of juggling” discussion, but at what point do these concepts you are talking about polarize the community to the point where it fragments beyond usefullness… or to say another way, something we have talked about before, how do you judge your responsibility to educate up to the point where there are common reference points (which is another great point you vocalized a long time ago)? obviously its very beneficial to have references in common when discussing a topic, but it seems almost impossible to have the energy to first evaluate at what level the general knowledge is, then decide how accessible the delivery methods of the concepts have to be, then iterate different attempts to first give background context on absolutely everything, and then finally have a productive discussion about what you actually set out to talk about in the first place.

the juggling community is so small, that i think its hard to lay out bare concepts and then just hope that one day some people pick them up and help move them forward. we just don’t have the law of averages, or enough critical mass to have interested parties naturally take these ideas and run with them. and in regards to that, i wanted to say i admire your patience and generosity to not give up when trying to talk to people (such as me) who needs more help to engage…


Someone, somewhere should know what juggling is as clear as it is possible, and it should be verbalized somewhere. The dictionary definition will probably never be perfect since they are so short and should be quickly and easily understood. That is fine, as long as there is another place where a deeper understanding is available. It has been my effort to work on that one first, and extract a dictionary definition after that, from it. In that way we can say:
Here is the dictionary definition, here are its flaws, and here is a deeper explanation of juggling, along with the arguments, research and process behind it.

The answer to this, is to deal with it at the highest level possible, and then seed downwards in simplified versions, accommodated to each level of understanding. I do not think Phd rocket scientists write about their stuff on a layman level, and the laymen who read about rocket science do not expect that they understand the whole deal. Now, you might ask if juggling really is as complex as rocket science? I would say it is complex enough, that we have not been able to extract a useful definition in decades. So we should probably not expect a simply answer to begin with. For some reason, there is very little tradition of knowledge in the juggling culture. Along with that, there is also very weak connections between the different areas of expertise. Other artistic fields have a natural relationship to its history and its different areas of knowledge. This has not yet been established in juggling, but it is on the list of things we need to talk about, in a separate thread.


Is the deffinition of Circus then something like; Circus is demonstration of skill or wits of human, looked at through a lens which is the cultural context (its history, references, typical examples, iconic images, discourse, roots and development) of circus. In other words, circus is demonstration of skill or wits of human, looked at and treated as circus (circus defined by extensive and ostensive definition). The raw material of circus is demonstration of skill or wits of human and there are no inherent differences in the properties that make up circus and the properties that make up demonstration of skill or wits of human. The difference between the two, lays in how we approach, look at and treat it.