Thursday, October 2, 2014

9th J-Fest Has Ended

  What an incredible week it was folks. After having two weeks of preparation and a weekful of juggling we finally got back to Istanbul yesterday night and i have a lot to talk about and share with you all. This post will be mostly filled with the highlights of the amazing festival to document it for next generations. Culu and i most probably wont be at the 10th one, so that's why it was a special one for both of us.

  That's Nahit, Culu's good friend while he was practising in the first days of the festival. He was constantly asking questions about our relationship with Culu cuz he and his girlfriend got a puppy called "Pepper" and he wants to know how we are getting along that well with Culu. I've learned later that his girlfriend changed her mind at the last minute and stayed at home to take care of Pepper instead of coming together to the festival. What a pity. Anyways, i hope i will meet Pepper one day. 

  You can't believe how much is happening around during the daytime in the "green area". That's the place where jugglers can practice, learning new tricks, giving workshops to each other or simply watch what's happening. There also was a music tent where anyone can join and play live music to accelerate the vibe.

At the music tent you can always find an instrument or somebody busy with playing already. Three guys from Ankara were with us at the festival and they were incredible. Never say no to play even it is very late at night. Jamming and howling with them was so much fun.

  Here you see Culu practicing doubles with clubs early in the morning.

  Culu was giving a workshop about how to convert the festival badges into a flipbook. The festival badge is an item which indicates that you are part of the festival. This year's one is a little empty booklet. So Culu decided to fill it up with some drawings to animate it.

   Badge production at the workshop.

  The third day of the festival is the time for juggling games. Here you see everybody's eagerly waiting for the games to start with my whistle. The games are one of the main events of the festival.

   Limbo is a very good start to the games. Like every year people got eliminated when the stick goes down. My mate Serdar had a good beginning but that was it.

 Limbo winner Till

 Club balancing

Two finalists Rob and Till still keep on going even naked.

 Hand stand takes place after club balancing and this years winner is again Gokhan on the far left.

Legendary team "Serefsizler" trying so hard to win the game.

 Our friend Yavru performed his own songs with the guys on the little stage we set up next to the bar in sundance. Canberk on drums, Günes on bass, Taylan von Aygar on cello and Kamil on udu. This stage was used as a jamming space on the next days.

The dome called kubbe's state after the contemporary dancer Mihran Tomasyan's one man performance.

  At the fourth day i was keen to play some frisbee while people are enjoying the day on the green area. Then Eda came and play with me a little. 

With her help i was improving my jumping skills.

 An ordinary day from the green area

 Culu and Efe

Our team "serefsizler" unexpectedly loose the volleyclub game at the first round.

 One of the night jams

  Big dome at night. That dome was the main practice space at night where people juggle and play. "The Gala Show" is also taking place here at the last night of the festival.

   We were waiting for the jugglers to light their toys at the fire night. It was a chilly night that one, so i sneak in Culu's hoody to warm up a little during the show.

                                                                      these three photos taken by Onur Kawthar

  These kids never stop playing with fire during that night.

  At the last day of the festival Gizmo suddenly got clicked and start juggling three balls. It is a wonderful feeling to achieve something you want to do. I am proud of Gizmo by finishing the festival with something in her pocket. After practicing for a while Culu, Gizmo and i leave the green area for the gala show meeting. Culu and Gizmo were the stage hands during the show with Lea.
  The preparations of the show held on the big dome with all the performers and the sound and light crew. Everything has to be so precise and in time, so under my surveillance the guys were studying their homework very well.

   Of course i was inspecting every single detail on stage. 

   Me and Culu were having a nap while the performers were making their finishing touches to their acts. Somehow every year at the gala night Poseidon's heavy storms hit the festival. But luckily this year it is just passing by us with a gorgeous view outside the tent.

   Two of the musicians of the night: Cagri and Johannes

   Culu was acting weird at the backstage while waiting for his part to come.

I've found a corner at the backstage to chill a bit during the gala cuz there will be a party afterwards. 

   Here you see me still chilling in Alpacook's arms. He was the one who is feeding all the volunteers with his delicious meals. He will also be joining us in Thailand on our journey later on.

  I can't find the true words to describe the effort and respect we had before, during and after the festival. We met with so much great souls that our hearts were connected forever. The level of friendship and solidarity was so high that i believe with such a big family there's no obstacle we can remove of the path. I don't know when me and Culu will see this huge family back but we know that they will be living within our souls wherever we go. We will miss you all guys.
  Well folks, that was the ninth turkish juggling convention. It was one of the best we had since the beginning. And this was the first time we tried our new camera we'll be using on our south east asia trip. It wasn't the best result we were expecting but we will get better using this technology soon, i promise.   

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