The juggling done by David Bowie’s character in Labyrinth was actually performed by juggler Michael Moschen, who had to do all the tricks blind while standing behind Bowie. He won a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” for his techniques a few years later in 1990.

Contact juggling

Many of the techniques found in contact juggling, such as balancing or rolling a single ball or palm spinning (see “Baoding Balls”), have been performed for centuries. More variations were introduced by vaudevillians such as Paul Cinquevalli. In 1986, American juggler Tony Duncan was reported to be holding audiences spellbound with an act that involved rolling a single ball all over his body.

Michael Moschen brought the form to a new level with his performance, “Light”, developed in the 1980s. In this performance he used 75mm clear crystal balls, palm spinning up to eight balls simultaneously. He finished the act by rolling a single clear ball so that it appeared to float over his hands and arms. Moschen received praise from the in… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

12 thoughts on “The juggling done by David Bowie’s character in Labyrinth was actually performed by juggler Michael Moschen, who had to do all the tricks blind while standing behind Bowie. He won a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” for his techniques a few years later in 1990.”

  1. bottleboy8

    I always wondered how they did this trick. You can tell Bowie isn’t juggling by the fact his shoulders aren’t moving. Which just makes the scene even stranger.

  2. hgielatan

    it’s a crystal…nothing more. but if you turn it this way, it will show you your dreams

  3. VesperBond94

    Another fun fact: this movie (or at least the ball scene) was choreographed by Cheryl McFadden, aka Gates mcfadden, aka Dr. Crusher from Star Trek.

  4. TheoCupier

    Bonus content. I remember reading an interview with Bowie where he said he was so nervous about having this guy down there for so long that he made special effort to wash and use lots of aftershave to keep the ‘work environment” nice.

    Seemed very on brand for Bowie

  5. lynivvinyl

    He got to hug David Bowie from behind, with balls in his hands.

  6. ordinary_snowflake82

    I think he also trained the famous juggler Deangelo Vickers.

  7. TecklaAlmeda88

    My favourite movie of all time, R.I.P goblin king

  8. LakesideHerbology

    I remember as a kid watching like an hour long special with Michael Moshen. [Here’s a snippet.](https://youtu.be/qjHoedoSUXY)

    I watched it a dozen times and was always transfixed.

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