Variety In Motion, Rick Schnitker and Mardene Rubio, won
the 500,000 yen ($3,500) first prize in the World Performance Festival
at Tempizon Harbor Village in Osaka, Japan, in mid-August. A field of
16 North American street acts was assembled at the shopping and office
complex for two weeks of street shows, culminating in the stage competition.
Second place went to Charlie II, and third to the Oresto,
who did hand stands and five clubs on a free-standing ladder. Others
participating included David Aiken, Dan Bennett,
Wheeler Cole, Terrell Hayes and Sandy Johnson.
Though Schnitker and Rubio are no longer husband and wife, they continue
to perform together "as best of friends," according to Rubio. They have worked
in Japan several times, and now perform a 30 minute show in Japanese. Their
winning routine in Osaka included six club passing, torch passing on tall
unicycles and a three club routine with takeaways and steals. They traveled on
from Osaka to Nagoya, where they spent time with jugglers Jeff Taveggia
and Brian Hulse, who is now living and performing there.