A rare specimen, a juggler who is ultimately a clever poem cast in flesh and blood.

André Heller

as a Juggler

His act is far more than a mere demonstration of agility and skill. The motions of the performer and his props fuse together to form a breathtaking, spectacular choreography: Oliver Groszer dances his juggling.

Tagesspiegel Berlin

The Beginning

While attending boarding school as a teenager, I started juggling just as many other classmates did for a short time. Unlike them, however, I was immediately and permanently electrified by this activity. I locked myself in the school gym for nights on end, training and exercising. After a short time, I had a small repertoire of feats and on the weekends went to the next town to supplement my pocket money with street performances. After graduation, I returned to Berlin with the intention of becoming a professional juggler. 

OSO 1981-1986

In Berlin I was very fortunate to meet the guru of jugglers: Karl-Heinz Ziethen. He knew all the great jugglers worldwide and had written many books about the art of juggling. During the day I trained by myself, and at night I studied with him, watching the videos from his archive and listening to his comments and stories.

Berlin 1986-1989

When I realized how many talented individuals already had been—and still were—in this profession, I searched for my own distinctive style in order to distinguish myself in this endeavor. I took dance lessons in ballet and jazz, trained in breakdancing, and started to combine these dance forms (along with other artistic elements, such as miming, acting, and magic) in my juggling routines. I also learned some fascinating juggling tricks no longer performed that I had seen in old black-and-white films at Karl’s.
My first engagement was in Archaos, the legendary and revolutionary French circus.

On tour we played in Copenhagen and London, participated at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, and finally performed in Paris at the Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione where the famous international circus festival Cirque de Demain was soon thereafter to take place. Every year, this prestigious festival attracts circus artists of all genres.
Spontaneously, I decided to participate, stayed in Paris and devoted myself to this competition. During the festival, which lasted less than a week, artists performed at least twice.

Archaos 1989

Cirque D'Hiver 1990

A panel of international experts judged each performance on the following criteria: originality, technique, music, and artistic dramaturgy. At the premiere, all contestants ran into the huge ring waving their national flags. Just after the impressive ceremonious opening, I had my first performance. Everything went well at the beginning, but when I tried to balance the five balls, one ball rolled off my knee. That shouldn’t have been a problem because the sound engineer knew my signal to stop the music and restart the tape in such an emergency.

The audience applauded when I repeated the trick, but unfortunately the audiotape only hissed loudly. Three thousand people held their breath; the presenter entered the ring to stop my performance. But I would not let myself be driven away. Powerfully singing the music accompaniment, I continued my juggling act without a hitch. It was a huge success and got rave reviews. I advanced to the semi-finals and then on to the worldwide televised final gala attended by all the major agents as well as variety and circus directors. Standing on the podium afterwards, I received the silver medal at the awards ceremony.

Awards Ceremony 1990

That momentous day launched my international career and to this day, I am grateful for my deep and abiding friendship with Karl-Heinz Ziethen.

After almost three decades juggling worldwide, I then set off on other exciting traveling adventures.


When I was working in the GOP Variety Theatre in Essen, Germany in 1996, Director Andrej Belinskiy and I quickly became friends. Afterwards we kept in touch, and when my wife and I were married in Rome three years later, Andrej and his future husband Rainer Koch were our best men. Later Andrej became the cruise director on a ship, the Mona Lisa, and in 2009 asked me to perform onboard. Instead of paying me money, he invited me (along with my wife and two children) to join the cruise and its excursions without charge. We embarked in the German port of Kiel and had a great time visiting Norway—Nordcap, Bergen, Svalbard, and the awe-inspiring fjords. Impressed and inspired by Andrej’s outstanding job being the face and voice of the ship, I began to think about the future possibility of doing something similar myself. He helped me get in contact with Nicko Tours, a German tour operator, and in 2011 I started working for this company as a freelance cruise director on European rivers.’