A Balloon Festival ..... unlike Any Other !
We have invited for you some incredible instructors ; a mix of rising stars and seasoned big names !
Some are top notch twisters ,others are strong entertainers , many are coming to the Jam for the very first time !
We hope that you will enjoy all of them !
We were thinking (yes , we sometimes do that !) why look any further , when we have top notch quality right here under our nose ! Tom Saeys is a phenomenal balloon artist who combines a high technical level with an incredible timing and feeling for entertainment : from busking to TV-work , from magic to mime , from street entertainment to a full evening theater show ! During past editions of the Millennium Jam , he brought the house down more than once ; we are convinced that he will do it one more time !
The rumour goes that he will bring along a 'mystery guest' but we couldn't get any confirmation of that !
..... It's like getting two for the price of one !
Twistina began balloon modelling in 2004. Her background has always been artistic and she ran her own cake decorating business for almost 20 years. Balloon sculpture became her sole focus in 2005 and she started designing her own original balloon art.Twistina attended her first balloon convention, MilleniumJam 2006 at which she was very proud to win 3rd place in the multi-balloon sculpture competition.
Twistina has been published in “Balloon Magic- the magazine", produced by Qualatex and has also been sponsored to teach for them in the USA.She has written her own balloon twisting Instructional e-books in CD-Rom/PDF format that sell to fellow balloon artists all around the world.
She has appeared on BBC and ITV Television, has worked for prestige companies such as Harvey Nichols and Louis Vuitton. Her award-winning Tutankhamun balloon sculpture featured in the Wall Street Journal in an article on balloon art.
The Russians are coming ....
For the very first time , we have invited two russian balloon artists to the Millennium Jam ,and not just anybody ! If you want to have an idea what these guys are capable of , just go to page 13 in the new 2015 Qualatex catalog ! Is that an awesome Bird Cage or what ! When we saw that life-size Bird Cage for the first time , we were speechless !
They promised to do something special at the Jam ! Be amazed !
Alexander Solomatin of the SD Shar Company, Moscow started working with balloons at the age of 13 in 2002 ! He evolved a lot since then , from 'carrier' to 'art director'. Over the years balloons became a very important part of his life. They help him to express his creative ideas and ....they are a very profitable business. In 2012 , he began his teaching career that brought him to many cities of Russia to teach seminars and master classes !
A few of his achievements :
2009 - Moscow Balloon Festival : the most creative team, as part of Art Bureau 12 inches
2012 - BACI convention in Florence - Italy : Large Sculpture Competition , category MASTERS, Second place as member of the national team of Russia
2013 - BACI convention in Florence - Italy : 12 Minutes Competition, second place
2014 - BACI convention in Sicily - Italy : 12 Minutes Competition, second place
2014 - BACI convention in Sicily - Italy : Large Sculpture Category, First place as member of the SD Shar Company Team
2014 - Moscow Balloon Convention - Russia : Large Sculpture Competition , category MASTERS, First place as Team Captain
Vadim Shushkanov, 27 years old. CBA. Living and working in Moscow, Russia
My first encounter with balloons was in 2010. It began as a hobby, but since then ,step by step , balloons and everything connected with balloons became my greatest passion !
Over the years my colleagues and I made hundreds of balloon decorations from funny birthday parties to elegant wedding décor, from animal and character twisting and fantasy flowers to big complex sculptures.
I spent a lot of time doing kid`s parties and giving workshops for young twisters. I love passing on my knowledge to others. I was invited to teach in master classes across Russia.
Now I'm in charge of developing new business techniques at our company and expanding our customer base .
I like working with balloons. I am always trying to achieve similarity between real people and balloon creations. I like balloons to look as realistic as possible. As a twister , I make balloon figures with emotions. I think that if you are looking at it and you can see emotions (happy, funny, shy and etc) , then and only then , the figure is well made.
I usually need to combine different techniques in order to achieve that "alive effect". Also I like developing new ideas and my own balloon techniques.
Some of my awards :
2012 - BACI convention in Florence, Large Sculpture Competition , category MASTERS, Second place as member of the national team of Russia
2013 - BACI convention in Florence, 12 Minutes Competition, First place
2014 - WBC convention,Large Sculpture Competition, First place as member of the national team of Russia
2014 - BACI convention in Sicily, 12 Minutes Competition, First place
2014 - BACI convention in Sicily, Big sculpture, category MASTERS ,First place as captain of the team
2014 - Moscow Balloon Convention in Russia, Big sculpture, category MASTERS, First place as member of the SD Shar Company Team
Workshop 1 : Techniques to win !
This workshop will be dedicated to the 12 minute competition at Baci that we have won the last three years. We will share the instructions of our winning figures with participants. Each of them were made with many special techniques. I think that the audience will find it interesting and useful. We often get asked about these techniques and now you can learn these characters at the Millennium Jam .
Workshop 2 : Dream weaving
This workshop will be about «brand new» twisting techniques . The doves at the Moscow Balloon Convention were made in that technique . Altogether , we would like to show tree types of weaving. All of them will be shown for the first time : A WORLD PREMIERE !!!
Workshop 3 : Keep it alive & kicking
In this workshop,we would like to tell about a few methods of keeping twisting figures in a good shape. How to keep your character shiny and inflated during weeks and weeks and ...
Workshop 4 : Quick-link Tips & Tricks
This workshop will show my ideas about Q-Links. First ,we create a balloon figure of 30 cm in height from 160Q and then the same figure made from Q-Links 5 meter in height. We will also explain some common features and mistakes in working with Q-Links.
Eddy Smits (Belgium) has been a professional artist and clown for more than 25 years.
In his career he wrote, directed and played more than 20 theater productions in some of which balloons played an important role.
From 1998-2008 he worked as a hospital clown visiting thousands of sick children.
He used balloons to connect with children by bringing laughter and joy to them in difficult times.
In 2012 he wrote ‘Model C’. In this book he explains how the way you connect as a clown can also be used in real life. You don’t even have to be a clown or entertainer to apply this philosophy.
Workshop 1 : How to connect to people with balloons !
His lecture is not about making great figures, but about how you can make balloons work for you as an entertainer or clown.
It’s about his vision of entertaining with these fabulous colourful latex bags you fill with air and how they will change your life forever.
This may very well be -as an entertainer and a person- the most important lecture that you can attend at this year's Millennium Jam !
We had the pleasure to welcome Diane several times at the Millennium Jam as an attendee. We are very happy that she is joining us this time as an entertainer. Born in Liverpool, England and now residing in Osaka, Japan, Diane is a multi-talented artist.
She is a top Rakugo performer – the traditional art of Japanese storytelling - in English and Japanese, travels the globe, is invited as a motivational speaker, gives laughter yoga sessions and is an excellent international ambassador for Japanese culture. She is also an awesome balloon artist, and will share her experiences of balloon therapy in Japan after the tsunami in 2011.
And last but not least, she is a nice lady with a great sense of humour and a warm-hearted personality!
Let’s enjoy an evening with Diane and experience a little piece of Japan, here in Belgium.
Rob Balchunas—a.k.a. Rob the Balloon Guy—is an award-winning artist and performer who combines balloons, magic, and comedy in ways you’ve never seen before. Whether it’s creating individual balloon sculptures, performing on stage, or building large-scale balloon installations, Rob’s balloon talents are hard to match.Originally from West Hartford, Connecticut, Rob twisted his first balloon dog at the age of four and made his first birthday party performance at the age of eight. Since then, Rob has used balloons to entertain thousands, travel the world, and earn his admission into Emerson College in Boston. In addition to live performance, Rob has consulted for television, commercials, and made appearances on TLC’s The Unpoppables, Steve Harvey, and the documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. Rob is the only person to have won Top Twister at Twist & Shout and Designer of the Year at FLOAT. He was also only one of two Americans to place at the World Balloon Convention in 2014.
Workshop 1 : Superhero Backpacks
Backpacks are a great option to make at events because they're fun to wear allow both of the person's hands to be free. Rob will show you how to use his Turtle Shell backpack as a template to create the hottest superheroes around right now. Since these designs primarily use Quick Links, they come together really fast while creating a large final product. Kids love running around pretending to be their favorite superhero!
Workshop 2 : Favorite Facial Expressions
One of the more common requests is "Can you make me out of balloons?" Rob will show you some of his favorite face designs, including ones used in his award-winning piece from Twist & Shout 2011. You'll learn how to create different facial expressions to convey a wide range of emotions. You'll be able to use these tools to create anybody you'd like.
For many years now , Antonio is one of the technically most innovative and creative balloon entertainers around and it is a pleasure and an honour to have him at the Come Back edition of the Millennium Jam ! He won awards at all major balloon events and I would need an extra page to list them all !
Great to have you with us , Maestro !
Antonio Bécares Rodríguez in his own words ...
I started juggling when I was 16, with magic when I was 18 and two years later I made my first balloon dog, my first flower and a beautiful two balloon parrot, one for the parrot and one for the ring… I loved being able to model long balloons turning them into figures… And it’s still my passion…
It was not until 2006, when I went to Euro-Jam in Germany that I discovered how big the world of balloons is and what one can create, an entire universe… I also discovered great professionals, who taught me every secret, every detail of the techniques that were the key to develop my own designs, and for the first time I saw balloons of different diameters, with which I could add details to the figures. In addition to attending lectures where I learned a lot, I spent a whole year practicing what I learned in just 4 days!
Since then my view on balloons changed radically, after that I have attended the Euro-Jam every year, the last 6 years as an instructor, quite an honor. I love that event, it brings back so many nice memories....
In 2007 I attended the Millennium Jam in Belgium, where I learned and I learned so much more, I also shared a bungalow with 8 spanish friends that are now part of my family, so many good experiences… Since then I didn’t miss any edition, the atmosphere and the level of the attendees is just great and in places like this is where you can learn from the best instructors and to meet the top of the top in the world of this amazing balloon industry .I thank every one of the instructors of the workshops that I have attended.My intention is to continue teaching and learning of the meetings that the balloon industry gives us the opportunity to attend.
Today I am still attending as many workshops as I can to expand my knowledge about this world that I love… Balloons!
Workshop 1 : The Pinch-line tecnique & other 'inspiraling' distortions !
In this class you will learn how to master the Pinch-Line Technique from simple to advanced combinations. I will share some novelty ideas to use and have fun with the Pinch-Line…
This workshop includes the distortion balloons as used in the winning piece from Dustin at Twist & Shout 2012 for the plants covering the Star Wars scene, with several applications like legs for birds, futuristic style twisting... A clever way to insert objects inside a twisting balloon using just your hands… Also, even more interesting, the spiral with 260 to make a simple but nice toy or to use it to make new level figures like the unicorn, screws, the wine opener.... This is the most difficult twist I make and it has always been a great success in front of the audience...
Workshop 2 : The Side Bubbler
When you twist a side bubble in a balloon you get a very interesting distortion and an attachment point.Become a side bubble expert by learning tips & tricks that will make this technique one of your favorite skills. In this workshop we will learn and play with the side bubble technique, making side bubbles in all sizes and kinds of balloons, you name it, you can side bubble it! How to place various side bubbles at the desired places on one balloon.There are many ways to use and take advantage of this technique… One of the figures that will be shown is the winner of the 12 min competition of T&S 2013; The Parakeet using 321Q, also a dove that uses 2 side bubbles in a 260... So it's not a piece of cake but it is well worth the effort and I am sure you will improve your twisted designs with the use of this technique.
Workshop 3 : Animated Balloons
In this workshop we will explore the motion with balloons, using properties that give us the chance to make real movements in our balloon sculptures…It’s an amazing world to play with and always gets a really nice response from the crowd…
The spinning flower, the rotating helicopter, the formula one “really” racing car... All of them move!!!Antonio will teach a nice principle that makes the balloon figures move, giving a great extra to your creations, he won the Pyjama Jam Competition last year in the “Balloons in Motion” Category... Let’s have fun with a simple and easy idea that always impresses people...
Workshop 4 : Antonio’s 12 minute Competition Sculptures & more …
A workshop where you will learn the 3 designs that got the first price in the 12 Minute Competition… and more…
The Quack Duck in the pond, The Flowys, The Parakeet… and The Scooter that was awarded in the Small Category in 2012…
The most valuable part of the workshop are the tips & tricks for getting the wow-factor…
Breaking, popping and cutting balloons with your hands…
The tips & tricks to work fast with your hands and be more efficient at twisting…
How to present the balloons to make people fall in love with your designs…
Alberto Falcone , master-instructor for Qualatex for many many years now ,is the absolute top both in balloon modeling and in balloon decor.Like good wine ... he gets better with the passing of time ! He is a very talented teacher who knows how to captivate the attention of his audience with his italian flair and a dry sense of humour !His DVD's are a phantastic illustration of the many innovative techniques that he has invented and taught allover the world .He has been invited to teach at the Millennium Jam several times now but each and every time he blew us out of our socks with his creativity and original designs . You should not miss any of the workshops of this Italian Maestro ! Really ,you shouldn't !!
Workshop 1 : Bigger is Better = DECO WORKSHOP !!!!
Workshop 2 : Mad for Starpoints = DECO WORKSHOP !!!!
Now , this is a true gentleman and a fine balloon-artist !
He is also the author of one of the most beautifully made (and sold out , I'm sorry to say !) balloon books ever published :
"Magic Balloon Design , the Characters"
I don't know of any balloon twister whose balloon figures are so immaculately finished as Hyun-Gu's . I let him introduce himself in his own words :
I'm "Hyun-Gu Park”,CBA aka “Beating” from South Korea.I started Balloon Twisting by chance when I was a freshman at Suwon University in 2000.
I enjoyed Balloon Twisting for ever so long just as a hobby. In 2007 I was employed by the Balloon Art Company and stayed there for 4 years.
While working at the Balloon Art Company, I learned about Balloon Decor and the business side of balloons.
Also, I published my first Balloon Book “Magic Balloon Design, the Characters”. After leaving the company, I have been teaching my balloon art in various countries and I published a second book "Magic Balloon Design Vol.1" I taught at the Twist & Shout Event in 2009, the Qualatex Event Taiwan in 2009, the first World Balloon Convention in Dallas in 2010, the OnArt Convention in Spain in 2012, the Balloon Show Shanghai in 2013 and gave workshops in Belgium, Holland, France and Hungary.
In South-Korea there are many balloon decorators but only few Balloon Twisters.
So I’m really happy whenever I have a chance to meet balloon twisters from various countries.
I hope to meet many collegues and make lots of new friends at the Millennium Jam in November !
Workshop 1 : Animals & Characters 'Hyungu Style'
I will teach various animals and characters at this class. If you want to learn my own style, please check my class.
In addition to that, I will teach "How to apply those figures on the plastic cup i.e. How to make a Balloon Cup".
Class Level : Intermediate
Workshop 2 : Balloon Gifts in a Cup
I will teach various Balloon Gifts including the balloon figures with candy and plastic cup at this class.
If you need the info about the Balloon Gifts, please check my Facebook. You can find this kind of balloon figure on my Facebook. Of course I will teach new designs that I don't yet open on my Facebook.
Class Level : Intermediate
Phileas Flash (aka Rupert Appleyard) is an international award winning British entertainer who has been creating large scale balloon sculptures and working balloon line ups internationally for the last twelve years. Largely self taught, his distinctive style and freestyle methods have pushed his creations to the forefront of balloon art, with images of his signature pieces being seen and shared all over the world. He loves performing, and the combination of art and entertainment, puts his work in hot demand both in Canada (where he now lives with his wife and two dogs) and worldwide. What a character , he is !!
Phileas Flash has a reputation for making some of the best balloon faces in the industry and in this class he will show you how you can too! Drawing on examples from his best selling series of instructional DVDs (The Face of Things To Come) and previously unreleased techniques Phileas' class will be sure to put a smile on your face - so you can put one on your balloon faces! Suitable for intermediate to advanced twisters.
Workshop 2 : Packs Flat, Plays Big! (hands on)
Sometimes great things come in flat packages. Join Phileas Flash as he shows you how to turn the underestimated weave into a powerful balloon building tool. Essential for building big sculptures and quick enough for restaurant work, Phileas' favourite weave is a versatile utility device that should be in every twister’s arsenal. As well as teaching the basic technique, Phileas will show you four small, flat weave creations that will help you see the amazing potential of this humble technique!
Workshop 3 : Playing poker with balloon dogs.(theory)
Have you ever wondered how Phileas Flash can produce unique and incredible large scale balloon sculptures week after week? Or how much planning goes into each piece? Where do all the ideas come from? And how does he infuse that vital spark of life into each and every one of his figures?
Well it's time to find out. Join Phileas Flash as he invites you to enter the world of the freestyle balloon twister. A place where challenges are welcomed and imagination is the only limitation.
Workshop 4 : Jamming on all frequencies (hands on)
When we work together we can achieve AMAZING things, and that's what this event is all about. Over the space of two hours Phileas Flash will lead your team through a two hour focused jam to create a large scale sculpture. Whatever your skill level you will bring your own unique perspective to the team and add your own special touch to the sculpture. Because this is all about creating in the moment, the theme of the piece will be randomly decided on the day, making this one exciting ride! Are you ready to see if you have what it takes to jam on all frequencies?
I started entaining people 35 years ago , first as a musician , later also as a magician.
I twisted my first Balloon-Dog in 1988 ; long before anybody heard of the internet, youtube or facebook.
From 1990 to 1992 , I attended the School for Magic and learned balloon decor and balloon-twisting in Chicago.
Since 1993 I work as a professional balloon-artist. I do linework and I also have a Balloon Decor Company and an Web shop together with my wife.
I have several Stage-shows for children and adults, and I 'm invited regularly to teach balloon-modeling.
I gave workshops/lectures in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the USA .
My linework-repertoire is about 2500 figures some of which are really , really naughty .... so they say ....
Workshop 1 : Reduce to the max
All two minute figures. Perfect for linework. Fast to make, extraordinary look but sometimes not easy.
It is not a beginners-class because I will not teach the basics.
There are a lot of techniques I use and explain. Also lots of tips and tricks from my 23 years of linework-experience….
Workshop 2 : Twin-Twist and other helpful techniques
This lessen contains different great techniques and all what you can do with it. Many of those techniques, like the shocking, sliming, stuffing, coloring, welding are known, but just a few people use them. I show what you can do with those helpful, great techniques and how fast you can work with it. I -last but not least- also show my fantastic twin-twist technique !
FLIPO - Belgium
Flipo is a belgian balloon clown and children entertainer with a carreer of more than 25 years . He is an excellent actor in amateur theater and has also directed several plays . A few years ago , he won the Stage Competition at the Millennium Jam with a brilliant act and was awarded the title of 'European Balloon Entertainer of the Year". He is also an excellent teacher and as the house instructor of IBS , he has been teaching the basic techniques of balloonmodeling to many beginning twisters .This year as well ,he will teach again a three hour long , intensive workshop for beginners. Flipo guarantees you that you will be able to follow the next days at TMJ if you finish this one !
Workshop 1 : Basics of Balloon Modeling
Manon Dudziak - France
Manon aka Mademoiselle M twisted her first balloon in 2006. USA, China, Japan, Thaïland, Italy, Switzerland, Spain an d Belgium ... Manon shares her love for balloons thru her shows and performances that are both original and festive !! This extraordinary artist is called upon for spectacular projects , TV shows , Fashion Shows and exhibitions ! Her creations , her humour and her incredible energy know no boundaries and give a boost to whoever is lucky to meet her ..... in the Balloon Universe ....
Some of het awards :
-Millennium Jam 2007 3rd place stage competition
-Millennium Jam 2008 1st place stage competition
-Twist and Shout 2008 1st place stage competition
-Twist and Shout 2009 2nd place stage competition
-BAWC Bangkok 2009 1st place hat contest
-BACI 2012 2nd place big sculpture
-BACI 2013 1st place centerpiece
- BACI 2013 2nd place column
Brenda and Petra aka 'The Macaroni Girls' - don't ask me why .. or better ,ask Graham Lee why ...- started balloon modeling in 2004 .
They got to know each other in an email groupfor make-up artists on the internet .
They soon found out that they booth loved balloons and met each other 'face to face' not long after that. From then on , they met every now and then during the week-end to twist balloons and became an unseparable duo .In 2006 , they became CBA's . They often work together but they each have their own style !
In 2012 they taught their first workshop to interested balloon collegues and two years later , Graham Lee booked them for one of his famous Care & Share Days .
Their teaching style is very special and unique ! You've got to see it ,to believe it !
Here are some important 'milestones ' in their career :
TMJ 2006 2°Place One Balloon Category
TMJ 2007 3° Place One Balloon Category
TMJ 2007 1° Place 4Figure-it-Out Workshop by Ori Livney
2005 start company CreaRose
2014 Price Best Arrangement in Qualatex Spring Deliveries & Balloon Gift Contest
2014 Designer of the Season in Qualatex Winter Holiday Contest
Ken Stillman has influenced the balloon industry with ideas from life size Ninja Turtles to Fantasy Princesses, from Cartoon Balloons to his Awesome Bouquets that were featured in Balloon Magic magazine. Ken was invited several times to teach in Belgium and each and every time , he surprised us and sometimes he blew us out of our socks !
His Hitch Hiker design is used on a daily basis by balloon artists the world over. Ken rocked the balloon world with the release of his Super Hero DVD series. So what could he possibly do next?
His newest influences on the balloon community is his concepts of 'Balloon Beads' which is the possibility of putting structure right through the middle of the balloon and his Easy Human Balloon Distortion Techniques.
Don't miss this once in a life time opportunity !
Workshop 1 : Balloon Beads
Workshop 2 : Human Distortion Made Easy
Workshop 1 : Introduction to Abstract Balloon Hats
A well made balloon crown can transform a party, make for great photos, bigger tips, and repeat business. Addi will teach a system of making balloon hats that are not only fast, beautiful and always evolving. The key is thinking about balloon twisting like cooking a soup; once you learn the basic building blocks, it is just a matter of adding ingredients with the right proportion and harmony. The goal of the class is to help you look at balloons in a whole new light, and give you great designs that you can start using right away, so get ready to “get your hands dirty.”
Once you understand the foundation of funky, abstract balloon hats, the next step is to blast off into improvisation - the theory and practice of spontaneous creation. Borrowing many ideas from jazz musicians, some of the ideas we will cover include 1) Variations on a Theme, 2) Embracing Mistakes and 3) Developing Your Own Style. We will also discuss, When is improvisation appropriate? and How is improvisation useful in other parts of your business and life?. Highly recommended for those who are interested in exploring the unknown.
On Sunday evening , November 8th , Addi will give a once-in-a-lifetime Master Class about this very specific discipline .
Everybody will get the chance to make a Balloon Bass and perhaps you will get the chance to join Addi and his Band Unpoppable on stage for the official ,incredible , jaw-dropping unique Concert to kickstart the Millennium Jam ! Do not miss it ! You ain't seen nothing yet !
To minimise the risk of a balloon overdose and get the tired muscles going in the morning , we have planned for you a few juggling workshops !
Yes , the creed 'Mens sana in Corpore sano!' is totally our cup of tea ! For these juggling classes , we didn't invite some every day ball handler , no no , ladies and gentleman , this Steve Mills is THE Steven Mills ! The one of 'MILLS MESS' , the absolute top notch world class juggler ...... This man is juggling royaltee ! And those are not our words ..... Steve will also perform an act at the final gala Thursday Night !