By Dominique Jando
Although a Belgian citizen, Serge Percelly was born Serge Stutz in Geneva, Switzerland, on Christmas Day. His mother, Patricia, née De Jonghe, was a tight-wire dancer and heiress to a celebrated Belgian circus dynasty. His father, Bruno Chicky (Stutz), is one Europe's great whiteface clowns; as one half of the Duo Chicky, he starred for many years in all the major European circuses.
Serge spent the first twelve years of his life in Geneva, where he lived with his grandmother while his parents toured internationally. At thirteen, he joined his parents on the road. Having developed a taste for juggling, he began to train himself, soon working six hours a day on his juggling skills. To lend a touch of originality to the act her son was developing, Serge's mother suggested that he present it dressed as a tennis player, juggling tennis balls and rackets.
In 1981, during an engagement of The Chiclys with the [Boswell-Wilkie Circus]] in South Africa, Serge tried his act for the first time before an audience. It was an immediate success, and the Boswell-Wilkie Circus offered him a contract. In 1983, Serge won a Bronze Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
Serge Percelly's fast-paced juggling act, combined with his charismatic personality, opened to him the doors of the world's major circuses, nightclubs, and variety theaters, including Circus Knie in Switzerland, the Lido of Paris, and the Big Apple Circus in the United States. He also appeared on several TV shows in Europe and the U.S. (including the David Letterman Show on CBS), and was featured in the U.S. Open tennis competition in New York in 2001.
Married to an Australian dancer, Katrina Pritchard, Serge Percelly has two daughters, Lilly Belle and Tatiana Rose. They eventually moved to Australia, where Serge retired from performing and became a juggling teacher.
- Video: Serge Percelly, Juggling Act, in the Big Apple Circus production of Clown Around Town (2000)