By Dominique Jando
Although a Belgian citizen, Serge Percelly was born on a Christmas Day in Geneva, Switzerland, to a circus family. Her mother, Patricia, née De Jonghe, was a tight wireA tight, light metallic cable, placed between two platforms not very far from the ground, on which a wire dancer perform dance steps, and acrobatic exercises such as somersaults. (Also: Low Wire) dancer and heiress to a celebrated Belgian circus dynasty. His father, Bruno Chicky, is one Europe's great whiteface clowns, who starred for many years in all major European circuses as one half of the Duo Chicky.
Serge spent the first twelve years of his life in Geneva, where he lived with his grandmother and went to school while his parents were touring internationally. But at thirteen, he joined his parents on the road, and developed a taste for juggling. He began to train by himself, soon working six hours a day on his juggling skills. To give a touch of originality to the act he was building, his mother suggested that he present it dressed as a tennis player, juggling exclusively with 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 his first contract. In 1983, Serge won a Bronze Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
Serge Percelly's fast-paced, exciting juggling act, and his charismatic personality, opened 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, 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)