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At his prime during the 1970–90 period, Sergei Ignatov worked with up to 7 large balls in his performance, and 9 in practice. He frequently performed 11 rings in his act, and juggled them for 22 catches in his practice. Also in his show was 5 clubs. Ignatov is famous for his extremely solid 5 club backcrosses, where he would throw the clubs crossing behind his back and over his shoulder, while walking in a circle. He is also credited with having invented the trick "pancakes" in Virtuosos of Juggling by Karl-Heinz Ziethen. Ignatov's father worked in the Soviet Army.
Sergei Ignatov is also the uncle of the ring juggler Sergei Ignatov Jr, who won the Advanced Rings competition in the World Juggling Federation Championships in both 2004 and 2008.
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