Quixotic Fusion: Dancing with light

I’ve been interested in the use of technology in circus for some time. The performance of Quixotic Fusion at TED merges dance and elements of aerial work to produce some interesting results.

To be honest the over all performance is not to my taste but it’s great to see companies succeeding in the tricky business of blending technology with live performance.

Synthetic Video

Jugglers prepare for depression/inspiration (depending on your philosophical out look on life), Wes Peden has released his most recent pay for view video digital download, entitled ‘Synthetic’. And it’s epic.

I should probably write a little more on the contents but I’m not going to bother, you all know the deal. If Wes puts 18 months into a project you know it’s going be worth €15!

Buy ‘Synthetic’ here!

I guess if you really need to know more then have a read of this blurb by Wes…

Synthetic is a film displaying the new work of Wes Peden. The material was inspired, in a concrete way, by the strength of each prop and how to best take advantage of these qualities. The general aesthetic of the juggling was particularly influences by asymmetry, clarity, and trick shape.

The video is 45 minutes long and comes with an additional 25 minutes of bonus tricks and remixes. inside you will find 3 club slapping sequences, the coolest 5 ball pirouette Wes has ever done, 25 new ring patterns, a German 6 ball piece, 3 balls and a sweater, THE THROWING AWAY SECTION, the holy club/cuphead/ball part, site specific head rolls, flipping forehead balances, the 2012 five club routine, and so very much many more!

Shifting Goals

Warning: This post is a bit of an ego boost, sorry! 

I don’t think I’ve ever subscribed to the “I’ve just flashed X number of objects” of approach to juggling. I’ve never set up a camera and spent 35mins trying one trick that’s probably too hard for me, I did today…

When I started juggling (10 or so years ago) juggling 7 clubs was a big deal. Very few could even blag it and even fewer performed it consistently on stage (this hasn’t changed yet). A well known juggling book* has this to say about The Seven Club Cascade, “…it is highly unlikely the more than one or two readers will ever have the actual experience of driving this pattern”. Funny how such statements date so quickly.

The love it or hate it the WJF should be partly credited to the rise of more 7 club jugglers.

And this makes you wonder what’s possible….

*Guess the juggling book

Allie Cooper’s Vertical Rope

Given the backgrounds of most of us Circus Geeks – at least the more prolific of us writers – I sometimes feel we overlook some of the other circus skills that are out there. Today’s lesser talked about circus skill: Corde Lisse.

This is Allie Cooper. She’s a rope artist based in California whom I met at a circus party some time last year. She’s very lovely and put together one of the most enjoyable promo videos for her rope act that I’ve seen. In some ways it reminds me of Danny MacAskill’s Way Back Home.

You can also follow Allie on twitter.

Have you seen other promo videos that are striking, unique or different? Let us know in the comments below.

Lab:time

I applied for the first round of Lab:time funding, looking for help developing ideas for a show. I received Lab:time funding for one part of my proposal, ‘Explore light trails with jugging’ and was allocated £750 and access to the Creation Studio at Circus Space.

The hardest part of the process was coordinating a date that worked with Circus Space, myself and the participants.

I spent a couple of fun, yet intense days working with Howie Bailey a VJ (and with the help of Jon Udry, a fellow juggler). 

Lab:time allowed me the luxury to explore and develop an idea that I was certain would produce useful results. Not having the pressure of a deadline or end client to please allowed time to investigate different techniques that may have been overlooked in a different environment.  

I’d strongly recomend applying to Lab:time if there is an interesting idea relating to circus lurking in the back of your mind. If there’s not, then get thinking!

Related links:

Rhönradturnen

The German Wheel is one of the most painful pieces of equipment I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. Thankfully I’ve gotten away lightly with only bumps, bruises and the occasional crushed finger (unlike my former partner who suffered a torn calf muscle and a broken foot at various times).

One of the best German Wheel artists was Wolfgang Bientzle who, in the video below, performs one of the most painful routines I’ve ever seen – in a whole other way! He’s very good on the wheel though!

Pole Dance Dictionary

Anyone interested in the documenting of ‘circus’ tricks or wanting to learn chinese pole should have a look at Pole Dance Dictionary for inspiration.

A very slick looking site, it’s just a shame they didn’t use YouTube so you could easily share videos. Also nice to see a familiar face on the site!

Pole Dance Dictionary on Facebook.