Entries Tagged 'Performing' ↓

Aaro on Performing with Fire Diabolos

After his experience on Norske Talenter (Norwegian Talents), Aaro put together an excellent post on performing with the Gora kit for Finesse diabolos, and even fire diabolos in general.

I was using normal string, but I think it is a good idea to change the string quite often, as it will get worn/melted a bit every time you juggle. Always have spare sticks around, and someone on the side of the stage that your diabolo is spinning towards. This person should also have a fire extinguisher or similar to take care of any nasty surprises. I had a luxury of having a trained stunt man on stage with me, but any person with hands and some basic understanding of fire should do…

[Forum thread]

Diabolo Explosion

Diabolo ExplosionEven if this is just a teaser for the full show, we can easily judge Huub’s quality based on this short promo.

Huub Cooijmans‘ show pairs technical skill with illusion to produce a very unique diabolo performance. Also, any show that chucks a diabolo out of a box is an instant classic in my mind. This definitely looks like a show you should see if you have the opportunity.

Cheers to Martijn for doing a bang-up job on creating a very worthy promo for Huub’s show.

Donald Grant Performance Video

Phenomenal. Now that’s solid and polished. Nobody else can milk tricks quite like that: does anyone else dare to get such a reaction out of a web? And the timing of it all. Impeccable. Right down to the slowing of the final throws and the precise synchronization at the end.

I can’t help but get the feeling that we’re seeing a privileged glimpse of a dying breed. Who will carry on the old-school style? There were comparatively so few who learned during this era of diabolo. We’ve all been enticed by the short sticks and 2d backwraps.

To top it all off? This was filmed in 2003… just before this forum even existed!

Music in live performance

Music as an art form
Let me start off by saying I absolutely love music. I play different kinds of music at different occasions: I listen to music when I’m using my computer, I visit concerts and festivals and I practice my juggling whilst listening to music. Then there are two more ways for me to combine music with other art forms: live performance & video design.

Music in live performance
Music can be used to complement other visual art forms, such as a live performance. When you’re deciding on the music for your performance you will have to satisfy many more people than just yourself. Therefore, you can’t just pick any music you like — the music needs to serve a specific purpose. Obviously, you can’t satisfy your entire audience, but as long as you make reasonable choices so the music fits your performance, you can get away with pretty much anything. You will have to carefully select a piece. Here are some of the choices you should consider.

Music or no music
One of the most basic decisions you will have to make is the choice of wether you’re going to use supporting music or not. It might seem like an obvious choice, but stand still for a moment and make sure your motives make sense.

You can choose to make a choreographed routine or one to perform in silence. Performing your routine in silence requires a stronger presentation, clear facial expressions and distinct body language. You can also choose to make music during your routine, using your props for example.

Live or recorded
What fits better with your routine? Music played by a live band or artist, or a piece recorded on a CD? Music performed live can bring a whole other dimension to the performance, but may be harder to come by.

Tr’espace performs an act where a pianist accompanies them, while they are moving around and on top of the piano. Cirque Du Soleil often uses live music, which tells a story and can be adjusted on the fly to match what’s happening with the performance. An example of an act that is choreographed to recorded music is Florian & Jochen’s Get The Shoe. They perform a club passing act in kung-fu style with a lot of crazy sound effects, which they have timed perfectly with their movements, punches and kicks.

If you choose to use lyrics, they should be appropriate and complement the routine. Most of the time, it’s best to go for instrumental.

The tempo of the music should match your own tempo. Are there any tempo changes in your routine? Are there any pauses?

Choose a musical genre that fits with your personal style and routine. You want to avoid excessively used, well-known music like movie themes and pop music. Keep the venue and audience in mind; are you performing for strangers or for your friends and family?

On a more practical note: how long do you want your routine to be? Perhaps you’ll need to edit the music you want to use.

The process of choice
Ideally, you will select the music before you start composing your routine to it. Now you know what choices will determine your decision, how do you begin? Open up iTunes (or however you manage your music collection) and scroll through your music, while keeping the above options in mind. If you want to go random, enable “shuffle” and skip along. If you’re a neat-freak like me and have a well-organized library, you could try browsing a certain genre or playlist.

Try diaboloing to various pieces and see how it influences your movements. See if a certain piece inspires you to diabolo in a certain way. Some pieces won’t move you at all, some will mess up your play and others will suit your style seamlessly. Needless to say, go for the latter.

I particularly like to perform to music that doesn’t get me all hyped up to the level I get distracted and make unnecessary mistakes. In the past I have performed to Us3’s “Cantaloop”, St. Germain’s “Land of…” and Gotan Project’s “Mi Confesion”. They make me feel relaxed and confident on stage. Some less fortunate choices have been Bomfunk MC’s’ “Freestyler” (yes, I went that road) and Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’”. Although the Limp Bizkit track fitted with the energy I put into the routine, it got me too hyper on stage, which damaged my performance significantly. I have made more unfortunate choices, but let’s not dive too deep into my failures for now ;-) It’s all part of the learning process you will have to go through yourself!

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