Author Topic: Lady diaboloists  (Read 4692 times)

Pau

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Lady diaboloists
« on: February 27, 2016, 01:10:09 pm »
Hello all. I am new to the world of diabolo. At first I had many questions and I found the answers to most of them on this forum. Thank you all for that.

There is still one thing that puzzles me. I hope you guys can help me on this one too.

What I noticed is that most diabolo players are male. Does anyone have an idea why that is? I am a girl and I like girly stuff and I also like to diabolo. Where are the other ladies? Are they less visible? Are there really so few diaboloing women out there? And why?

Arjan

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 01:41:26 pm »
Welcome Pau!

Glad to hear you found your way around the forum and it helped you answer some questions already.

About your question, there really isn't a clear answer to why unfortunately. It is the way it is just because.
I find this rather odd myself, especially because throughout history diabolo was often considered an activity for girls/women or ladies as you refer to them. But in this day in age, there are far far more boys/guys/men doing diabolo.

There are a good amount of girls though, in this forum too.

Olive

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 11:49:36 am »
Hi there,

I've been pondering this for a while too. I think that there are two parts to it that make the absence seem a bit more profound.

1) Women tend to spin poi and hoop as a casual hobby as it is what's seen more and therefore more social, and those that are a little more serious about circus arts head toward balls or club passing. Boys are more likely to pick up a diabolo as a casual thing and keep it up as there are more guys that typically use diabolos, turning it into that social event.

2) Women are less likely to make videos, so are less "out there".

I've been on this forum for maybe 8/9 years now and still not got around to posting a video. One day.

Chloé F.

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 03:17:32 pm »
Hi Pau!
I myself am a girl diaboloist, and I have been wondering about that for a long time too. I have come up with sort of an explanation (two actually) :
- Many children experience circus activities when they're young, and some stereotype tend to orient boys around juggling and diabolo, whereas girls are shown more "physical" circus (trapeze, gymnastic-like disciplines)
- Around high school, when students choose their specialties, there is rather A LOT of boys in maths and scientific sections (at least in France) and since diabolo goes in the more "mathematical" category of art and activities, the same phenomenon seems to take place around it.
But there are women who play diabolo, and don't worry, we won't let that go away!!
There's nothing but what's bearable as long as a man can play diabolo.

Pau

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 03:26:55 pm »
Hey sistas!

Your explanations make perfect sense to me. The technical intricacies of diabolo fascinate me and I see how diaboloing is perhaps a more masculine way of expressing one's creativity. I never juggled or diaboloed at school. I was raised in South America and things are a bit different over there. I am by the way European myself. Also I think that what Olive says about putting together a video could very well be a factor. Maybe men also like to be out there and perform on a stage more?

Arjan thank you for your welcome and for the historic perspective you have drawn. Now I have something else to wonder about. What could possibly be the social, economical and/or political factors that caused such a shift...

Arjan

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 08:20:51 pm »
Well, to my knowledge, there has never been any research done in this area. As you may have found out, the history of diabolo is very poorly documented in the western world, not saying that it's any better in the far east, but at least there is a diabolo museum for instance in Bejing.

You raise interesting questions, there are definitely clue's to be taken from what we do know throughout various sources like drawings and story's. I myself am not a historian of any kind, so I'm not planning on devoting much of my time at this point in my life on this, or the history of the diabolo in general. A student of mine is currently writing a paper on diabolo in the western world as part of his circus history classes at the circus school here in Rotterdam and perhaps he is willing to share this here once it's done.

Nice fact of the day, recently Judith, a talented dutch female diabolo player became 1st in the dutch championships, with Vivian closely behind her taken the 2nd spot, in a field with 5 other competitors who were male. Epic women!

https://www.youtube.com/user/JudithxB

https://www.youtube.com/user/visjes112

Chloé F.

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 08:57:51 pm »
I had not seen these videos, thank you Arjan!
These two girls are definitely a huge inspiration for me, and for a lot of other women diaboloists! There are also several excellent diabolo players in Asia, like LinYu-Yin for instance (which is quite very very talented)


It would be great to see other girls get interested in this fabulous discipline  :)

In the last year I have thought about maybe making a Diabolo.ca girl collaboration but I never really proposed this project online. Maybe it's the right time to do so  :-D
What would you all think about that?  ::)
There's nothing but what's bearable as long as a man can play diabolo.

Pau

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 11:46:43 am »
Chloé what they say about great minds might also go for female diabolo players' minds: I had the same idea. If we can arrange to put together such a video in a couple of years from now I might even be able to make a contribution ;)

Arjan I remember, I watched the championships' live stream. I really liked Vivian's performance. I missed out on the first bit of the diabolo competition and I had not seen Judith's entry yet. Thank you for sharing. If this is the standard for Dutch female diabolo players I have a long way to go!

Would definitely be fun to see what your student comes up with. The 20th century was one of many changes in Europe and my guess would be that one or more of them could very well have caused such a shift in diabolo land. If we are looking at a factor that took place only in Europe/the western world it might even explain why there seem to be more female players in Asia.

Wis

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 03:57:40 pm »
Nice fact of the day, recently Judith, a talented dutch female diabolo player became 1st in the dutch championships, with Vivian closely behind her taken the 2nd spot, in a field with 5 other competitors who were male. Epic women!

Nice! Netherlands pioneer of many wonderful things in Europe. So somebody needs to defend the title in this year's EJC diabolo battle. Right, Judith!?

Come girls to the battle, and kick the patriarchal diabolo world's ass as hard as you can :D
"The string...the inertia...the hours"

Chloé F.

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 09:55:22 pm »
Pau, this is definitely something we should put into place! I would be good if we could make one every year/every two years to see how the Female diabolo world evolves through time.
I guess if we did one this year, we could get about 10-20 contributions  ;)
There's nothing but what's bearable as long as a man can play diabolo.

nev

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2016, 01:07:27 pm »
Makes me wonder if some of the older (sorry) generation are still actively diaboloing?

One of my favorite performances from back in 2008 by Lena Khon
www.Diabolomoves.co.uk/diabolos/ - shop for Sundia diabolos, Handsticks & String

Ceri-Anne

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2016, 06:09:04 pm »
Hi Pau,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for raising these questions!

I haven't been very active recently, but I remember wondering about this when I started diabolo about 12 years ago or so. Lena Kohn certainly was an inspiration to me at the time, partly because she was one of the few female 'role models' I could find in the diabolo world. I also have to add that it has never bothered me. I mean, I never felt excluded or held back or anything like that.

On a related note: isn't there an uneven male/female ratio in juggling in general? I've always thought there were more men than women. This isn't based on any facts though, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

- Around high school, when students choose their specialties, there is rather A LOT of boys in maths and scientific sections (at least in France) and since diabolo goes in the more "mathematical" category of art and activities, the same phenomenon seems to take place around it.
Diabolo has never seemed 'mathematical' to me to be honest. Siteswaps and juggling patterns are more mathematical I think. I find diabolo more intuitive and elegant than toss juggling, and therefore I thought it would appeal more to women. (Forgive me for stereotyping.) In my experience diabolo is a more physical discipline - I learn by seeing and 'feeling' tricks.

Anyway, I will be following this thread with interest to see what other questions come out of it. I am also highly interested in the historical paper your student is writing, Arjan! Please encourage him to share it. :)

Arjan

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Re: Lady diaboloists
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2016, 08:55:00 pm »
I can personally report Lena Köhn is still active and performing. I have met her in late 2015 in Berlin a few times at a training space. She still practices diabolo and is even working on feats like 4 high, she got some good runs. It was a real pleasure to be able to meet her.

I also don't fully support the "mathematical" link with men doing diabolo, although it must be said, diabolo is very much a dimensions and space based type of activity and it has been proven that men are more likely to have a stronger talent for these type of brain use.

Sure, I will ask my student if he could make his paper publicly available.