Author Topic: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009  (Read 5748 times)

Sean

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Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« on: October 18, 2009, 06:26:57 pm »
Worth a watch and read:
http://www.lukeburrage.com/blog/archives/450

Clean and very effective.

Two valuable points he makes:
Quote
- I hold the final pose as long as possible. This is a good demonstration of what you can do by taking complete control of the audience. As long I do the correct setup, either with or without speaking, they will continue their applause as long as I keep my diabolo in the air.
- There are a few original tricks in the routine, but a lot of standards. Just goes to show that to make a living with juggling, you don’t have to be at the highest level, but you must be GOOD at what you AIM to do.

Janey

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 07:24:36 pm »
damn nice :D that last catch was awesome....
really good performance^^

zwiggelbig

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2009, 07:27:33 pm »
Wow that is amazing! Such a simple act but such a good performance! You are amazing Luke! You made a living out of juggling.. Must have a great life..

I'm really jelous on how you do it! I hope one day I can earn money with a show or a street show but im still to nervous and scared =)

Here is one of the diabolo acts where he talks.


Luke Burrage

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 09:26:50 am »
Hi guys, thanks for the comments. I didn't think this would be such an interesting routine to post here, but I guess those who want to become performers could learn from it.

As well as the streetshow version, and the variete version above, I perform it as part of my theater show, typically on cruise ships. I did it at the Turkish Juggling Convention a few weeks ago, and it went down really well there too. Audiences always seem to "get" the final trick, and, to be honest, the entire routine is really a setup for the long applause that elicits. As I always do this as the opening routine in my full show, it lets me introduce what kind of a juggler I am: good, clean, skillful, and cheeky as ****.

History of the act: First worked on this in 2004, performed it for the first time at the BJC in 2005. I had different music, and was really still trying things out. Would you believe I had a 2 and 3 diabolo section? Yup, back then I was actually working on 3 diabolos. Turns out it wasn't worth my time in the long run, and I even cut the two diabolo section completely.

The music is actually stolen from myself, written for a pure juggling act (clubs and balls) I performed in 2004 at festivals including Berlin Juggling Convention, EJC Open Stage, Chocfest, Dutch Juggling Convention, Klagenfurt Juggling Convention, and the IJA summer festival. Funnily enough, while searching for an old version of the diabolo act I found the "Pickup" routine here: Juggling.tv - Pickup - Luke Burrage

Anyway, here's a version of the diabolo act back in 2006:
Juggling.tv - Luke Burrage Diabolo routine - studio version

Don't bother watching it unless you want to see how LITTLE has changed in the past three years! Except for leaving out the two diabolo section, I can only spot two or three differences in tricks (mainly leaving tricks out compared to the old version).

I'd like to think the way I perform those same tricks now is much better, but then in the 2009 video I'm on stage with an audience, and in the 2006 video I'm performing to an empty room in the Katakomben.

Have fun!
Luke

Mark BMC

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 03:15:03 pm »
Hi Luke. I am a fan of your blog and remember thinking at the time that my own diabolo act needs to become more like yours. I  try hard tricks I really shouldn't and leave out classic trick's that the audience would really appreciate.

My show is isn't really choreographed that tightly and the tricks I attempt normally depend on the crowd, conditions, and how confident  I'm feeling. How did you go about constructing your diabolo act?  A list of tricks you know you wanted to get in or just trying to think what would look smooth?

Anywho a big thanks for taking the trouble with your blog I really enjoy it [never ever ever at work  :-D]

Marky J
 

Luke Burrage

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 07:47:34 pm »
My show is isn't really choreographed that tightly and the tricks I attempt normally depend on the crowd, conditions, and how confident  I'm feeling. How did you go about constructing your diabolo act?  A list of tricks you know you wanted to get in or just trying to think what would look smooth?

Hi Marky J,

I was planning on writing up some workshops for those taking part in next year's BYJOTY show, with a view to improving the standard of acts and awarding the first ever Gold Award. You asking this was a good motivation to get something about diabolo routines out there. Thanks for the inspiration!



Luke B's Guide to Creating a Diabolo Routine:

The biggest secret in any kind of professional/successful juggling/diabolo routine is noticeable variation. So many routines I've seen go at a single pace, with long stretches of tediously similar tricks.

I created my act by doing (very roughly) the following:

- I wrote down a list of TYPES of tricks. Do it yourself; you'll get something like this…
high throws (with something underneath)
diabolo circling a body part
knots
grinds
suicides
diabolo movement tricks
stupid tricks
vertax
etc.

- Within each category, write down ten tricks you can do simply, ten times in a row, without drops or tangles. If they are tricks you invented yourself, so much the better.

- From each of those ten tricks, discard seven, leaving the three most interesting. They should each be different enough so that when you do all three in a row, an unknowledgeable audience will be able to see three distinct techniques. And yet, as they are the same type, they obviously fit together in a natural way.

- Put the sets of tricks in an interesting order.

*stop* A bit (a lot, actually) about ordering tricks in routines:

- Each prop has an "essence", a natural state in which it falls.
Clubs do single flips in the air.
Balls travel in simple paths.
Rings fly sideways to the audience.
Diabolos spin and move in a plane.
More importantly, diabolos are NOT tied to the string like yo-yos.
- When beginning a routine, you must first establish this essence with your audience.
Eg: With clubs, don't start with reverse spins or flat throws.
More pertinent Eg: With a diabolo, make sure you do some THROWS near the start of the routine. Get the damn thing OFF THE STRING!
- Also, dramatic tension is created when an object is airborne, or in a motion that isn't assured to land perfectly and safely. This is why juggling is intrinsically interesting to watch, and club swinging isn't (sorry club swingers).
- Work progressively from the "home sate" of a prop to ever more different and extreme states.
- Each new set of skills should introduce a new concept or element. My routine goes like this:
Diabolo not attached to string (throw from hand)
Diabolo can move side to side, up and down, and in circles.
Can leave the string (throws).
Can be bounced on the string up high.
Can do stuff low to the ground too (I even say this when doing a "talky" show).
I can do it standing sideways (ok, not that interesting)
Round a body part (leg is really visible, and I keep this up for the first applause of the act).
Turn in circle.
OH s**t I LET GO OF THE STICK!
Pause for applause.
Cats cradle.
Pirouette
double pirouette.
Stick grind.
Two handed whip catch (used to make a point about having my arms crossed, but audiences didn't get it, so now I move on quickly).
Pause for applause.
Ok… I can do stupid stuff using my mouth.
String around neck (done kneeling down for added height variation).
Magic knot.
Long setup with a wait… what's coming next?
Blind behind the back one handed whip catch! On the ****ING MUSIC TOO!

Ok, that was a big trick. And how did it end? With the diabolo STOPPED and MOTIONLESS. This is the first time I've REALLY broken away from the essence of the diabolo. This is a VERY clear sign to the audience that they should be clapping around about now, because there is nothing else for them to be doing. The diabolo is no longer the center of attention, there's only me, on stage, and I'm lapping it up.

Right… now in my talking version of this routine I say "Two more styles of one diabolo to finish" and go on to do:
One handed diabolo (infinite suicide stuff after a setup)
Oh, to make it really clear I'm only using one hand I take off my hat with the spare hand.  If people weren't clapping already, they do when I show them this. Why? It's not any more difficult… but if you can guess why, you're already starting to understand performing.
"Drunken style diabolo" (otherwise known as vertex)
Again I end right on the music. Ending a section or the routine on a musical cue is more important than doing any single trick to a musical cue.

*End bit about ordering tricks!*

- So, now you have a loooong list of tricks, maybe 30 or 35. Doing all of them will take maybe five minutes, and you want your first routine to last, at most, 3 minutes.

- Do all the tricks in order. You'll naturally find some nice transitions between the different skills.

- Don't make all the transitions TOO smooth. At some points break, let the audience understand that what is coming next is going to be new and different.

- If you drop on a trick more than twice in row, remove it from the routine.

- If a trick is taking too long and you don't find it different/impressive enough, remove it from the routine.

- Keep removing tricks from the routine until each different style of trick is expressed as clearly and as cleanly as you can possibly show it.


Ok, at this point you're really starting to get somewhere! Want to go further?

- Find a piece of music that has some clearly audible changes along the way (selecting suitable music is a whole post in itself).

- Play the track on repeat.

- Run through the routine over and over, and you'll soon find yourself matching the different parts of the music up to the different sections in your routine.

- To make things fit better, swap around the sections, or extend some tricks.

- Whatever you do, make sure you get your first round of applause NO LATER than 45 seconds into the routine, and no earlier than maybe 30 seconds. Do this by repeating a trick until you get them to clap, or stopping (completely stopping, as in; catch the diabolo in your hand) after a trick that looks different from everything that has gone before.

- Make sure the last trick is easy pleasy lemon squeezy. You should already have removed any hard tricks from the routine, but dropping on that last catch is über-embarrassing. By "hard" I mean hard for YOU. They can be the most technically advanced tricks in the world ever to be performed on stage ever (the opposite of my show) but dropping with a one diabolo routine is unforgivable (saying that, I did drop the last time I performed this routine, but had a spare out of my prop case within two seconds).


That's it for now! Maybe that's a lot to think about, but I go through a similar process with every juggling routine I make now, and it serves me very well indeed.

There is, of course, a huge amount more I could say about routining, but I'll save those for future posts.
Luke

Hathaway

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 07:54:17 pm »
Really interesting post Luke! Very interesting to see how you create such a performance.
Alex abuses flys!

Duncan

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2009, 08:23:57 pm »
Interesting post indeed. Worth a front page spot, I believe: http://diabolo.ca/luke-burrage-how-to-create-a-diabolo-routine/

Midoryu

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 10:51:54 am »
Absolutely stunning post.  I have an audition coming up this Saturday and I was wondering how the heck I was supposed to put up with another performance.  These posts and videos helped GREATLY.  I can't express how much I appreciate Luke telling us all this; I suppose it's one of the perks for being fellow jugglers.  Thanks so very much, Luke.  Of course, there are many more performance posts out there but Luke's, in my opinion, is up there.
If you juggle and you know it, do [insert complex siteswap notation].

Mark BMC

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 12:44:26 pm »
Blimey! I'm in the blog!  :-D

So much to think about there I'm going to have to print that post off and go through it methodically.

The idea of showing a crowd what is possible with a diabolo instead of just showcasing the tricks that I can do is a really interesting change of mindset.

Also the idea that you shouldn't ask for or put in an applause point before 30 seconds is also completely new to me. As you can probably guess I have had no formal Circus/Performance training and have managed to become a paid performer by learning all I can from people in the business already. I would recommend this to anybody else trying to tern your hobby/passion into a source of income.

Just ask loads of questions! Ideally being as polite and tactful as possible. There is nothing worse than finishing a gig and being asked a silly or impolite question. I have experienced a real willingness to share wisdom and techincal advice from pro jugglers. Anything from Barney Bay helping me to write a proper contract to asking street performers about their portable PA .

Posts like Luke's are what this forum should focus on, not negative feedback on vids.

Big thanks,  If your ever in Sunny Dorset come say hello.
Marky Jay.

Matyz

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 03:13:24 pm »
interesting....

Very nice stuff gonna trie it for my new routine thanks.

Simalacrum

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 02:58:11 pm »
wow, thats brilliant! I'm trying to come up with a new routine at the moment, so this post couldn't have come at a better time. A biiiiig thankyou from me! :)

Luke Burrage

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 09:11:46 pm »
Thanks for the comments. I'm going to be writing some more similar workshops for BYJOTY entrants over the next few weeks, so if you have any other specific areas you want me to cover, just ask on this thread or email me: luke@juggler.net
Luke

zwiggelbig

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Re: Luke Burrage's Diabolo Routine Sept. 2009
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 11:40:20 pm »
Amazing post Luke!! Thanks for posting that!

And btw are you the same person who was at the BJC games doing crazy girly with a poi?  :-D