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Messages - donald grant

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General / Re: Competition for diabolo?
« on: March 29, 2009, 10:58:25 PM »
Can't believe they're still trying to flog these things!

I had a leopard skin one about eight years ago, don't know where it is now, must have sunk to the bottom of my voluminous toy box.

Anyway, everyone knows that kendama is the skill toy of choice at the moment...


Videos of the Week / Re: VotW: 23 March 2009: The Void
« on: March 24, 2009, 10:28:02 PM »
What about Eric's inte-gharial?

Chortle, chortle, snap, snap,


Performances / Re: Donald Grant Performance
« on: February 02, 2009, 08:03:26 PM »
There may well be some truth to that!  Chocolate?  Valentines Day?  Who could possibly resist! 

(training hard for the 14th Feb)

Performances / Re: Donald Grant Performance
« on: January 27, 2009, 02:11:33 PM »
Thought it was about time I responded on this...

Firstly, cheers to The Void for sticking it up, and to Looby for posting a link.

And thanks for all the kind comments.  I believe I may have to buy a few coffees/ beers for y'all at the next convention.

Speedwise, yes I can go faster but there's a time and a place for reckless tomfoolery, and that stage cetrainly wasn't it.  All in all I did 900 performances on that stage and I think I managed to break three wine glasses (nobody's perfect!)

The mega-fast version has only been done at the BJC Cardiff (01) and at EJC Svendborg (03).  There's a bit of it in the opening montage for the Svendborg DVD.  Maybe it's time I rolled it out again at a convention this year....

Cheers for the "dying breed" comment Sean.  To explain why it is Jurassic-preserved-in-amber.....  I put the number together at the ENC in Montreal in 1994-95, and to put in something new, I have to take something out.  This vid is now five years old, and apart from being slicker and smoother, there are only a couple of new tricks added since (and yes, new-school friends, it now contains a mini-g:))
Altogether, it should be coming up for it's 3000th performance this year!

Oh, and Pomp Duck is still going (it's in Stuttgart right now).  There's usually juggling number in the show: previous to me there was Patrick Leonard, Victor Kee, Francis Brunn, Olli Groszer.  Since then, Alan Sulc and Pierre Marchand, but I don't know who's there now.  Check the website at:

Anyway, thanks again, I'm off to practise milking my tigers cradle.


You're welcome, Spink!

Yes, we filmed this in late 2005 and it has been out for a couple of years.  Interesting to see this promo going up just now, but I was chatting to Alan Blim recently and there is a bit of new marketing going on, so that might explain.

Trivia associated with the DVD, (for those who are interested):

1)  All the music was done by Bruce, very talented chap!

2)  Jochen very kindly offered his sevices, despite many years of respectful ribbing by me and Bruce over the Diabolo Folies video.

3)  During the rehearsals I got the chance to teach Sergei Ignatov to diabolo.  Honest!  Guess it's never to late to learn!

Oh yes, and it's the ideal Christmas present. Only 22 shopping days left ;)


Community & Events / Re: FDC 2008 Finnish Diabolo Convention
« on: September 09, 2008, 01:50:02 PM »
Well, seeing as no-one has posted a review of this one yet, I ought to let you all know what you missed.

I arrived at about midnight on the Thursday, and Samuli very kindly came and picked me up from the airport.  A few beers and a bit of a blah blah, then off to bed cos tomorrow.......

Up at about 7.00, we leave Helsinki and head off into the wilderness.  They're not kidding when they say the convention is "in the countryside".  A small village with about 900 people, but it has everything you need: a shop, a restaurant, a rock museum (!) and of course, the convention site.

Plenty of space, with the school, the neighbouring hall and a big top this year, all on the same site, with a big kitchen and cafeteria too.

Diabolo wise, there was more than enough to keep everyone busy.  The seven (yes, seven!) workshops were all well attended and full of stuff to inspire and confuse.  Highlights for me included Marko's "4 corners vertax" workshop (with myself and Langerz looking like a couple of goons chasing our tails) and Langerz slack workshop melting everyone's brains!

Show-wise there was a works in progress demo on Friday, a best trick jam on Saturday and of course a big old gala show (also attended by the public) on Sunday.  Loads of new and creative stuff going on in all of them ( the kid doing a 2-D walrus of time was a highlight for me!)

Of course, there was also the Diabolothon on the Sunday with it's fine balance between serious olympian spirit and all-out nonsense.  I sensibly sat out the 400m vertax, but it has to be seen to be believed.  Diabolo golf was a big hit and Langerz and I went for another "round" while the longest grind contest went on.....and on.....and on......  Samuli pushed it over the 20 minute mark and only dropped when he tried to walk all the way back to the site with it still going!

Loads of other highlights:  all-night Guitar Hero sessions on the big screen, mudflap pizzas, the Saturday sauna down at the lake, partying at Marko's house eating reindeer and playing House of the Dead 2,  loads of fun.

Big, big thanks to Aaro, Marko and Samuli for organising the whole thing (and for inviting me)!  A top little festival and one that everyone from should try and put in their diaries for next year.

Donald (busy destroying his living room with 4 corner vertax.....)

Community & Events / Re: Scottish Juggling Convention, 1-3 February 2008
« on: January 19, 2008, 08:54:38 PM »
I'm flying out to Berlin on the 3rd,  but I've booked my flight from Glasgow, so I'll try and pop in for the afternoon or something.  See you there,


Tricks / Re: Tricks you want to see -
« on: November 23, 2007, 12:53:50 AM »
Ironic to see the name check for "Sept Doigt" in the answers.  Not only have Pat and Seb been doing cool acro/ diabolo combos for years, but back when Patrick was doing his solo number, he used to do front salto over the the diabolo (on the string) to behind the back.  So yes, it's possible.

"Sept doigt" will be in London for December, playing in the Roundhouse.  Don't know if the diabolo number is going to be in it, but I believe so (due to drunken phone call with mutual friend last week)!


Tricks / Re: Cross-Planal Suicides
« on: November 15, 2007, 11:51:35 PM »
Actually, if you think about it there are really three different ways that a suicide can travel.  A normal suicide works on the "x/y" axis, but that is only on one plane.  Suicides can also travel on the "y/z" axis and the "x/z" axis.  If I  remember rightly, there's a  tiny clip of me in the Diabology credits doing a simple "third dimension" suicide.  There's loads more variations, and they haven't really been explored much.

Sorry I don't have video facilities to make this clearer......


General / Re: New diaboloing attitude?
« on: August 11, 2007, 02:18:52 AM »
Yay Mick

 Yes, the topic has been "covered" but in a rather scattergun fashion.

It's always nice to see someone from the old guard posting on the site here; hell, I'd post more often if I felt there was a bit more collective understanding about where this "ancient/ 20 years old" art form came from.

Big thumbs up to Chiok for doing the interviews and trying to spead a bit of history, by the way.

Back on the topic, yes, I owe a lot to Guy, Jochen Schell and even that tiny bit of Jeff Mason IJA video for what I ended up doing.  Nowadays, it's impossible to understand that it was so rare to find anyone else who even bothered use diabolo in a creative way and in those pre-internet days it could take a year for a new trick to creep it's way around the world.

My books started coming out in 1992 and the whole idea was simply to spread a bit of knowledge.  Nobody had ever (as far as I know) written anything about suicides before and the third book (1993) was the first time anyone had ever bothered to write about two and three diabolos.  Guy helped a lot on that one, by the way!

The point I'm trying to make is that it's not actually important WHO creates a trick, so long as it is created.  Despite temptations, I never named any of the new tricks in the books after myself as it didn't really seem necessary.  The fact that they were out there seemed enough....

Enough ranting, I'm off to bed, good luck to all,


General / Re: Juggling vs Diabolo
« on: August 11, 2007, 01:46:48 AM »
Just want to step in and support Tom on this one.  The question is totally invalid and will only bring out knee-jerk (though heartfelt) responses.

Let's put it this way: which is harder, tennis or golf?  Can't decide?  Let's have a punch up in the car park between Federer and Woods, that'll sort it out.... (sigh).

Different horses for different courses.


General / Re: bad spelling
« on: July 18, 2007, 11:13:24 PM »
Having been referred to as "Donald Trump", "Donal Grand" and, just recently, "Donald Grunt" in a variety of international "publications", I have to say you can't take it all too seriously...!

Guess old Oscar Wild was right ;)


General / Re: donald grant's new books
« on: June 19, 2007, 07:55:09 PM »
Hi folks.  Thanks for the interest.  The new books are both about 75% complete, and I'm having to squeeze the workload inbetween  performing gigs at the moment.  My unofficial deadline for getting all the text and art to the layouts guy is the end of July, so hopefully they will be out sometime soon after that.

Also, apologies if anyone has been looking for my website.  It doesn't exist at the moment, but it's one of the things I'm going to be working on when I get back from doing a cabaret in Orkney (!) next week.  Will post the new address here when it's up and running.



General / Re: 3rd Base ideoligy
« on: May 04, 2007, 02:38:03 AM »
I went to school with Edith, y'know?  AND Sean explained the premise of the whole thing to me at the sod-the-parade-session on Saturday in Nottingham.  Could the two possibly be related???


Community & Events / Re: BJC-11/15 April 07-UK Nottingham
« on: April 19, 2007, 09:18:02 PM »
Finally caught up on my sleep, so thought I'd better add my tuupenceworth....

Got there on Wednesday afternoon, only to find out that they'd scheduled one of my workshops for lunchtime.  Oh well never mind.  The workshop the next day was totally mobbed and I had to race through loads of stuff really quickly; hope everyone at least got something out of it!

Thursday was BYJOTY, and I had the unenviable task of trying to enjoy watching it AND judging at the same time.  Standards were high, congratulations to everyone who took part, and a special mention to Marc, Peter, Tom, Zack and John for keeping the diabolo end up.  

My show was a wee bit sketchy on Friday.  Ok, we got no run through and ****ty WJF shopwindow lighting but still, you'd think I could nail that number after all these years:) Sorry folks!

Two big diabolo highlights were obviously William tearing it up in the public show, and the "can't be arsed with the parade and games" diabolo session in the sunshine on Saturday afternoon.  Oh yes, and inventing "tricks that probably won't work the next morning" with Spink.  Much laughs.

Nice to be able to put a few more names to faces from the forum.  Hope I'm free for Sheffield in 2008.


PS  Bought three garish orange Yohos on the last day, and much to my surprise, the bloody things actually work.  Might just have to learn that three low after all...!

I guess I was 20 years old, same as Chiok, Barnsey, Mark and Greg......must be a good age for it!  The convention was the 5th (!!!) BJC in Coventry, way back in 1992.  And Guy GbH Heathcote was messing about with his 3 low even then!

Aaah, you never forget your first time ;)


Community & Events / Re: BJC workshops
« on: February 10, 2007, 08:48:35 PM »
I've been invited down to the BJC this year, so I'll be teaching a couple of workshops there.  Probably be doing one on performing and one on creativity with one diabolo.  

See you all there,


Tricks / Re: What trick are you most proud of?
« on: November 09, 2006, 12:33:07 AM »
Aaah, the nostalgia!  Just reading Sean's post, chatting about Dave P and Robert doing their thing.....

Got me so misty eyed, I dug out my old dusty copy of the Manchester convention video (that's BJC number 7 for all you newbies out there, 1994!)  Was fun to watch all those Renegades flying around, Dave P doing 2-in-one-hand to finger curl back to 2-in-one-hand, a brief bit of Robert doing some of his great combos, and of course me and Guy looking impossibly young....

Anyway, back on topic, can't honestly say I'm "proud" of any particular trick, but continuous 2 diabolo suicides still puts a smile on my face.  Something about the way that all that stuff is flying around and around without spraying  all over the place is still strangely hypnotic, even after all these years.


General / Re: Kid diabolo DVD
« on: September 28, 2006, 07:53:33 PM »
I was wondering when this was going to come up......

We did this last summer when I was working in Berlin.  I did the writing, we trained up a kid (Elias) for a while, and then filmed it in July.  Phillip did all the editing; Bruce (the talented man) did all the music and the first copies came out a couple of months ago.

No, it's not a new extreme trick heavy freestyle vid.  We did have a little bit of fun shooting five minutes of mucking about at the end of the day and stuck that in the bonus section.  We also tempted Jochen out of diabolo retirement to do a cool bit of one-wheel stuff.

Can't really say much else about it.  I've seen it a few times now and I think it came out pretty well. If any of the rest of you give it a viewing, please let me know what you think!

All the best


General / OED Diabolo entry
« on: September 14, 2006, 07:28:27 PM »
Musty old diabolo history lesson coming up.....

When Guy referred to the 1980s being the pioneering time for two diabolos, he meant the european style of doing two diabolos (e.g. self starting, correcting, and tricks on the string).  The grand-daddy of all this was Jochen Schell, so we all owe him big-time.  Guy was the big pioneer here in the UK, that's why he helped me out so much for the "Two Hot to Handle" book which came out in 1993.  And contrary to popular belief, Guy helped with the whole book, not just the 3 diabolo section.  (yes, he got a share of the royalties, before anyone asks!)

Before all of this, of course, the chinese had been doing two diabolos for centuries.  The problem with chinese diabolos is that they are ridiculously hard to correct, so the skills were mostly of a two-high and acrobatic sort.

Likewise three diabolos, there are plenty of photos and drawings of girls doing three low from long ago.  It's always done with someone else throwing the extra diabolos in as they are so hard to self-start.

And four high has been around for ages too.  That's four high with heavy wood and bamboo diabolos.  Fearless stuff....


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