Author Topic: 2d in performing - some thoughts.  (Read 3940 times)


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2d in performing - some thoughts.
« on: June 16, 2010, 02:18:48 AM »
I just wanted to get some thoughts out and get other people thoughts as well. They're probably going to be a bit all over the place :)

I've been thinking a bit about how 2d comes across to people. It's been a while since I've actively performed a stage act so some of these thoughts are informed by that, others are informed by things I've discussed with other diaboloists, or I've read on here or seen in performances and videos.  Recently I've been doing workshops and walkabout. Walkabout offers you the chance to see and hear reactions about what you are doing so that's in the mix as well. I haven't got a circus school background or a long fulltime performing career so I don't have the knowledge of performing that many that post here have but I would like to know what people with that sort of background (and anyone else for that matter)  has.
I'm trying to remember before I was a diaboloist to what I actually thought about 2d, it's quite hard, vaguely I remember
-Being basically impressed by it,
-Liking the way the shuffle seemed to flow and how each diabolo seemed to drive the other,
-being confused and lost as things started to get complicated,
-Having no idea about the difficulty of any particular move compared to another (unless by the level of panic/relief/contempt of the diaboloist)

Any way, thoughts-

'If I do a 1d section, then casually start knocking out 2d moves without any noticeable trouble, does that cheapen what I have just done with 1d?'
Hopefully a decent 1d section and a strong 1d finish followed by a build up/seperation should help this, they're not going to take back any applause :)

'OMG, I need to do my first trick NOW before they boo me off stage!'

I know this feeling. When I'm shuffling or getting up to speed in order to knock out a move it can feel a bit vunerable. When you diabolo on your own, learning a new move, or for a video, or with other diaboloists then I suppose standard practice is to wrap the 2nd in and backwrap/snap/hover to get speed ASAP and do the move. I don't think this is a good thing for 2d performing, I try and resist the urge to speed wrap too much at the start of 2d (or during for that matter) I'm not sure it's a good look. or always fits the flow.
A few times recently kids (because they tend to speak their minds) have accused me of cheating because 'that diabolo is tied to the string'. Whilst it's fun to play with that (which ones tied to the string *swap wrap* or *bang 2 high*). I think hovering is the worst one for getting this reaction, it's definitely the one I am trying to resist using as an initial speedup method in front of non diaboloists. (I'm not a big fan of the clank-clank hover correction in front of people either, It is the one I use most in general diabolo but I try and shuffle correct when practising as well so I don't become too dependent on it)

Dave P is a proper oldschool diaboloist, performed back in the days when running a shuffle would get you a standing ovation at a juggling convention. He mentioned once that people like the look of a shuffle and like the look of it when it is moved around so I found myself using that as a bit of a calmer before moving onto more complicated things. I'm getting my speed from that and I'm moving about a bit as I do it so I don't fall into being rooted on the spot (hopefully)

'How much do these people know about diabolo?'

Many of us here know other diaboloists or at the very least have an understanding of what is possible with diabolo. The level of knowledge of diabolo amongst the general public varies. (Australians for example have seen impressive diabolo recently on prime time TV for example). Basically though, although assumptions can come back and bite you, anything above a high throw, cats cradle and string climb stands a fair chance of being new territory and a pleasant surprise to many. I'm trying to keep this in mind especially where it relates to rushing to something high end. Plenty of moves available before I need to throw something full on or pass up the chance of just having 2 running being a nice thing to see.
We can all make a fairly good stab at what would impress other diaboloists/jugglers but It's important to remember that if you aren't diaboloing for other diaboloists then it's a good idea to revisit all the moves you can do (and possibly pick up some you never bothered with) and get advice from non diaboloists as to what they like. You might be surprised as to what will go over well.

'And Breathe'
Standard advice for diaboloists and performing (any performers really) is that combos aren't the be all and end all. an audience
needs a chance to breathe and respond to what you are doing. There are tried and tested ways of getting/allowing audience response but the sheer nature of 2d doesn't always lend itself to them. Stalls etc can be handy especially as they allow you to get eye contact. Stopping, gathering and restarting is a bit more problematical. Anybody got some thoughts on this, It's something I'd like to know more about.

For 1d Luke Burrage says that he gets the diabolo up in the air so that people that don't know what a diabolo is should automatically get a rough idea of what the object is/can do. Pretty much by the time you knock out 2d people will have caught on what a diabolo is/does so busting straight into 2 high (unless you are planning on going with a 2high heavy section) might be robbing you of a strong part of 2d which could be saved for later. I think Luke mentioned that with 2d just getting at least 1d up to some level has an impact. So a rocket start, throw start, 2 up start etc could be considered a stronger start than a wrap or hover. I often used one of those semi integral, diabolo in hand type starts, it tends to go over well but I'm thinking it might be something to use as a restart (either from drop or by design).
When I do wrap in I'm trying not throw it away. If I've done something like hold up the second diabolo to make the audience aware I'm about to step things up and do the impossible 2d on one string *gasp* then there must be some tension available in any start. (tension ruined by the kind of wrap start where your hand is crooked around the front cup of the diabolo, then knee brought up to hold diabolo as you change your grip before finally getting your hand in a suitable position to spin it!). Probably harder to get the tension in 2d than with a 3d wrap start but anyway.


So any thoughts? (2d specific over just general performing if possible)


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Re: 2d in performing - some thoughts.
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 03:26:09 AM »
I think that what you've said about wrap starts and hover starts is true. I think that wrapping is ok for speeding, especially if you are doing a chinese whip acceleration (i think thats what it's called) or something that moves fast and is physical, instead of just straight tugs and taps. I've found it hard to not use a wrap for corrections in shows, but it definitely doesn't look that good and I'm working on doing other stuff. When I perform, as soon as I have a clean shuffle I put both sticks in one hand and look to the audience before moving on to tricks.

I don't know much about performing for other diaboloists, since I perform at various places around Chicago and there are no other diaboloists around here.


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Re: 2d in performing - some thoughts.
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 04:02:31 PM »
Some good thoughts, sean_. 

For the idea about wrap corrections not looking good, those are a good time to make connection with the audience (as soon as you've got it under control, of course).  A look, funny face, smile, or exagerate the move to make it look a bit more difficult than it is (presuming you're performing for regular punters) can save you from losing that connection with the audience.  Same with your discussion about stalls.  One could probably treat hovers the same as stalls (the bonus being you gain speed).

I might have some more thoughts on this later.  Not enough time at the moment to give it a good discussion like sean_ has.


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