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Contact Juggling Part 1

date created: 2002-01-16
I just got it in the mail today, and sat down to watch it the first time. Yes, and only watch. I didn't permit myself to play with my acrylics, because I wanted to have all of my attention turned to the TV screen. I will be reviewing this from the standpoint of another Contact juggler. So therefore it may be lacking some of the "WOW" you would get from just an average Joe. PROS: I think this is a great video, as Ryan Mellors stated. It is very well layed out and constructed. Good foundation, and starting points. It is in an easy to follow pattern, and is a great video to own weather you are a seasoned CJ'er or just starting out. Every level has something to gain. If you are a beginner, they take you through the beginning steps and show you what do to next. And if you're more advanced, they let you in on some little secrets, that might help you polish off that move that doesn't look "quite right yet". I enjoyed the practice appendix at the end. Every move (with movement) is shown in a loop for a good minute if not more, this makes study, and practice very easy without having to hit the rewind button every 3 seconds. The attitude of the 2 perfomers, I found to be mellow, and understandable. They spoke with understanding and feeling, that of which a Contact Juggler would know. If a trick is hard then, they tell you that trick is hard and to not get discouraged. They make sure you know that this is not an overnight thing, and that much practice is needed to make an illusion look smooth. They suggest what size ball for the move would be preferred or would help out in learning. CONS: Only a few things I would like to point out in this video. Not major problems, but enough that make me want to comment on them. First on my list is the short amount of time they spend on palmspinning with multiple balls. Granted, some of it isn't as impressive as bodyrolling, however it still is a form of CJ. I am in hopes that the next video they produce will spend more time on the subject, and that is why they did not want to dig deeper into this area. (I am also in hopes that they call upon Chico to help out with this) If this is the case, than this con is easily lifted. Secondly would be the lack of music at the end appendix. This was such a great idea, and would have been great if they had added some music to practice to. The opening credits of the video have a good song selection that goes with the rhythm of the CJ, but the end is just 20 minutes of silence with a picture. Yes, I can hear you, "why dont you just put your own music on".. Answer. I like to see what other people like to freestyle to. Some of the statements made by the two performers, no matter how innocent they were at the time, could be taken the wrong way by some beginners. Since I am about sarcastic as they come, I understand that what the 2 gentlemen were trying to accomplish was bug on each other, trying to make the other look foolish if you will. One of the comments made was when they were talking about how to hold a ball in a cradle. "Only sissy's need three fingers to hold one little ball". Now I didn't take offence to this statement, as I said before, I realized that they were naggin on each other. Still, a comment like that to someone without that knowlege, could really confuse the way they hold a ball in a cradle, and or, make them feel as though they have been doing something wrong. I always have led my teachings of Contact Juggling with "There is no wrong way in CJ" Someone might offer suggestions, or tell you how you can improve a certain move that may be lacking, but thats it. This statement was made about the type of ball to use for a certain move. "I prefer a hard ball, it feels more like the acrylic I preform with, and I am not a sissy" I also understand what was happening here, but the same logic applys. Taken the wrong way, this could make a young CJ'er feel that he has been using the wrong type of ball if he infact has been learning with a soft stage ball and not a hard one. Another statement made that touched a nerve, or lack of a statement, was in the palmspinning section. They said that 3 inch balls make for ideal palmspinning, but yet mention nothing of the 2.5 - 2.75 sizes for this. Yes, the 3' balls do make for a very impressive show, and look absolutaly GREAT when palmspinning. However, not every person in the world has hands large enough to handle 3 inch balls, and the fact that they did not mention this startles me. This could cause someone to try to spin 3' balls, find they cannot even hold 3, and decide that palmspinning isn't the road they want to take, and completely forget about it. The only time where they mention using smaller sized balls is when trying to learn to palmspin 3 silicones. Conclusion: I was at first, going to give this video a rating of 6 out of 10. Mostly because I was looking at it from the standpoint of an experianfced CJ'er. However upon more reflecting, I thought to myself, that the majority of people that would be interested in this would be beginners. And if I stand back and look at it from a beginners point of view, the rating would be much higher. It has an easy to understand format, and the moves are also very easy to watch and follow. So I have broken it down into 5 catagories. Rating: -Beginners View 9/10 -Seasoned CJ'ers View 8/10 -Understandability rating 10/10 -Easy to follow instructions 10/10 -Non-Boredom Factor 9.5/10 Total rating 9.5/10

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Contact Juggling

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