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alarming trend in contact juggling
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ncfiala



Joined: 05 Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Minnesota

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 5:44 pm    Post subject: alarming trend in contact juggling

First of all, I would like to say that this message was not prompted by Silver's new video (this is something I have thought about for awhile now), although it is an example of what I am talking about. But then again, almost everything I have seen lately is an example of what I am talking about.

There is an alarming trend in contact juggling happening recently (it is alarming to me anyway). It seems that even though there is a huge area of the body that is almost completely unexplored (legs, etc.), contact jugglers would rather rip-off every form of dance under the sun than continue creating new tricks and exploring their bodies. This is the sort of thing that gave contact juggling a bad reputation from the start.

I participate in several other juggling-type activities (yo-yoing, toss juggling, devil sticks, etc.) and in not one of these disciplines do the practitioners avoid progression of their skill by just doing the same old stuff while dancing. Instead, they continue to develop new tricks and at least try to take the skill to another level.

As long as contact jugglers avoid actually contact juggling and continue to just blatantly rip-off moves from other disciplies, contact juggling will be stagnant, as it has been for several years now.
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Saulie



Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 144
Location: Norfolk, VA

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:34 pm    Post subject:

Wow... Well thats great... I would love to see someone do as you said, using legs, feet, etc... Send the video of you doing it SOON! That would be sweet!!! It would be nice to see that someone else is working on the same things that I have been...

One thing that I have been wanting to do for so long is a full body roll from my hand to my foot and back... Much balance required..

So please... Send your vid soon! It sounds very exciting...

Saulie...
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L7



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 459

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject:

Man good on ya for speaking your mind
i agree contact jugglers should focus more on contact juggling
instead of the latest hip hop popping fad
or the ballet
sure its great to be a graceful dancer
but ya know... seriously, tryin to take the attention away from your contact juggling?
i actually saw a guy from this community get criticised about his contact juggling because there wasnt enough body movement behind it
Actually I thought his contact juggling was fantastic!
though some others didnt agree with me because one person brought up the issue of no dancing and prancing

The first day i starting CJing i checked out pretty much every move I could find
and up till now I have only seen 3 or 4 new moves
and they are all from the non graceful CJers

Thanks for your comment man
Keep up the good work
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Spare



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 195
Location: London

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:20 pm    Post subject:

Whilst I do agree with the sentiment, I can understand where CJers who do this kinda stuff are coming from.

I personally, being of limited dexterity and grace, have never seen the appeal of adding this sort of "interpretive dance" to CJing. For me, the moves speak for themselves, but mainly that's because I've never taken the time to learn to body pop. However, this is a performance art, the whole point is to show off as much as possible. In my limited experience of contact juggling, I have often found that quite difficult tricks impressed my "audience" little, whereas simple isolations amazed them. Most of the time, your audience will not go "Ah, reverse chestroll to elbow stall, smooth..." they'll go "Hey! It's floating! Do that again!".

Put simply, non jugglers (and especially non CJers) may think that a long list of tricks one after the other doesn't impress all that much. It's a matter of showmanship. Some people do various different disciplines in their shows to keep the audience interested. Some people use banter and gags, and some add an element of dance into their work (especially those like Silver - if I may use you as an example - who come from a background of street theatre). To say they're not trying and developing new tricks is ridiculous, just because every video doesn't have something never before seen on CJ.org (and beyond).

When I see someone dancing/body-popping in a CJ video, I'm often not impressed, but that's because I'm just looking for tricks to admire and emulate, not for pure entertainment. I suggest looking at a performance like those you mention again through the eyes of the uninitiated, you may understand their motives.

Oh, and someone integrating dance into a CJ act is as much "ripping off" the dancing style as you or I are ripping off Michael Moschen by learning CJing.
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Fuero



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 247
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:30 pm    Post subject:

Hmm, it's not true that there is no evolvement in cj. Towards using more parts of the body. I just started off. Stuff like knee-stalls and footcatches etc,etc. So i'm not ready to show off stuff.
but take a look at Franck's video in the video section. And I've seen Remy do some stuff in the CJ part 2 video.

But i think it's pretty new, because cj is pretty new (in comparison to other forms of juggling). So there's not many people around that can or have done it.

As for dancing and cj, it's a logical combination.
I don't do it because I simply can't dance, but I think dancers are attracted to Cj because of the beauty and (agan) comparisons. I like forms of dancing combined with cj. I can't do it, but it's cool. And I think a lot of us don't do it. And most of the videos I have aren't dance-related, so I don't think there's an over-abundance of that style of cj.

That's my two cents,
Greetz, Fuero
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Durbs



Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Nr Guildford, Surrey - England

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject:

Hmmmm....

Speaking as one of these people who is trying to blend these forms of dance into CJ - I must really disagree - both with your sentiment and your vocabulary.

"...contact jugglers would rather rip-off every form of dance under the sun than continue creating new tricks and exploring their bodies"
Firstly, it's not "ripping off", it's called "learning" And since when is dance not exploring your body? That's exactly what it is, especially something so precise as strobing.

"...in not one of these disciplines do the practitioners avoid progression of their skill by just doing the same old stuff while dancing. Instead, they continue to develop new tricks and at least try to take the skill to another level. "
Why do you see blending dance into CJ as avoiding progression? Firstly, it's actually quite tricky to pull off CJ whilst doing alot of the dance and introduces a whole new realm of full-body coordination into CJ. Also, it IS progression in itself. Maybe you don't view it as such, but CJ is just as individual as the people who do it and they're all progressing in their own way. Also, don't assume that just because people aren't putting new moves into their video releases doesn't mean there's no new tricks coming along - just that they aren't ready to put them into their vids (yet).
With regards to other props using dance - I'll use poi or staff as an example where many people learn the basics and then learn to dance/move with them. Learning to move with your prop teaches you to flow with it and opens up the possibilities of new moves.

I also strongly believe that this is EXACTLY the way CJ should be going.
I for one would much rather watch a CJ routine with mediocre CJ but great body work than watching crazy 8-ball CJ with the person sitting on the floor. This to me is where CJ might get a bad reputation - too many people sitting down and letting the balls do the work.

"As long as contact jugglers avoid actually contact juggling and continue to just blatantly rip-off moves from other disciplies, contact juggling will be stagnant, as it has been for several years now."
Taking moves from different disciplines is an excellent way to learn new moves - poi moves into staff, toss juggling into CJ, poi into devil-stick, body popping into CJ - they are all opening up new avenues in their respective arts.
I really can't see how you think CJ has stagnated - to me it seems so much more vibrant than it did when I first started 3 years ago when everyone was trying to be Michael Moschen...

The great thing about dance is, not one person does it the same. If everyone was learning "pure" CJ, after a while it would all just become one big load of acrylics. Dance lets everyone put their individual flair into their routine.

Finally, I would remind you that most CJ'ers don't CJ for other CJ'ers. I CJ for myself, as a way to relax, to learn, to develop and also to entertain others.
Get a an excellent CJ'er up on stage, cement their feet to the ground and let them play, then get someone who knows 3 moves but can dance and I can garuantee the audiance will appreciate the movement more.

People are putting up videos on here for 2 reasons - either to show their performance style, or to show a specific move (or moves). I think your applying criticism to the show videos as if they're all tutorials...
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silver



Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 464
Location: bristol, south west england

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:03 pm    Post subject:

this is possibly a rant, there is no malice intent in it, it is some of my thoughts.

some of my thoughts may disagree with some of your thoughts.

Skip to the last paragraph, cos that's the whole point of what i'm trying to say.

Quote:
There is an alarming trend in contact juggling happening recently (it is alarming to me anyway). It seems that even though there is a huge area of the body that is almost completely unexplored (legs, etc.), contact jugglers would rather rip-off every form of dance under the sun than continue creating new tricks and exploring their bodies. This is the sort of thing that gave contact juggling a bad reputation from the start.


don't be alarmed. you are just working with insufficient data. get out more.
i see new developments in cj that blow me away each and every year, and in all areas of the body.

Quote:
As long as contact jugglers avoid actually contact juggling and continue to just blatantly rip-off moves from other disciplies, contact juggling will be stagnant, as it has been for several years now.


<bitch>It hasn't been stagnant, but if you feel that way, maybe you have?</bitch>
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silver



Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 464
Location: bristol, south west england

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject:

above post continued...........

Quote:
One thing that I have been wanting to do for so long is a full body roll from my hand to my foot and back... Much balance required..


I so want this trick too(although i prefer head to foot). i have a few of the components in place, but i still have to stretch my hamstrings another couple of inches before i can really start to work on it..............


Quote:
but ya know... seriously, tryin to take the attention away from your contact juggling?


personally i'm trying to integrate and enhance the illusion that, for me, is the basis of contact, into an expressive dance, hence enhancing the focus on the contact.

i just feel that there has to be more to cj than the technical ability to roll and balance a ball anywhere on your body.( a worthwhile and valid objective for someone with a different obsession to me)


And to clear up a small point wade, you've seen me criticise someone for bad body movement which truly distracted from his contact which, as you say was of, an otherwise, good standard. i did not say he should have been prancing......

I still hold that juggling, of any form, will not look it's best unless the artists body is in full control of the artist, this applies whether or not he is standing still or moving in the most extravagant of fashions.

Quote:
The first day i starting CJing i checked out pretty much every move I could find
and up till now I have only seen 3 or 4 new moves
and they are all from the non graceful CJers


hmmm, videos from ryan, jago, drew, alex, durbs, myself and i seem to remember something from pich and his friend, all exploring new edges.....enough said.

and finally

please explore and expand contact the way you, personally, want it done. and have the courage to put your ideas out here. they are always appreciated. the feedback is always friendly and useful(and usually, from me at least is: watch what the rest of your body is doing. don't let it distract. ....perhaps i should listen to my own advice more..... )

silver
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Kititt



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 221
Location: Lake Charles, La

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:13 pm    Post subject:

I believe I said this way back at the old .org, but I love Silver. XD Specially in his first post.

Thanks Silver, couldn't have said it better myself.
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Ryan
Ministry. Just like Colin
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 1132
Location: Vancouver

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:35 pm    Post subject:

I'm going to back up durbs here... but mainly because it is late and I don't have time to formulate my own thoughts.

I disagree with most of what you the original poster has said. Durbs is right... you are not actually seeing the evolution happen. But thats ok.. you sound like a classic juggler, and from your point of view, yes.... Matt Hennem has THREE tricks. A palm circle, a rotation, and a grip isolation.
To you, I assume this is dissapointing. In that case, go watch greg maldonado. He's got lots of 'tricks.' Or watch the rythmic gymnast video from Drew and I. Its got lots of full body rolling. In fact, run out right now and buy "contact juggling" part one or two. I think they you might find what you are looking for right there... tonnes of new patterns and transfers, rolls and 'tricks.'

Matt's contact isn't 'juggling' at all... Nor is drew, pich, silver, myself or any of the other 'modern interpretive' people. With the body work, it is the IDEA of isolations that are being explored, their application to the WHOLE body. What excites me is that all this will lead to moving things AWAY from 'contact juggling.' The application of these techniques into other disciplines will lead to new forms and pieces of work. This is what I am pushing for... because I don't want to have to sit through another pointless adaptation of MM's 'light.'

And so i disagree with you entirely. I think UNTIL we 'blatantly start ripping off moves from other disciplines,' (or I'll rephrase that... 'learn from and adapt techniques from other disciplines') contact juggling WILL be stagnant. I think we "should" spend less time thinking about 'contact juggling', and more time thinking about all the other possibilites in movement and manipulation.

Anyways... I am aware that I speak from the point of view of an artist. My understanding of the content of this site is something i relate to the work I do on stage and my development as an artist. To all those who visit this website to learn 'tricks' and 'moves' so they can be entertained by thier hobby, then perhaps the original post does hold some validity. Both silver's and paul's new videos don't really offer much in terms of 'tricks' we haven't seen before. They are both interpreting 'old' material in new ways.

thats all i have to say for now.
Just to clarify.. what excactly do you mean by 'developing contact juggling'. Where do YOU think it should be going?

<confused and sleepy>
ryan
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Last edited by Ryan on Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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remy



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 222
Location: Hollywood!

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:45 am    Post subject:

Okay, first off... since when did the "progession" of ANY of yourr other (apparently more acceptable) hobbies take them in the singular, focused direction of larger, full-body-oriented tricks? I'd love to see some real exploration of the use of the forehead in yo-yo.
I don't want to simply rail on you, because I used to think the same things...
When I started out as a wee little contact juggler, I assumed that the only natural "progression" of tricks was off my hands and arms and to my torso, legs, and feet.
so, disciplined little protogee-let that I was, I set about it...
But evolution isn't linear! Like anything, primitivbe contact juggling has evolved in several different directions. there are the dancers, whe oaren't "ripping off" tricks-- they give proper identification and credit!-- but rather, are integrating two movement forms. There are body rollers, like myself, who DO focus on bigger, body-inclusive tricks. There are palm-spinners, who don't really leave the hands becasue you don't HAVE palms on your knees.
By railing out against innovators and integrators, you are limiting the complex artistic potential of the techniques of contact juggling. like any performing skill, the poor application of technique on the part of a performer can give people a bad idea of the potential of that technique. that's the thing, though: it's a poor application, not a poor directional choice.
BTW, if I may speak for the community:
it's highly unattractive to hear anyone RAIL out on a topic they don't fully understand. A more attractive way to phrase your UNPLEASANT RANT might have been, "has anyone considered using the rest of their bodies in contact juggling?" or "why do so many people seem to gravitate towards the integration of dance and contact juggling?". We're a close-knit community around here, and part of the reason is that we are open, patient, RESPECTFUL of each others opinions (yes, you ARE entitled to not like the CJ/dance fusion; RAILING about it is DIFFERENT.), and RESPECTUFL of each other as artists even when our opinions differ.
That said, go forth and learn to CJ as you envision it should be.
Till then, calm down, take a couple vallium, and call when the shaking stops. You should be fine.

aloha
rem
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Drew



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 989
Location: Bristol UK

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:31 am    Post subject:

Viva la difference.

I am dancing 3 days a week and contact juggling 1 day a week.
Am I ripping myself off when I combine the 2?

read the tagline at the top of the page



edit: just noticed that you said contact juggling has been stagnant for a few years
I think you should visit London more often, you wouldn't feel so stagnant then
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coleman



Joined: 11 Jan 2005
Posts: 190
Location: lahn-dahn, yookay

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: alarming trend in contact juggling

using your own limited view of what a field of knowledge is, surely by working on full body rolls in cj you are just ripping off rhythmic gymnasts' techniques and diluting our oh so precious and narrow artform?

ncfiala wrote:
I participate in several other juggling-type activities (yo-yoing, toss juggling, devil sticks, etc.) and in not one of these disciplines do the practitioners avoid progression of their skill by just doing the same old stuff while dancing. Instead, they continue to develop new tricks and at least try to take the skill to another level.


i think this paragraph sums up for me where you are coming from - i believe you have a very blinkered view of the arts you participate in.

what toss juggling are you watching?
have you seen any performance from europe?
or in fact any of the great performers from the last century?
if you think progression in toss juggling is simply more balls or new 'in the air patterns', you severely limit your scope for innovation.
do yourself a favour and go download a bunch of jay gilligan's routines, then ask yourself again what toss juggling is.

pop quiz: what did mr gilligan major in at college...?

and its not just the dance/manipulation crossover thats happening.
crossover happens between all of the disciplines as well and it is exactly this diversity that encourages progression and opens up new avenues for each art:

clubjugglers use devilstick traps, devilstickers use baton/contact staff and poi moves, yo-yo and diabolo have given poi new direction in the last few years, club passing has translated to staff, cj has opened up doors for toss juggling, eastern dance can be blended almost seamlessly with poi...
the list goes on.

go look up jerome thomas' latest project and find out what his his cubic juggling workshops/philosophy are all about for an example of what the rest of the performance world considers to be cutting edge.

if you don't want to learn dance then don't.
but don't think that controlling and using the whole body whilst performing cj is not progression - for me it signals the coming of age of cj performance.

half dance?
at least


cole. x
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The Manipulator



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 54

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:59 am    Post subject:

Durbs wrote:

I for one would much rather watch a CJ routine with mediocre CJ but great body work than watching crazy 8-ball CJ with the person sitting on the floor. This to me is where CJ might get a bad reputation - too many people sitting down and letting the balls do the work.



I think you need to read Remy's post a few down from yours. As a 45 year old, new to contact juggling, the contorting required for body rolls and dancing does not appeal to me. The palm-spinning, though, while sitting on the floor is ideal. The balls don't do the work. Try telling that to my fingers, wrists and forearms after a 6-8 hour practice session. By concentrating solely on palm-spinning, after just 3 months, I can do 10-ball crazy work, but prefer 3, 4, 5, and 6. To eliminate some of the crazy, I add color so a person can follow one ball easier and see the patterns. So many that I've seen use all clear, which makes it hard to follow, but the colors accent your flaws, which is probably why they're avoided. I am pushing this side of CJ by constantly doing new patterns. I also keep working on my speed and smoothness, which is already a level above anyone else I've seen. I'll respect what you do, just give me the same consideration.
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silver



Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 464
Location: bristol, south west england

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:16 pm    Post subject:

sounds superb
time for a show as opposed to a tell?
i need some multiball inspiration.

silver
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