Reviews/The Visual Encyclopedia of Contact Juggling 3 by Matt Olsen


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[edit] The Visual Encyclopedia of Contact Juggling, Part 3 Body Rolling
  • By: Bob Kohler Magic
  • Directed by:
  • Produced by: Bob Kohler Magic
  • Running time: 78 mins
  • Available from: [1]

[edit] Review by User:Brine_child

So the question is whether the penultimate part of Matt Olsen’s DVD encyclopaedia offers a significant change in pace to the previous instalments. The answer is unfortunately a resounding no and I’m afraid to say that by this third DVD Olsen appears to have run out of steam.

First of all I’d recommend taking a look at my reviews for the first two parts as many of the criticisms I made previously resurface here, only it seems in greater force. First things to deal with are the quantitative factors; for your money you get a relatively healthy 78 minutes of video spread over 35 moves and a moderately painful seven-minute guide to choosing a decent ball for body rolling.

But while I say there are 35 moves on offer, what you in fact get is a whole load of variation on the butterfly and thumbhold transfer. This DVD could quite easily be called TVEOCJ: Tossing Transfers, because this seems to be the category that the majority of the techniques fall into, yep we’re talking old school contact all the way here.

I am however getting slightly ahead of myself and in the interests of balance I’d better start with what I see as positives, the opening move is a promising introduction to a wider world of body rolling and sets the expectancy high for what’s to come. Although misspelled in the DVD menu the Linear Arm-Roll gives at least some idea of what a decent advanced DVD could contain; relatively tricky but a beautiful move and a substantial building block, if the pace had been kept like this then this release would be onto a winner.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed it doesn’t quite follow this optimistic opening. The main problem I can see is that Matt doesn’t really seem to have sufficient material to fill a DVD relating solely to body rolling, especially considering that he already used up inside elbow stalls and chest rolls on the first in the series.

Without wanting to be too harsh on Matt, I’m not aware of the full providence of these releases and how much of the content was decided by him and how much the production company requested. Unfortunately it’s difficult to escape the feeling that much of the disc is filler and Matt doesn’t seem amazingly confident with his material here.

As I stated before this is a jump back in time to the days of old school contact with Matt crediting moves on display here to Michael Moschen and Ferret so expect lots of two and three ball toss and rolling transfers. Occasionally they look all right, but in general they’re simply too samey and hardly come under the heading of inspirational body rolling.

The blurb makes the claim that the DVD will show you “one ball travelling all over your body under your complete control” but this is, unfortunately not the case. We don’t see any neck rolls, any bridge rolls, head rolls… I think you get the gist.

One final but significant point is the treatment of palm circle isolations; I got a bit annoyed about how 4 ball snakes were presented in the previous DVD, so it should be no surprise that I’m very annoyed about how my all time favourite move is treated here. Three minutes of incredibly basic instruction which really should have been on the very first instalment and much more in depth.

So I’m afraid to say that this instalment takes all my previous criticisms, the less than inspirational presentation, the lack of dynamism and the budget production level. But then removes the saving graces present in the previous discs, namely Matt Olsen’s excellent teaching, instead we get material that Matt is clearly not confident with and far too many omissions of popular body rolling techniques.

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