Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:In the thread by Cassandra about Creativity, Sharing and Dividing the issue of ethics has come up and is there a spinning ethical code?This is much more finite than do you teach or not. This is more along the lines of creditting someone for teaching you something, or creating a tool you may use, maybe asking permission before learning a move that you might do that is "unique" to you or a costume or tool. Where does your code of ethics lie, if you have one? What do you do yourself and what do you expect of others?Just Curious.Cheerios!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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RolloTC
BRONZE Member since Jul 2001

member
Location: Redmond, WA, USA

Total posts: 11
Posted:Okey... Here goes for my first post on this site
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:This is one of those topics I've thought about as a performer.I think there is some ethics involved in spinning/performing. A specific move I dont think is a problem... some moves can be accidentally come accross by somebody just experimenting. Where ethics come in I believe is in performing (whether it be spinning, juggling, magic, or other art). If you use somebody else's exact performance, move by move, line by line (if there are speaking parts, exact music, or as you mentioned, costume, in your own performance, this is a ethical problem. With good performers, they generally think up the lines, costumes, and string the moves together themselves.Designing a performance (costume, props, lines, music, and everything else) takes creativity. Some people can pull off a copycat performance, but it is very difficult and most people can't do that.I'm not sure... but I think I may be getting off the point... so back to Pele's post...Crediting somebody for teaching you something: This is kinda difficult. After a while, when you get the move down, It does become your own. You kinda integrate your own style into it.Asking permission to use a move or costume or tool: As for moves, as I said before, people will figure it out whether it is taught or not, and will put their own style into it. As for costuming, if it is unique to a person's performance, I believe it should not be copied. As for tools, I'm not quite sure what you mean Pele... If you are talking about a new toy (prop, etc.) you make, eventually, after performing for a long time, somebody in the audience will want to learn it and possibly improve on the design a bit.I think the personal and truly unique bits, such as costume, certain lines that a performer says, and music for a performance, should not be copied and should be respected as that performers own. If you want to use one of these bits, I think permission should be asked for.As for the specific moves, and possibly some "tools", I dont think these are a problem. We are all jugglers, and I have found that jugglers tend to enjoy learning new things. Also anything that makes spinning safer (ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO FIRE) or easier, is generally a good thing.Have fun, keep spinning,Rollo


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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:Hi Pele,Glad to find some echo of my many questions here and I am really thinking about what you ask...And welcome RolloTc.
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I think your post is really interesting and I must say I agree with you in the difference between wopying a move or even a combo and copying "the spirit".Isn't giving credit a matter of politeness in a way... just another "way of doing" the same thing ? What is it that matters : what people do to you or HOW they do it and WHO does it ? (remember Bec saying she was annoyed to be copied by people whom she knew had seen her a dozen of times...)When I lived in Japan I found myself very surprised of the tolerance around because the code of ethics and behaviour is soooo difficult to follow that they are very tolerant with some foreigner making a mistake. On the other hand, they can be very very hard on their fellow japanese people if they don't go by the rules.The more "advanced" or familiar you are (or are supposed to be) with some rules , the harder people can be if you fail to respect one of them.Now what "unwritten" rules are we talking about ? The rules of the spinning/fire world ? the rules of every performer ?reading your post in my previous thread, I felt very much the difference between these two "issues" . My ideal answer would be that it is mainly about the "politeness of the heart" ... meaning : you have to know and FEEL what you can / can't do to a person. best way is to ask yourself : "would I mind if someone did this to me ???" Yet what could annoy me might make you only smile and vice versa. It is easy to hurt people by "misbehaving". it can be on an individual level (what kind of person am I, are you ?) or cultural (what can / can't be done in this culture and I don't just mean culture from a country but also culture of a community like ours for example). Common sense and honesty is the key I guess. On the other hand I feel that maybe the person who feels cheated on or "stolen from" should always first go to the person and seek for an explanation. In the worst case, just to make sure that no misunderstanding have occured and the other deliberately hurt her/him.But then again, I am not living on my fire dance, it is a great part of my free time and when I teach I never charge, and I am probably not good enough yet to think that any of what I do has any value... just enjoying it.When rules are not written, it is very difficult to know, understand and respect them. When they are, it sometimes break the dynamics...eeeer, do i make sense ???Shine oncassandra[This message has been edited by cassandra (edited 27 July 2001).]


"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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pj


member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Total posts: 277
Posted:This is certainly one of the more interesting topics that comes up on a regular basis (though not as regular as "sparkly poi" or "fire vs. glowsticks") so you should certainly check the archives to see what people have said in the past.I think RolloTC made some *excellent* comments regarding professional performers, but really, only a very small percentage of the people here are professionals. The vast majority of us are amateurs who perform strictly for our own enjoyment. In this area, I think Prote made one of the best analogies when she compared it to the "open source" software movement."Open Source" software is computer programs that contain the "source code" or human-readable instructions in addition to the "binary code" which is only readable by the computer. This allows anyone to see how the program works, to fix bugs, or to add new features. These changes and additions are then incorporated in future releases. Sometimes hundreds or even thousands of people have contributed to the same program. The more people who use the software and contribute to it, the better it gets. If you want to learn a *lot* more about this, point your browser at http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/Now,
it should probably come as no surprise that almost all of the participants in the Baltimore Calefaction Society are in some way associated with the free/open source movement. And we have, without even realizing it, applied these same philosophies to our poi spinning. As soon as someone learns a new move or transition they almost immediately share it with the group. The fact that more than one person can do a particular move in no way detracts from the person who "discovered" the move first. Furthermore, this new move or transition may prove be the "key" for someone else to unlock a whole new series of moves that they can then share back with the group.There are other more subtle motivators as well. When many people all have the same repitoire of moves, it only serves to increase the desire to learn new and different moves. No complacency will be tolerated here!I am convinved that this is why there are now so many really darn good fire spinners in our area. Sure, there is something to be said for having a skill that you can show off at parties. When you are one of three fire spinners in a town where most people have never heard of it let alone seen it, performing can be pretty darn special. But that is *nothing* compared to getting a dozen or twenty people together who *all* spin fire and going out spinning until the sun comes up.As to credit, who cares? The moves existed long before any of us discovered them. Hundreds if not thousands of others will "discover" them independantly in the future.Claiming credit for a discovering a move is like claiming credit for discovering a spectacular waterfall -- Sheer folly and an insult to Mother Nature who provided it for us, for *all* of us.But enough philosophising. The reality is that two people can do the *exact* same series of moves with the *exact* same transitions and have the result come out looking completely different. Tempo, body motion, foot placement, facial expression, and many other factors are what make each performer and each performance unique.So I'm trying to figure out what my point is here to wrap this up. I think what I'm trying to say is that it is more important to be yourself. If that means getting inspiration from some else, so what? Take what inspires you, expand on it, make it better, and make it a part of you. And be happy, 'cuz that's what it's really all about.-p.


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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:This seems to be one of those things where you can't just say "yes this is ethical, no that isn't." My gut feeling is that cribbing moves may be OK depending on the spirit in which it is done, but it may be unethical.When I get together with other members of the local fire community, an explicit reason for the get-together is so that we can learn from each other. Obviously it is OK to crib moves in that case.If, however, I fly up to New York state, study Pele's performance, figure out how to do her moves (riiiiight), and then approach the management of the show where she is working and say "hey, hire me instead, I can do all Pele's moves", then that would clearly be unethical.I'm flattered when people ask me to teach them a move, and I'm flattered when they crib moves from me without asking. But fire performance is not my primary source of income. If it were, I would probably feel a little differently. I know a woman whose primary source of income *is* fire performance, and she is completely open to teaching any of her unique moves. I know others who are a little more guarded.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Posted:Hey,I think its a bit of a joke for ppl to get offended if someone sees them do a move and then imitates (with or without asking). If the move is so easy it can be learned in a night by someone who has never seen it before, the strong likelyhood is that you werent the first to perform it, so it wasnt 'yours' to begin with.I think I'd only consider a move mine, if it were TOTALLY different from anything I'd ever even heard of, and took ages to master (and was acknowledged as such by other fire twirlers I respect). If it was so tricky that even highly talented fire dancers couldnt do it, I'd think of it as a signature move...but it would be intrinsically exclusive - by the sheer difficulty...I wouldnt need to go around 'protecting' my move...Ripping a whole show? is that even in question?Josh

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:So maybe I worder my question wrong, those were not my code of ethics that I wrote, but suggestions taken from another thread. I was wondering what your thoughts would be and what courtesies you expect or extend to other performers/spinners (yes, they are two different things in my eyes).Josh, believe it or not I have seen entire shows being ripped off. The costumes were really similar, the jokes and songs (which were actually written by the original act) were copied, right down to the staging of the thing. It was horrifying to those of us who knew the originals. The copy cats ended up black balled by the Ren circut so they arent performing there anymore. This type of copying is theft even in the eyes of the law and it is ethically and professionally wrong I think.It's amazing how cut throat the performing business is once you get into it. Yes it is for the art, but is a business too and I have found that I have to be very sensible, reasonable, and friendly but also demanding and a bit bitchy all at the same time. I manage myself and so have to earn that much more respect and have to really be firm in my convictions, though I whole heartedly believe that we are all our own best advocates. Shitty way to be yes, but if I want to do my kind of performing it is how it has to be.Outside of Ren though, my theory is, if someone asks who taught me, in general I say me with the advice of some other fire people. If someone asks where I got a specific design idea (for anything, tool, costume..) I will point them in the right direction. If someone asks me about a move it's the I learned it from some guy, yeah I'll show you answer. But I haven't had that happen really. It isn't announcing credit but more of a casual conversation about it.If I see someone roster a crowd or make a comment that I think is clever then it sets my mind to racing to come up with something along similar lines but different. I use it as a spring board so to speak. If I see a design or move I like, I ask to use it so that I don't feel like I am poaching. I have a great rapore with Chris from Fireworks and Doug from Falmbe Voloupte along these lines. But that for me is a personal thing. Also, a personal courtesy for me is toe stepping. That is when I see someone else performing, I won't start there because they have a ready made audience. That is really horrible and I have had to contend with it several times. There is nothing worse than having some punk think s/he can steal my stage by being louder and obnoxious. I have also had to stagger my shows around other performers as the minute I lit up I was accidentally drawing audience members away from the other two stage areas. I didn't notice until my 3rd set of 10, so I staggered my shows as best as I could around the acts on the other stages, which I just hink is a professional courtesy.In the end, technically all of the moves we do are based in the same general moves, so they are all just variations anyway. I think for something to be truly unique there would have to be an invention of a totally new base of swinging, which with things that can generally only go in circles, we are limited in that area. I was just wondering what everyone expects or what courtesies they offer out to other performers.I do think though that tools can be somewhat unique and because they are tangible can also carry a patent/service mark or other form of legal protection, so I always ask first.Just my .02. I guess it all comes down to treating others how we want to be treated. That's all that matters at the end of the day.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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s-p-l-a-t


member
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Total posts: 383
Posted:I was a reading and thinking it was another interesting topic ... I kept reading and started frowning cause I really didn't understand what some ppl were trying to say... but then Josh's reply sang out like music to my ears and I say a huge HEAR HEAR !!!! and withdraw the pffffft I was about to inject. I think if it ain't difficult enough then make it more difficult
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Although *gasp* I couldn't imagine people do what Pele says they do (e.g. literally copying jokes n stuff) ... erm... I would love to say 'now that's just America and I guess you do need to cover your arse' ... but oh... why is 'business' always filled with so much 'bullshit-business-types' ... money is *that* valuable to some people?? Bah.... pffffft. Perhaps molotov(sp?) cocktails were not such a bad idea after all...[This message has been edited by splat (edited 28 July 2001).]


The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.- B.B.King

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