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Forums > Social Discussion > Circus-level Poi?? What is it..?

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Antti_Everything
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Antti_Everything

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Posted:I'm sure a bit of this has been talked about already somewhere..

I've been thinking about what kind of number would be a circus-level poi-number...? For one performer it would probably have to include a lot of acrobatics since the level of tricks is hard to understand.. right? For 2 or more (more acrobatics possible ofcourse like pyramids) it would be easier to make a nice looking show with a syncronised routine.



Poi spinning can be very technical but i think it lacks a lot in the visuality in a way since it's more of a continuous flow and it's harder to point out individual tricks.. and harder to do a few tricks and then pose for the audience and make them clap and understand that the trick performed was really difficult.. i mean what can you do that would look like a 5 club back-cross?? Or 3 or 4 or 5 man-high pyramid?



For staff it's easier. I've seen 2 really nice contact numbers (without fire) in circus that i would consider circus-level and Samoan fire knife dancing in Soleil's Alegria kind of works but i wouldn't say it's circus-level yet.. And a shower with 3 firestaffs flying in 7 meters is more circus than a 11 beat weave BTB......



I know poi works well for theatre-circus. But this question is more of a traditional circus number. So what could you do to make a technically circus-level poi-number...?

EDITED_BY: The Antti (1102688014)


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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

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Posted:personally i dont see how poi could be catagorised within the circus arts.
How can you put a level of abillity to some thing like poi?, it doesnt matter if your name is bluecat, bluecat still has much to learn so to speak. So much is yet to be understood by us to even lable abillities in poi.
How would you fit poi into a circus other than a choreographed routine?.. again that would take us back to poi being more theatre like not circus.
I see how many things could relate to one another and many views on each object could be viewed by any one in the same way as an other.
would you really want to see poi in a circus? but then you could say the same about diabolo!, get my point?.
it could be done but it would have to be done right and i really would want any one to be putting a number to abillities in order to make skill tests.
to me poi is about "being" and "expression".
I'm leaving it here, too much work on to debate.
look forward to seeing where this thread goes.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Catalyst
SILVER Member since Nov 2003

Catalyst

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Location: Virginia

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Posted:Circus level poi.....duh, that's when you're riding bareback on a white stallion while spinning poi....or is it when you're dressed as a clown spinning poi...could be when you're thrust out of a cannon with your poi and you spin right when you land, of course in time with the others. biggrin

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Antti_Everything
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

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Posted:it's actually a matter of opinion what is technically high-level enough for circus. and what is circus.. basic torch juggling and fire-breathing could be circus. and poi for that matter.

maybe if you would clone Bluecat and he/they would make a routine...?

I'm sorry, didn't get you diabolo point.. confused and this is not a debate of what poi is or should be, just what it could be..

juggle


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bluecat


bluecat

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Posted:umm


i've seen three circus poi routines i thought were absolutely worth having and of great skill and humour:

a guy in a circus that came to edinburgh, two maybe three years ago, had long poi with wooden ends, and tap shoes, and he played an amazing set of rhtyms on the tap floor.

the guy who spins footballs. i can't remember his nsme. someone'll know..

and Axis, who is a member of this board, has an utterly gorgeous routine with orange glowsticks. its not technical, but my god is it good.

just cause you haven't seen it doesn't mean its not out there.

smiles
R

also the guy who


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Face_NL
PLATINUM Member since Sep 2002

Face_NL

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Posted:And a little step to the side -> Cirque du Soleil has a wonderfull act with Meteors in their show Varekai... why it was circus??? It was well choreographed ofcourse, some synchronous stuff... They had really nice suits and music ^_^, and they incorporated acrobatics and acrobalance in their act...



So with poi, this is also possible I think... If you can do one handed stuff, you can do acrobalance things with two people, You must be able to make nice 4 poi-throw-juggle patterns with two people, poiing upside down...



Or... You know what would be cool???? One-handed butterflies in each hand in various patterns while balancing a burning bike on you head wink ubbrollsmile wink <cheers to 2bags>


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Fuero


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Posted:I think the big diffrence is perspective. How we look on the subject. And more important how the spectators look on the subject.
If the act has a high entertainment value, it doesn't matter how good/bad, simple/intricate your show is. As long as the audience is baffled, poi could have a place in the circus.


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Antti_Everything
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

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Posted:"As long as the audience is baffled, poi could have a place in the circus."

That's a good point definitely and that is what circus is about. I'm still maybe looking for technical tricks. I know as good numbers poi works in circus. I loved the big ball poi number in EJC this year. And i think my crew has a decent not technical clown poi number that might work as a theatrecircus number. But yeah what would leave the circus-people themselves baffled?

I think 2bags did it with the earlier mentioned trick.. i loved it! what else...?


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hexagonic


hexagonic

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Posted:Bluecat the guy who spins footballs is Tom Baker

ah wah wah wah a wah wah

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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

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Posted:diabolo + chianese state circus = nice diabolo in routine... its a fantastic show.

PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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NYC


NYC

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Posted:Written by: pk ....:

personally i dont see how poi could be catagorised within the circus arts.
How can you put a level of abillity to some thing like poi?,



PK, I'm curious, what IS good enough to be consitered "Circus Arts"?

I've seen a lot of crap in Circuses and don't know why poi wouldn't be one of those things.

Bad unicycling, pedestrian clowning, parlor tricks, gags, three ball cascades, borning tight rope walking, uninspired arial acts, etc... all make it to a big top somewhere.

I guess my truely ignorant question is "How much circus level anything is anywhere?"

I don't see any difference between a unicycle act and a poi act. I don't think it's any easier to put a level on either. Or any other 'alternative toy' for that matter.

But I am listening. biggrin


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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

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Posted:Some one i would class at circus level unicycling would have to meet this criteria:




Level 10



demonstrate 10 types of mounts

ride backward with the seat out in back in a figure eight

ride backward one footed in a figure eight

walk the wheel one footed with the left foot in a circle

walk the wheel one footed with the right foot in a circle

walk the wheel backward in a circle

180 uni spin

sideways wheel walk for 10 meters

coast for 10 meters

side ride for 10 meters

walk the wheel one footed backward for 10 meters





Ok so im currently at skill test 4 with unicycling... i have much to learn to get to that standard listed above.



So would a list be made up of standards in poi? how would they be catagorised and who would be seen from the community *responsible to do this*, i wouldnt want that responsibility thats for sure... in volved maybe!... i know what every one around here judges people on and i wouldnt want censored like the Glitter girl incident to happen to me.



There would have to be some kind of international poi federation or some thing along those lines where there would be a comitee and panel to decide what would be decided with levels of ability.



Dont get me wrong i would love to see poi done in a circus and i agree with NYC, there is so much crap in them theses days, but then i have seen some good stuff too. Isnt there allways one crap song you dont like on a CD?... [theres a point there not quite sure! hehe]



I've seen and know people that i would love to see in circus.. i think its a good idea, but i have mixed views on the subject.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

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Posted:*to NYC* ...unicycling has been around for a very long time and back in the 1930's was a very popular past time for many people, as unicycles date from the late 1800's there is a great deal of history there and the uni community globally is growing emensly right now and skills are getting to a higer level of skill. If you want to see some shocking uni skills i can mail you a disc of videos that will change any ones minds about unicycling being [censored]!
I know that poi dates back to earlier times but! it is only very recently become what unicycling and juggling was back at the turn of the 1900's.
The skills there have been set for so long, i know there are some [censored] artists right now.... but this could be US setting the standards for poi to become circus level like they did for juggling and unicycling.

Probably my favourite unicycle circus skill was to see some one ride an ultimate wheel doing a handstand riding it with his hands on a high wire!... now thats circus and i dont think it has even been attempted since... but this goes back many years... if i remember the link then i will post it.

love ya!


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

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Posted:sorry remembered some thing else i have on my mind!


This article

If any one has read it before if not read it as its a good issue between jugglers and poi....
would the same issues arise but on a global level if poi was to become skill tested and circus level? and were they delbt with globally before>?... many people would have different views but thats another debate.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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NYC


NYC

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Posted:I understand now.

Cool. I didn't know that about unicycling.

I still think of the last couple circuses that I saw and am doubtful that any of them had any level 10 anything.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

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Posted:Written by: bluecat

a guy in a circus that came to edinburgh, two maybe three years ago, had long poi with wooden ends, and tap shoes, and he played an amazing set of rhtyms on the tap floor.





These are not technically poi. They are Flamenco Rhythm Bolas, and hurt very badly when you srew up with them. Traditionally made with wooden balls, you will find most now are made from acrylic balls on the ends, and are done in conjunction with any number of hard shoe dances.

I have seen no less than 7 circuses, including Cirque Du Soliel ("O" in Vegas) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, which have had poi. The most common element I have seen is that the spinner is the focal point, not the poi...like most other circus apparati. Their movements, their antics, their facial expression was extremely important. They all had fluidity and grace with the poi but nothing was technically challenging, because the crowd wouldn't know due to distance and due to tool ignorance.

And if you actually watch most apparatus performers in circuses, much of what they do, by modern standard is not technically difficult because there is a greater room for error with it.

I also have not heard one compelling arguements as to why poi is not a circus art. I can give you my opinion why I think it is....because it is a form of object manipulation and object manipulations have been the core of circus performers since the Chinese Circus popularity a few hundred years ago. Therefore, it most certainly does belong there.

As for Karl Sanft (the Fire Knife Spinner in Allegria), that video was taken years ago, and what he does is difficult and flawless in that show. He has amazing personality and charisma whilst spinning them, which most supposed performers do not. That is absolutely key in performance, especially for circus. He is brilliant at what he does, and in the..what, nearly 10 years since that footage was taken?, the spinner in that show has gotten better.
....Wish the one in "O" would (botched basic throws)

Most people who cast for circuses do not look for super advanced skill as much as for fluidity, grace and personality...which not everyone has, or can even learn to have.


Pele
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This_Energy
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

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Posted:personally, i think the only circus's that should have poi are the many shows of cirque du soleil. i think poi is much more of a rythmic danse that doesnt fit in with your classic big top circus. a regular circus doesnt seem like a danse like cirque du doleil. a regular circus is fine and all but it doesnt seem like poi fits in with the lound music and goofy clowns and the animals and all the aspects of a circus. cirque du doliel seems to fit in with poi because they both are in essence, beautiful and rythmic danses. but thats just my view.

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PK_
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Posted:but that really doesnt make much sense!... every circus is different and so are the acts.

Poi= diversity.... you can do so much with them and so much to with it to make a bigger picture.



Why does poi have to be fluid? rythmic? dance?.. it doesnt.

Take for example, Glass!... Simian... Dom, they all could do a show that probably whould have non of the said criteria and be an awsome show.



With poi being so diverse you can do wonderful things, and cirque du soleil, their not all that! i've seen better work from other performers out there.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

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Posted:i'd consider it to be circus art only when it is either the persons main sourse of income, i.e. they HAVE to be really good at it. or they put it infront of say, another job. I think its all abou commitment, if he person is committed to what they do then its expected that they are good at it! although that doesnt really define what it entails, its a vague statement of how it should work.

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Antti_Everything
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

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Posted:As for my view on the fire knife dancing on Soleil.. First, I think there might be more than one video of the show or the number since i think the one i've seen is from 2001 or something, so i can only speak of that one. And the artist(s) doing the number in Allegria have changed a few times i think..

Yes it's a great number and flawless. Seems like there's no way he could drop the staff (Which is sooo important. Depending on the character the circus artist has to keep up the illusion that anything is possible by making it look so easy to him/her. A trick with less difficulty done 100% perfectly is better than a harder one done less perfectly) I was blown away when i saw it the first time. However personally i would've wanted more difficulty in the routine.. It seems technically too easy compared to some of the other numbers..


I agree with Pele about poi being object manipulation and therefore circus. When starting this thread i was going for more of the tricks and not presentation but thinking more about it, a routine that would show the performers perfect control of the poi, have perfect presentation with a lot of charisma would definitely be a circus number.

And if I haven't seen one then it doesn't mean that.. yeah, i know. Sorry.

And I also agree with PK about why does poi have to be fluid? rythmic? dance? There's more to poi than this.

I think for fireperformers in general it would help a lot to try more of a circus approach to making a routine. Even though the fire plays a big part I think a number should be good enough even without the fire. And this doesn't mean only technical difficulty....


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simian


simian

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Posted:eek redface ubblol at the namecheck from pk

i'd be totally lame in a circus! laaaaaaaaaame!



but i totally agree with everything else he said.



i think circuses are a bit rubbish usually. i've seen great stuff in circus shows, but never a full show that i really enjoyed as a whole. There's always too much timewasting and pretentiousness and stageyness that i'm not interested in.



i see the circus as being a place you go to to see people do incredible things. It's right that those feats should be presented in a dramatic way, but all too often the skill aspect is replaced by presentation.



Thats why aerial acts are usually my favourite. Multi person trapeze stuff kicks ass to watch, and the flashy showy bits ARE the bits where the greatest skill is on display.



i reckon circus level poi = the weave, spin circles by your side, break planes into butterfly, break back into circles at your side, weave really fast. Maybe turn around and possibly stand on the back of a horse.



EDIT - That last bit was maybe a bit dismissive. If your poi is at a level where passers by regularly stop and stare like you've just beamed off the mothership, then obviously you can do a really great circus act. The RHD should be in a circus, most definitely. Hell, you guys should have your own TV channel smile weavesmiley

EDITED_BY: simian (1102879830)


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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arashi


arashi

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Location: austin,tx

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Posted:My God.

Right now i have a lot of pity for the international community.
There's some mind blowing poi spinners out there. world class spinners covering technical and dance and choreography. but they are few and far between. i just thought they were at least KNOWN about. Perhaps there is a lack of support for your local spinners, maybe if there were more, your local spinners would be able to achieve this level of proficiency. Maybe you guys need to think about paying your mentors some money. choreographing good routines takes A LOT of time and practice. A LOT. and it takes a daily regimen of stretching, working out, and practicing, not to mention doing all the legwork to book and throw shows.


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

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Posted:confused

So... er, who are they then?

confused confused confused confused


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polythene


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Posted:Simian, nuthin' lame about the amazing 'monkey through a juggling ring' routine, it's fantastic! biggrin

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The pessimist fears this is true.

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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

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Posted:Written by: arashi

My God.

Right now i have a lot of pity for the international community.
There's some mind blowing poi spinners out there. world class spinners covering technical and dance and choreography. but they are few and far between. i just thought they were at least KNOWN about. Perhaps there is a lack of support for your local spinners, maybe if there were more, your local spinners would be able to achieve this level of proficiency. Maybe you guys need to think about paying your mentors some money. choreographing good routines takes A LOT of time and practice. A LOT. and it takes a daily regimen of stretching, working out, and practicing, not to mention doing all the legwork to book and throw shows.



international community!.. that would be homeofpoi!

yes there are some extremly goos spiiners, both arty and technically minded.

There are some really nice shows out there too!

Local spinners? wouldnt we in our local community know these people, kinda like urban legends!. I think most spinners would know about performers based out of their own area or country.

Pay mentors money? what for?. i dont see a point to that comment.
Not all of us spin with other spinners, some of us are in the middle of nowhere! with no one to bounce ideas from other than from forums on the net.
I think there are some wicked communites that are evolving globally but all this seems to still be infantile in its growth.

My feelings are it is easy to make money!, but to be seen as good is where it lies.
To please an audience with no education as to what it is that we do! thats the easy part... do a 3 beat weave.
To please yourself... do what your good at.
To please a spinner in the audience... thats the hard part.
With us looking out for poi in circus arts, were judgmental, we will look for the slightest error, technical abilities, flow, choreography, dance, style, moves, transitions, costumes, set, equipment... the list is endless, we are the hardest people any one would have to please if they are going to do poi to a circus level.

How would you handle criticism from the hop community if you were performing at that level. Dont get me wrong i see your point about all of the work that you need to put in, but with any day job... you work long hours doing the same thing day in day out... any one would get that good with that kind of effort, thats why your good at what you do and i have met one of your students who sang high praises for you and your community.

not digging, just general rant! hug


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
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Posted:Simian, actually, historically, circuses were not at all about seeing anything extreme....it was and still is about seeing something unusual in an entertaining manner.

The very first circuses, dating back to the ancient greeks, had paciderms with people on their backs and horse tricks as well as melodramatic announcers, and grecian actors hamming things up. It was completely about entertainment and presentations which served as framework for exotic showings (usually in the form of animals). Not much has changed about the concept over the years, just more and more arts were added into the mix. It is really sad that you hinge your enjoyment of such an amazingly diverse presentation on technicality.

For anyone who has ever seen RB&BB circus you will know that they do not have one thing going on at once. They are a three ring circus to be sure, and are nothing like CDS at all. But the poi spinning (day-glo comets actually) fit perfectly into all of the craze. To limit where it is able to presented is quite sad actually.

And I would like to also remind everyone that often times it is not unusual at all to get into a circus on one skill and not perform it at all but instead be trained in something else. I have known *several* people this has happened to, including a couple poi spinners who are now acrobalancers, aerialists and one who is a dancing clown. None of them do poi now but they all get paid by different circus shows. I also know someone who was a stilt walking juggler who was accepted into a circus and who had to learn to spin poi for his act, without stilts. They were all chosen for their dedication, their personality, their ability to perform overall.

And anyone who has ever lived through a CDS or any circus audition, or who has gone to circus school, *knows* this is the case.


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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arashi


arashi

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Posted:"lived through" is right... i've heard secondhand about those CDS auditions. yikes. made me realize there's a lot of high school level drama stuff which i haven't done in ages that i (still) need to brush up on. 1 minute propless mime acts to fill in empty space, etc.

mcp are you kidding?
www.wushucentral.com !!!
fuhgetabowtit!

pk... sorry but three beat weave doesn't cut it around here. you're kidding right? if i don't see a costume, makeup, stage presence, technical virtuosity, and dance choreography, i want my money back, and pretty much anybody on the street can tell when someone is gifted because part of being good is having a routine which teaches the virtuosity involved. again, this comes down to choreography.

and by money i mean "pay your local spinner to see him/her perform" and "support your local spinners" and "throw your teacher some gigs." i only considered myself a decent spinner once i made it my life, which meant quitting my job and doing it full time IOW doing shows for a living. and i am so lucky to be appreciated by my community so that i can keep at it!


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

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Posted:yes i was kidding, just generalising!.

I think this subject is viewed from many angles.. were all from different communities in different parts of the world, and every where is so different from the next!.

Skills are different... people play different, people do things for different reasons and we all live and exist for different reasons.. thats what makes us as indeviduals different and the tallents we hold in oursleves.

Once people discover what is inside of themselves then there is a good show to behold!.

I gave my teacher a gig a few months back!, we went to teach some small children in a rough part of manchester, and my teach happened to be jo derry.. he was so greatful! and it was a please for me to do that!. thats why i do things... just my way! cos its me!

*arashi... i think i just found you a student! i sent them your site address to look around!... i think they got the poi bug. lol*


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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arashi


arashi

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Location: austin,tx

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Posted:true dat, i believe that once a person has tapped into their own art with the fire, i'll be there to watch. i'm an appreciator extraordinaire. memories of glass' planes and timing still make my eyes get all teary. for clarification, someone doesn't have to have all the pro glitz to impress me. but if they want to charge me _money_, then i expect a certain level of time put into the show. or i feel like they are taking money out of the pocket of some one who cares.



due to a mishap with a credit card i lost my domain name to someone else. www.firecircus.com is down! but i just wrote the person who bought it and i think it'll be ours again and up soon. we're just gonna start from scratch anyways, our new project is way beyond all that old biddy stuff. wink

EDITED_BY: arashi (1102914644)


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:Written by: arashi

"lived through" is right... i've heard secondhand about those CDS auditions. yikes.

i've never heard of the cirque auditions, what happens?


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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