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Page: 12
ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:So ill just start by saying that with all forms of self expression there is no right or wrong. this however is my style which i am refining in which there are rights and wrongs. everything i write here has been around for along time im simply putting it down in an ordered fashion. i plan to update and add to this post as it takes form. these are simply my current thoughts take what you will from it be it everything or nothing at all



Philosophy

Shadow contact dance is a form of expression whereby the staff and dancer interact and dance around each other led by the dancer.



There is an essence to each movement this essence is what makes it beautiful, the closer to the true essence the movement the more beautiful it is. Every movement begins with a thought whereby an intention of the whole body movement is created to perform the movement, the intension is manifested through the staff beginning its motion. From the point of origin the expression of the movement is performed and the staff finishes where the imagined end of the movement is.



Each whole body movement is like a sentence with each portion of the movement acting like a single word some words having melodic tones which others are sharp and abrasive, certain words resonate well with each other creating a pleasing structure. Other words clash with others or are jarring; a good example of this is dinosaur arms which detract from any body shape.



A sequence of movements is like telling a story with a large range of variation for freedom of expression.



Principles

Continous Rhythem - for the flow of the movement to be uninterupted it must have a constant rhythem throughout the exercusion of the movement, this manifests through the staff having sequential points of contact with the body. The rhythem must be set by the person not the staff



Transitions - the dance is a form of expression and there are appropriate points to change the direction of motion, the staff should never be force instead gently guided using two points of contact such that it is controlled



Symmetry - is beauty



Music - is a integral part of the dance



Body Movement

Every motion should be a deliberate complete body movement, alot of movements can be executed with similar body movements to those of tai chi. Correct movements begin with a thought and first occur as physical movement beginning at the persons centre as all of the limbs are connected.



Chi Ball Fishtail Exercise

Purpose being to focus on movement of the hand not performing the fishtail and to get the hand doing the fishtail opperating in syncornosity with the other hand without requiring as much conscious effort.



Pulsating Chi Ball

The purpose of this exercise is to free up movement in the shoulders as the chi ball expercise can case the upper body to become locked and ridged in maintaining a uniform chi ball.when the fishtail begins coming to the opposite side of the body to the side holding the staff the free hand opens up in a big arc to reform the chi ball as the fishtail begins to transition back to the other side.



Fluidity and Speed Control

The fluidity of a movement is best achieved through being able to perform and control the speed of rotation of the staff with different weighted staffs. An appropriate speed to spin the staff is one in which the move can be performed in a controlled manner in bother directions of rotation. Determining the level of control with one staff is very difficult, however performing movements with double staffs highlights the level of control by the degree of parallelness.



Backhand Roll Exercise

Standing with shoulders and feet facing the same direction and holding the staffs on either side of the body in the same place on the sticks roll both staffs from thumb to little finger across the back of the hand. When this can be done such that they rotate in parallel repeat the exercise but rolling the staffs in the opposite direction. Once this is solid repeat the exercise but with one staff rolling across the front of the body and the other behind



Parrallel Fishtail Exercise

Practise doing a forwards fishtail and reverse fishtail in opposite hands on both sides of the body trying to keep the sticks parallel at all times.



Footwork

Fixed stances

1 - Point Stance - feet together and parrallel

2 - Rest Stance - feet shoulder width apart and parrallel

3 - Short L Stance - whereby the feet are at 90 degrees and the back leg takes the majority of the weight with the front leg slightly bent

4 - Long L Stance - being the same as the short L stance but sitting much lower and the back leg still takes most of the weight

5 - Parallel Offset Stance - most of the weight is taken on the front leg with the rear leg being in little contact with the ground

6 - Long Stance - weight on front leg and back legs foot at 45 degrees

7 - Tree - one foot on the ground the other leg making a triangle using the grounded foot as one side

8 - Lotus - need a picture

9 - Horse Riding - Very wide parallel stance

10 - RHT Stance - feet parrallel with all the weight based over one foot with the other foot making contact with the ground using only the toes, can be done with the leg infront, to the side or behind



Transitioning between stances by touching feet together rather than randomly steping (as i do in the demo video shall rectify it soon promise smile)



Consciousness

When a move is properly understood rather than thinking the move, then doing it while being mentally blank finishing and returning to conscious thought, the move is experienced as it goes through all of its points. This loss of consciouness is most clearly demonstrated when trying a new move where the staff is not completely visible and not being able to correctly visualise it throughout the movement, causing the staffer to revert into a semi conscious state of trial and error without understanding. Twirling infront of a reflective surface helps with this alot.



Moving Doubles Patterns

'Learn to do figure of eights in both directions in every place that your hands can physically reach to sctartch yourself'

'stick your right foot out occasionally - if in doubt, jump a bit and grin'

- A wise fairy of the fluffy variety



Static Points and Transient Points

A static point is a relationship between parts of the body primarily the arms where the body shape is asthetically pleasing if the body is still and teh staff is only moving about it stationary center of rotation. Transient points exist on the paths between static points that the staff must travel through to connect the two points. Static Points can be linked together in patterns.



Static points without crossing the bodys centerline using a closed grip are shown for the arm marked with an x

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Written by:</font><hr />



..................1.....3

.................O.2

..............------x....4

..................|.5

..................|.6....7

................./\

.............../...\







Note that no under the leg position is marked as to get the staff low enough to do a beat there requires the back to arch in a unasthetic position. Also it should be noted that each position can be done with the palm facing up or down each generating a different body shape.



Balenced Base Closed Grip Movements

When using only one staff the movement performed with each arm can only be seen seperately hence what can appear to be a developed controlled movement in actuality isnt. To test for this a simple one beat rotation (ie each end only traces a circle) should be done with a staff in each hand in parallel and mirrored for all of the static points shown above with the static points being chosen in mirrored and non symetric combinations.



Fishtail Family

The fishtail family finds its origin in baton twirling, and is usually performed on the back of the hand or wrist region, this movement is what is commonly referred to as fishtails. The fishtail movement causes the staff to move in a path such that it traces out a circle with each end of the staff resulting in two separate circles. The staff stays in contact with the part of the body that the fishtail is being performed on such that if it was performed perfectly it would be stationary relative to the body part.



Due to the dimensions of batons fishtails can be performed in front of or to the side of the body with minimal arm movements, the same is also true of short staffs. Performing fishtails with a long staff can be achieved with minimal arm movement on the side of the body however to do it in front of the body requires a much larger arm movement. For this reason when first learning fishtails it is recommended that they are first learnt on the side of the body. All of the movements can be performed in both the forwards and backwards direction, the forwards direction is where the staff is rotating away from you and backwards is where the staff is rotating towards you.



Vertical Fishtails

To learn both forwards and backwards vertical fishtails it is necessary to understand where the staff is going to be moving and how to keep the rhythm of the movement. The first step is to get a feel for the path that the staff is going to be moving. To do this first hold the staff in front of your body with both hands with your palms facing in the same direction roughly shoulder width apart. Then slowly guide the staff such that the right end of the staff creates a circle on the right hand side of your body and the left end of the staff creates a circle on the left hand side of your body. After becoming comfortable with this movement continue the motion of the staff, keep your upper body stationary and rotate your feet ninety degrees so that you doing the motion on the side of your body. These are the paths of the staff for all vertical fishtails.



Two Handed Fishtails

Resting the staff on the back of both hands spaced two hand widths apart move the staff through the fishtail movement, the second hand acts to stop the staff falling off.



One Beat Fishtails

Once you have a feel for the path that the staff is going to travel the next step is to learn the hand movement, starting with your palm facing down towards the ground trace out an infinity system in front of your body. When your palm is facing directly down to the ground this is when the staff is parallel to the ground. This is where you begin to transfer the staff from one side of your body to the other. If you try to transfer the staff to the other side of your body when the staff is not parallel to the ground it will slide off your hand this effect is most noticeable on forwards fishtails. To get the feel of how to move your hand relative to the staff start by passing the staff from back of one hand to the back of the other hand. Once this is occurring in a slow controlled manner when the staff comes over the hand that you want to learn the fishtail on turn one hundred and eighty degrees and carry the staff round on the back of your hand. Pass the staff from the back of the hand to the back of the other hand again until you are ready to turn back the opposite way with the staff on the same hand. This method can be used to learn both forwards and backwards fishtails. For example to learn backwards fishtails on your right hand the staff will be rotating anticlockwise in front of you, when the staff rolls over the back of your right hand your will turn clockwise one hundred and eighty degrees stepping either your left or right leg and carry the staff around on the back of your right hand. The staff will now be rotating clockwise in front of you, when the staff rolls over the back of your right hand you will step anti clockwise one hundred and eighty degrees and carry the staff back.



Once you have the feel for how to take the fishtail movement from one side of your body to the other you can do the method outlined above without the back hand to back hand passing in between turning from one side to the other. Once this motion has been made solid it can the same motion can be done but keeping your feet still. It is recommended that you work on increasing the number of beats you can get consistently rather than trying to go straight for continuous fishtails as this will help you to focus on good technique rather than lots of fishtails with poor technique. It is very important to get this solidly in both the forwards and backwards direction as this is fundamental to the rest of the movements outlined in this section.



Variations

Two beat fishtail - has a sneaky thumb reach under

Three beat fishtail - Moseph style requires a video

Elbow Fishtail

Forwards Elbow Fishtail Closed Arm

roll over back of hand draw hand into a tight closed horizontal elbow, then turn 180 degrees with arm. And back move arm in an arc shape so do a small throw type movement where the staff only just stays in contact with the arm

Forwards Elbow Fishtail Open Arm

Backwards Elbow Fishtail Closed Arm

Backwards Elbow Fishtail Open Arm

Shoulder Fishtail

Back of the Neck Fishtail (its do able ive seen it, its just stupidly hard)

Foot Fishtails - the secret is in the transition to the foot

Inverted Fishtails - staff is in position 5 with the fingers facing the person

Horizontal Fishtails



Vertical Fishtail Transitions



Transitions to Other Body Parts

Hand Fishtail to Elbow Roll



Fishtail to Opposite Direction Fishtail

Forwards Fishtail to Backwards Fishtail Roll

fishtailing to the side of you when staff comes infront of your body, bring opposite hand over the top so you end up back hand to back hand as the staff rolls onto opposite hand



Backwards Fishtail to Forwards Fishtail Roll

as fishtail comes behind your body place opposite hand on top back hand to backhand bring the staff up towards your head in the vertical plane behind your body then bring your hands down to your side to open behind you in a forwards fishtail



Fishtail to Angel Roll

as doing a reverse fishtail as you cross your body half way across go back to the direction you originally came from instead of finishing the movement



Transition on the same body part

Fishtail to Opposite Direction Fishtail

forward fishtail (rh) when its behind you turn right into backwards fishtail



Fishtail to propeller

forward fishtail rh propeller in front and to the right of you back into forwards fishtail

forward fishtail rh propeller in front of you into backwards

- same in reverse



Fishtail Carry

forwards fishtail carry spin 360 with the staff on the back of your hand

backwards fishtail carry spin 360 with the staff on the back of your hand



Fishtail fountain

backwards fishtail fountain

backwards inverted fishtail fountain



Fishtail to Horizontal Stall

horizontal stall to fishtail in opposite direction



Fishtail pop

Throw it for a spin in between changing sides





Doubles Dual figure 8s - starting with arms crossed with a stick in each hand the arm on top does opens upwards and does a forwards figure 8 and finished back in the crossed arm possition. the bottom arm opens down and does a backwards figure 8. the sticks should remain parallel all the way through the motion

Body snakes - video required







Tripples

Tripples opens up new areas in old concepts, it is a way to refine precision of singles and doubles movements



Concepts

Static Shapes - tripples opens itself to beauty in relationships



triaxis - three staffs are held in one hand such that all staffs are perpendicular

static framed triangle - three staffs are held in two hands such that there are two staffs being held by each hand such that a triangle is formed by the sticks



Dynamic Shapes - the flow between the transitions of static shapes



dynamic framed triangle - two staffs are held in one hand at an angle of approximately 60 degrees with the third staff ballenced on them held staffs

triaxis transition - starting with a triaxis in the left hand the triaxis is swung towards the person and one stick is released into a steve the remaining cross is wrapped across the front of the waist and transfered to the other hand as the steve is completed such that a triaxis is formed on the opposite hand. this movement requires control of the intention of the placement of the outcome of the steve as the finishing hand is holding a cross it is necessary for the staff to finish in the correct place




EDITED_BY: ben-ja-men (1117386784)


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:ben on the subject of videos, my camera (the colleges camera) has eaten my tape frown, i'll see if i can make it work, but its a lil boubtful

Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


pozee
old hand
Location: san diego
Member Since: 27th Jul 2001
Total posts: 886
Posted:so, where is the video? i would like to see...

anyone got a light?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:i think its been taken down, which means that there will be a new one soon i guess

Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:ive realised with a little help from a fairy what ive been doing wrong with the chi ball thing so once i correct it ill put a new one up

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:what have you been doing wrong ( in words) so i can play with the idea today?

Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:the movements quite forced and aggressive when it should be smooth flowing and calm, basically i need to clean my fishtails up so that i can do them even slower with more control and try to minimise the movement of my center

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:right looks like im gonna have a lot of work to do then
*sighs*


Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


fluffy napalm fairy
fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land
Member Since: 12th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3638
Posted:ben - almost wink not try to minimise the movement, but to maximise the control......

biggrin

............. though it should ammount to the same, the latter will achieve the effect more fully.

where's my quote then?


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:played around a lot today, more concentrating on flow, and compleatly forgetting the sticks, moving every thing with foot patterns etc. feels like much prettyer staffing, i dunno what it looks like tho. (not much contact in this yet)

The tai chi form slightly maniplated to fit the sticks in makes for some nice stuff, that i wouldnt have thought possible. along those lines the chi ball ex is hard, possible but hard, and im gettin there with double fishtails biggrin (as in i now know how and where to get in to them, the body movement i need some more work on)

it is a good day to staff smile


Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:your quotes been edited into the first post miss fairy so that it doesnt get lost with all the general chit chat smile

bryn youll have to do a new video soon me thinks smile


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:ben got the stuff rescued off that tape, and im supprised at some of it being me, we (me ifrit and russel of the devilstick varity) now have somewhere to practice at college, and so will be churning out videos like there is no tomorrow biggrin maybe.
gonna prctice the tai chi stuff with some one else and me staffing at the same time ( will be good combat defence training for them, me thinks)

oh the book is by chee soo, its on the tai chi form, probibly worth looking up smile

off out now, my friend is up from exeter and i havent seen her in an age, will edit tomorrow smile


Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:added a new video to the hop gallery with slightly better chi fish but still to fast and forced also a slow mo video for dual fishtails just for u mr bryn

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:ben



if you just move slower you wont have to put things in slow motion.... wink



hope that helps biggrin


Love is the law.


Kyle McLean
Kyle McLean

Living it up
Location: Brisbane/Berlin
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 364
Posted:Written by: ben-ja-men

whats this controlled chaos i keep hearing about?



No idea... ubbangel


Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:rolleyes come to the fringe festival in march biggrin

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:have decidd that the footage ihave at the moment it crap!!!

so i'll do some more, cheers for the duality tutorial biggrin.

chi fish is gettin better, and doing more than fish with it as well, just to keep things moving.



I need another day in the park, but its not gonna happen this weekend. fran is down (has no real relevance but still) ubblove





*update* ok the tutorial video was very good, can get up to 2beats out of duals now biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin, coming from the tai chi side of it all, whislt trying to get it my left shoulder was really tight, when i finally found the right movement and stance the shoulder wnet free and they flowed untill i thought about them :S will practice more tomorrow.

EDITED_BY: Lavatwlight (1107296443)


Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:have added a section on fishtails which needs to be fleshed out a bit still but its got transition ideas

also a section on the concept of static points and transient points


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Lavatwilight
Lavatwilight

old hand
Location: Wellington somerset, UK
Member Since: 11th Aug 2004
Total posts: 834
Posted:any thing more been going on ben?

Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:im playing with steves with two sticks and using the second staff to devil stick it when it comes off, makes me really focus on where the staff is going rather than making it go somewhere. still playing with it no where near solidarity, might get it ready for col 2005 if im lucky

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Kyle McLean
Kyle McLean

Living it up
Location: Brisbane/Berlin
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 364
Posted:What do u mean when you say devil Stick it?
I'm really keen to start learning more staff moving staff stuff. There must be heaps of crazy sh*! there.


Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:as in a horizontal devil stick properller

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


Kyle McLean
Kyle McLean

Living it up
Location: Brisbane/Berlin
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 364
Posted:Kewl. I *think* I know what you mean.

Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:added a short section on tripples and an even shorter section on doubles

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?


shoonya
newbie
Location: still Frankfurt/Germany soon ...
Member Since: 14th May 2005
Total posts: 8
Posted:Just read your Shadow Contact Dance Post - Thanxx Ben hug

Slow, controlled, fluent contact with the staff so that you get in "contact" with the staff and finally get one. It is like doing Tai Ch`i or meditation in slow movements.
This is not the technical performing of one contact movement after the other where the contact time is minimal that I have experienced with most of the contact spinners I have met or seen.
It sounds more like the contact spinning (where I learned it we called it massage movements because of the slow intense contact with the skin) I used to do and love to do so ubblove ubblove

Im very exited to see the first vids of your Shadow Contanct Dance Ben so do them fast.

Im still waiting for someone to make a vid of my staff massage session which I could post here....


People try to create an outwardly perfect life but quality of life is based on the inward -Sadhguru


Page: 12

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