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Flynt
Flynt

Intrepid Penguin

Member Since: 12th May 2002
Total posts: 5635
Posted:Mid email conversation with a friend today, I told him he was amazing at poi, his response, "amazing? i cant even do reverse weave!"

It got me thinking. I have quite a FEW friends that define their skill/talent by the number or type of tricks they can do.

My question is WHY?? these ppl that i have the priviledge to spin with are amazingly talented, and so beautiful to watch. Why do we get caught up in the technicality of what can only be described as a simply magnificent form of dance/art. By the very nature of what we do, defining it by technicalites is almost an insult!

I cant remember when i stopped caring about how many moves i could do, or that i cant do anything behind the back, or that i dont know what hyperloops are..... I just know that i have a LOT more fun spinning now. Dont get me wrong. I'm not knocking those who do spin from a purely technical point of veiw. I know there are people who really enjoy that!

how do you define YOUR talent?? I used to say that the way i danced was just me "Trying not to trip over". Now i just say thanks whenever i'm complimented on it, because i know that its an important part of the way I spin.

Bring on the people who cant do "tricks"! I say they have the world in their hands, because they are not hampered by it as we are!

Note: edit for spelling. (i know, i didnt get all the mistakes...)


Currently on the right side up of the world.

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poiaholic22
member

Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Flynt:

My question is WHY?? these ppl that i have the priviledge to spin with are amazingly talented, and so beautiful to watch. Why do we get caught up in the technicality of what can only be described as a simply magnificent form of dance/art. By the very nature of what we do, defining it by technicalites is almost an insult!


.........


Dont get me wrong. I'm not knocking those who do spin from a purely technical point of veiw. I know there are people who really enjoy that! Kind of answered your own question here,no?

I would say the most significant thing to me when I spin is smoothness.It doesn't matter if you can do a bazillion moves or are a good dancer if you ain't smooth.

As far as why I am focused more on the technical side is because it keeps the art fresh for me.I enjoy trying to learn new moves and I enjoy the challenge involved.

I would never knock somebody because they don't though.We all have to do what makes us happy.



[ 28. April 2003, 17:59: Message edited by: that damn poiaholic ]


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poiaholic22
member

Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:BTW there is no such thing as talent.

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Psyri
Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted:I just love poi all together... the feel, being able to pull off a few moves and look okish is enuf 4 me.

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Zoltar
Zoltar

Beginner
Location: Beyond Time, South of Melbourn...
Member Since: 6th Nov 2002
Total posts: 282
Posted:Talent and skill, are they the same thing?

Could talent be defined as a potential ability rather than the culmination of skill?

A skill is something that is learned through training the body, whilst talent could be defined as a 'natural ability'or potential, which can be honed with the development of skills. Does that make sense? Or am I off the track?


So much fire, so little body hair...

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Flynt
Flynt

Intrepid Penguin

Member Since: 12th May 2002
Total posts: 5635
Posted:Zoltar, i think you are right.

Talent being something that a person can do naturally (or a segment in a beauty contest)

Skill being something that a person developes throughout life.

The point of the thread was tho, why limit your poi to the number of tricks you can do? Its not just about doing moves, its about being fluid and graceful, or bouncy and fast, or whatever it is that you spin! What i want to know is, why define yourself as a less than amazing spinner, just because you cant do reverse weave??? it doesnt add up `


Currently on the right side up of the world.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay, I disagree with what I am about to say because when I look at other performers I see (or hope to) style, grace, fluidity, passion....and that is what makes someone great to me. And I think those take more talent than skill.

But I do not judge myself by that at all. I think I am one of the suckiest spinners around to tell you the truth....I am not an advanced spinner. I don't do 7 beat anythings and can do 5 beats but found no joy in it at all.

A driving force in our societal mindset, I feel, can be boiled down to an If-Then mathematical problem. For example...

..If an athlete can jump the highest setting on the high bar, then s/he is the best.

..If a car has more horses under the hood, then it is better than one that does not.

..If a person is thin and pretty, then s/he is better than someone who is less so.

..If something is more expensive, then it must be of higher quality.

None of these are necessarily true, but if you look at mass media, it is definately the predominant mindset. And so therefore, while art can not necessarily be judged on that same equation, we as performance artists do judge ourselves on that scale, even if it is something we do just for a hobby.

..If Person X can to a variety of 7 beat behind the backmoves and hyperloops and "jedi stuff", and I can only do 5 moves but they are fluid, then Person X must be a better spinner than I because s/he can do more difficult moves.

As you can see, artistic presentation, fluidity, passion, style, grace and quality does not come into play here. Just the amount of tricks done, or the difficulty of the repetoire. Not whether or not it flows from the heart or if it looks good.
We can't help but lie those expectations on ourselves when it is shoved down our throats everytime we turn around. It is part of a perfectionist mentality as well. That doesn't mean that is how other's are looked at or judged, usually just ourselves.

Is that more of what you were looking for?
All this is jmho and observations, of course.

[ 29. April 2003, 13:21: Message edited by: Pele ]


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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Flynt
Flynt

Intrepid Penguin

Member Since: 12th May 2002
Total posts: 5635
Posted:Some great points there Pele, and i definately agree with a lot of it.

Another question to ponder: Do you consider yourself an "althete" or an "artist" when it comes to poi??


Currently on the right side up of the world.

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Zoltar
Zoltar

Beginner
Location: Beyond Time, South of Melbourn...
Member Since: 6th Nov 2002
Total posts: 282
Posted:Artist

So much fire, so little body hair...

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I am very proudly a Performance Artist.

I am both.
Ask any professional performance artist (dancer, juggler, circus performer, etc) and they will generally tell you close to the same. It is such an intense physical activity...it would be hard to deny!


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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Psyri
Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted:Definately artist... it's sumthing I dont do on paper for once. My style is quite relaxed at the moment... it's kinda like part of my soul.
Gettin spiritual now aint I?


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fluffy napalm fairy
fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land
Member Since: 12th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3638
Posted:I define talent as: Me

lol....everyone spins differently, and everyone appreciates different things in spinning. At SPOC the other day I was complimenting someone elses spinning and said I wish I could spin like them - they looked amazing. They said the same about me. We agreed to disagree!

But in my view, talent is the ability to pull off something and make it look good. If I see someone looking great, I think they're talented. Someone else might think they're crap. It's all in the audience's view.


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

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Exactly. Take me for instance... I learned a fair number of moves and transitions with my poi very quickly. I can do them, but a lot of them look like crap because I am still learning the grace I need for that amount of movement... Im used to just playing with my staff, and its taken me a year to get graceful with that.

I consider myself a performance artist, certainly. When someone can look at you and say "Wow, hes good but I could do that", your an athlete... but if they look at you and say "How does he do that" you are an artist. I think the mere fact that we work to perfect our form and style instead of advancment over others also testifies to that point.

Never the less, I am learning to groove with my poi now, and it has become my new favorite dancing, haha. Which is odd, because I can't dance normally... Selah.


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poiaholic22
member

Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:

[ 11. May 2003, 20:49: Message edited by: ph22 ]


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Zoltar
Zoltar

Beginner
Location: Beyond Time, South of Melbourn...
Member Since: 6th Nov 2002
Total posts: 282
Posted:I think I might know another crucial difference between an artist and an athlete.

An athlete is competetive, artists are not. I mean artists are rarely comparable, nevermind measurable against each other in a competetive sense. Whilst an athlete's ability is determined by their ability to win.

Oh, and that friend of Flynts' has mastered the reverse now


So much fire, so little body hair...

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Flynt
Flynt

Intrepid Penguin

Member Since: 12th May 2002
Total posts: 5635
Posted:subtle Zoltie, subtle

very good point tho!

i think that what was what Pele was trying to say earlier as well. That we get caught up in the competitiveness of "look what move i can do" and sometimes forget the artistry of poi.

but thats ok! it just depends on the sort of spinner you want to be! and thankfully this is a sport/art that allows our styles to evolve and change, no matter what stage we go through in life.


Currently on the right side up of the world.

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Zoltar...exactly right. An athlete is also bounded by a very strict set of rules and usually a very specific arena.

an artist can use whatever, whenever, and however they want...

Me, I consider myself to be an entertainer more than an artist or athlete. I'm a useless juggler as far as performers go, but I can still have hundreds of people applaud me and tell I'm the best juggler they ever seen, using most of the simpler juggling patterns.

I would have to say that my 'talent' is crowd manipulation, rathetr than technical skills.


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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:ALL arts, at some point, get "judged" on a technical basis. Those who are the most famous for their genre's are usually so because they are not extremely technically based according to the rules of their time and they break those boundaries, which then befalls criticism and then critical acclaim. It has happened in pretty much every genre of art.
This is where that insecurity that plays in ones head that s/he is not good enough comes from. Technical is not blazing a new trail. It is finding more complex ways (and sometimes tamer) to achieve a goal. Working outside of the technical perfection to combine both that and the artistic finge I think is where the stylistic new paths/developments come from. They are both needed for any form of evolution.
I just think people get hung up in one or the other when making judgements, but usually the more technical side.

*edit for example* I just thought of this...Rhythm Gymnastics, Figure Skating, even Competitive Dance. These are all arts, to be sure that require athleticism, BUT the tech scores usually weigh more heavily than artistic presentation AND there are more limitations on the artistic portion than on technical. Or like in art/writing class where the "idea was good but the implementation of certain appropriate techniques was lacking". Bleh.

[ 02. May 2003, 05:37: Message edited by: Pele ]


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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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hi Flynt. This tricks v dance thing keeps coming up, so Ill add my 10 cents, and try to answer a few of your Qs.

quote:I have quite a FEW friends that define their skill/talent by the number or type of tricks they can do. I dont think the number of tricks necessarily correlates with skill or talent. However, I do think a performer needs a good repertoire of moves to create an interesting routine. For me, that means not being limited by a lack of moves (body flexibility, not tricks).

quote: Why do we get caught up in the technicality of what can only be described as a simply magnificent form of dance/art?The short answer is to improve. I think some people get caught up in the trick-cycle as part of the learning process.

quote:By the very nature of what we do, defining it by technicalities is almost an insult!True, but dont you think you need good technique to be a great dancer? IMO, too many people flail around, poi going all over the place, and call it dancing (when it looks like crap). I think this is just as big a trap for people, as just doing tricks without any rhythm.

quote:How do you define YOUR talent?I have noticed that the more people practice, the more talented they seem to get And, does it really matter wot people do as long as they are enjoying it? Catch ya


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Flynt
Flynt

Intrepid Penguin

Member Since: 12th May 2002
Total posts: 5635
Posted:Stone, i have so much respect for you man, You have a fantastic Spinning Style, and your post is well thought out, and very well written.

thanks HEAPS for your ten cents ` xoxoxxo


Currently on the right side up of the world.

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Arcane
member
Location: Texas
Member Since: 14th Apr 2003
Total posts: 28
Posted:Flynt wrote:

quote:I cant remember when i stopped caring about how many moves i could do, or that i cant do anything behind the back, or that i dont know what hyperloops are..... I just know that i have a LOT more fun spinning now. Dont get me wrong. I'm not knocking those who do spin from a purely technical point of veiw. I know there are people who really enjoy that!You have addressed an issue, which others, specifically Pele, have addressed very accurately, but if I may, here are my own 2 cents...


This issue has been floating through the juggling community for years...I've been juggling FAR longer than I've been spinning, so it has come as NO suprise to me that someone would address it on this site...

For years I've been hounded by THE question from audiences, friends, family, and peers...

"How many can you juggle??"

Whether it be balls, clubs, or etc, that question seems paramount to everyone...And not just the lay observer when I'm out on the street with the hat in front of me...Even at IJA events the questioned is posed....

And it INFURIATES me!

I hold those who can keep 7,9, or 11 balls going in AWE...those who can do what is next to impossible *(7 clubs) I see as Gods, literally...

But WHY must their success at achieving numbers be the bar to which I, or any other juggler for that matter, must aspire?

Usually when someone asks the question I give them the 'pat' answer and say..."I was too busy learning this (A nice Mills Mess) to get five in the air..." or what have you...

I would MUCH rather delight an audience with a flawless 3 ball routine, combining nice patterns, stalls, bounces, etc, than to keep more and more objects in the air...I've NEVER been a 'numbers' juggler and I never will be....

If I ever get 5 in the air, then good for me, if I don't, then it's no great loss to me either...

As for the question of technical versus artistic in spinning...

So far as I've been able to tell, the only folks who actually know how difficult the multitude of moves some spinners can achieve are others who also spin...The average audience member will have NO clue as to how difficult or how long it took you to learn a btb weave or hyperloop....

And honestly, coming from someone who has performed for over a half a million people in his career, they simply don't care...

All that matters is that your performance is heartfelt, as smooth as possible, and unlike anything they've ever seen....

And believe me, audiences KNOW if you are having the time of your life while you perform....They KNOW it.

So really, isn't that the point?

Be technical if that is your bag.
Be artistic if that is your bag.

Be whatever you will...

Just be the absolute BEST that YOU can be.

Peace

Arcane


...you're going to blow WHAT out of your mouth???????

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Malcolm
Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP
Member Since: 18th Nov 2003
Total posts: 992
Posted:Arcane,

I know what you mean with the number question.
I normally say "I can juggle two really well". They seem to think that is easy until I show them the beatiful patterns and style I have with juggling just two balls. It became a strong interest of mine finding as many 2 ball tricks as possible.

Hmmm I learnt these amazing two ball tricks cause I kept dropping the third ball when I was learning . Now I am so glad I did .


"May your balls always burn"

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Arcane
member
Location: Texas
Member Since: 14th Apr 2003
Total posts: 28
Posted:Malcolm,

I hear ya...It's the same round the world it seems...

I love to watch a juggler manipulate minimum numbers in a wicked way...About the most amazing 3 ball routine I've ever seen was in Michael Moschens video (In Motion with...)...It's the routine he does outside the museum at the beginning of the video...Fortunately I've seen him perform live (In Vegas about 10 years ago) and I have to tell you, he is unbelievable on video...

He's a God live.

And it's not because he can keep so many in the air (or in the triangle)....

It's because you can SEE how much he loves what he is doing.

Thank Malcolm.

Peace

Arcane


...you're going to blow WHAT out of your mouth???????

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Thanks Flynt, you do pretty well yourself and I enjoy your dancing I know what you mean about dance, and I really envy the good poi dancers amongst us. I think it is a learning process. Get reasonable with poi, and the start to incorporate the poi moves with dance, which is not necessarily as easy as it sounds. Coming from a club background, I need to break out of wall-plane a bit more, and improve my footwork.

For the athletes amongst us, this is a bit from Mr Schatzs Club Swinging book (circa 1900). Remembering the book was written for physical education and is full of gymnastic exercises. quote: Rhythm in exercise, upon which so much stress is laid by some writers, is practically coincidental with club swinging [or poi (ed)]. Rhythm seems to be a part of the work itself. The work allows easy arrangement into the most attractive and artistic form, developing grace and control of movement without loosing any of its usefulness.On Juggling, I was really impressed by a performer using l.e.d. balls to do the false 3 ball cascade (2 in one hand, sweep around and in between with toother ball). The light trails left by the ball (in one hand) were really mesmerising to watch. Bit difficult to explain, but great to watch. Easy nine ball trick. Sew three sets of three balls together, and do the 3 ball cascade


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Psyri
Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted:I havent been practising as long as some people, and I do it for enjoyment but I was gutted when after the club had closed a pissed of slighty drunk lass says is that poi? I go yeah... wanna go ... she snatches em off me and goes twirlin arnd like mad .... bein in a merry mood I didnt mind , but when she started interrogating me abt the moves I became a little annoyed ... I was swingin all relaxed n jus feeling the movement, very calmin for me ... but she came along and started rippin the piss outa me cos of being 'arty'. I know I'm crap but she didnt have to rub it in. Do people get really competitive nowadays? So far I have found the Poi community really nice, varied people who are open minded... maybe shes an exception.
Sorry had to get that little moan out.


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Toreador Vamp
member
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 4th Mar 2003
Total posts: 70
Posted:I personally think that is the always going to be a personal ideal of what makes someone "talented" or "skillful". I can do the very basics of a fair few things, I think I am good at some stuff, but at the same time I look at people that can do things I can't and think WOW, then I normally think I wanna learn that(is how i got involved in the first place). For juggling getting a large number of balls or what ever going is hard, well it is for me anyway, but while I admire those peoples skill, I prefer to watch those that can do more with less, and ok i am currently getting a bit hooked on contact juggling.

It also makes a difference if the person I am watching is enjoying it, cos if they arn't I get the feeling that they are doing the same old routines and there is no challange in it for them.

Ok I think I am starting to ramble now. must be time to shut up or shut down.


laters

Vamp


Give a man a fire, and he's warm for a day. Set him on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life
-- Terry Pratchett-Jingo

Reality is what refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.

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Psyri
Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted:Another good point is that if we didnt have technicalities to aim for then we wouldnt be any good. It's like Art I have to get so technical that it does spoil the fun, but it helps in the long run.

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

addict
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Dec 2002
Total posts: 522
Posted:has anyone had the "my god! you're so ignorant" frustration?

Let me explain...

you: (really complicated move that took half a year to learn...)
audience: "oh, nice..."
you: (wire wool, simple weave, or even just one&rotor in front)
audience: "awww.... ahhhh... cooool...."

grrr... frustration.

I think the talent is in the inventiveness, you need to learn a certain number of base moves- sufficient to pass to the intermediate level, and from there on it is a case of how you combine your tricks in interesting and strange ways that just feel weirdly right and look cool.
Skill enhances talent, but does not make it: quite frankly, someone with a 7 beat weave on its own is going to look impressive whatever, but unless they suddenly and randomly burst into it from a series of interesting (and possibly basic) combinations i wouldn't be awed by them, i would be seeking to see how they do it rather than just enjoying watching them...


Your life is ending one minute at a time...
So live it.

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poiaholic22
member

Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:

[ 11. May 2003, 20:53: Message edited by: ph22 ]


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Poiaholic, Pele, I'll make it simple:

You're both wrong.

Being someone who knows you both I can safely say:

PH: The "authority on the art of poi" that you are feeling is unfounded. Pele gets far too much of this crap and it is a sore subject. Pele is humble but knowledgeable resource and acnowledges her own limitations. I don't think she'd ever say she was better than anyone. Even when she saw me light up for the first time she was humble with her skills.

Pele: I do think that you have made several negative comments made about technical spinners, which is a sore subject for PH. I do think you've shown some honest disrespect for those that are pushing the technical envelope.

I'm not going to get into the actual meat of the arguement myself but I did want to moderate for a second because I think you guys are putting the wrong flavor on eachother's words...



Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:quote:Originally posted by King Of Bongo:
has anyone had the "my god! you're so ignorant" frustration?

Let me explain...

you: (really complicated move that took half a year to learn...)
audience: "oh, nice..."
you: (wire wool, simple weave, or even just one&rotor in front)
audience: "awww.... ahhhh... cooool...."

LOL
NYC mentioned something about this sometime ago. He pulled off an, at that time in his development difficult, weave variation or some such thing and got just the same reaction as always. Then he did something simple, but REALLY fast and they cheered like crazy (NYC, please feel free to expound as I am paraphrasing).

It happens to us all, no biggie. If it bothers you I suggest that you might try spinning tech for yourself and give the audience what they want. It makes things easier on you for a show! I made the choice to spin that way awhile ago and it makes my performance life easier! *shrug*

Or you can just learn to spin everything..really fast!

To explain, in my eyes technical is more athletic than artistic (keep in mind this is JUST MY OPINION) because many technical moves take an interesting degree of contortion and stretching that many of the dancing moves do not, therefore making it *more* athletic to me, but all spinning is athletic. *All* physical performance art requires a degree of athleticism, as I see it.

*edit for grammar*

[ 01. May 2003, 13:14: Message edited by: Pele ]


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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