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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:So, following on from a few discussions i have been having recently, i've decided to ask the world

what is wrong with poi?


(slight bit of devils advocate here, please don't get angry, just try to respond to the question...)

So, of all the millions of poi shows out there, how many would you genuinely put in a professional circus show? I think the answer is (for me) pretty clear. about 3. give or take 3.

that's not to say there aren't skilled performers doing good acts. but they are few and far between, and most of the best spinners i know put on a show by 'having an idea of what they will do, and a nice piece of music'

so why is it that routines all look the same, the world over?

is it the internet? is it the backgrounds of the spinners? is it the need to learn performance techniques? is it cause poi is limiting? is it because its easy to impress people with poi? etcetc...

for example; if a juggler/diabolist/random perfomer wants to create a circus act, s/he will usually do one of several things. 1) do a classic circus piece; working up through numbers, and having a big finish, but not much 'character' (will hex)* or 2) develop a character and see what happens.... (vodka and orange); 3) get a technogimmick, and using it all through a piece (julien Vux) or 4) be blindingly good at something (j9). In fact, you can do just about anything, and it will work on some level...

if a corresponding performing poiista decides to create a new act, it will undoubtedly be based on 'what moves i/we know, one after the other, set to some banging tune' aaaaaargh.

you would think this would improve when you get up to higher level spinners putting on shows... but no. with a few exceptions, every performing spinner i have seen doing a solo show of late looks exactly like ronan/nick/yuta/firefantasy/alienjon/G with varying degrees of efficiency and grace.

where are the ideas of using poi in a storyline, creating a scene and playing with it? putting it in context? clubswingers do it, staff spinners do it, why not poi? the last truly creative poi act i remember seeing was in 2003, by somebody dead. thats not to say there haven't been incredible performances since then, but my god, do we miss vincent bruel**.

It was nice to see something like this appearing at the JFF, but there were mostly nods towards creativity interspersed with great spinning rather than an immersed performance, which is what usually defines the truly great circus routines.

so what gives? what is it about poi spinners that drives them to be endlessly creative in learning, and mind-numbingly dull in performance for the general public?

(/devils advocate)

grin
R



*note all the performers i have mentioned are HoP users.....
**apologies to ronan, till and anya, acciaio, G and others, all of whom have performed lovely routines since then that i have seen, but apart from the love story ubblove in principle they were still pretty much formulaic, just very goodformulaic.


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:meg- yeah, absolutely, Dan style synchronized would blow my mind, not just change it! lol

And please, go ahead and pm me. Dont know that my opinion/perspective is actually worth anything, but happy to share it all the same!

Aston, and a few others: when I refer to trying to make poi into something else, I was not being literal about the poi themselves- like Duvans examples where the poi could be used representationally in a story or character peice-- like having the poi be butterflies or whatever, as a concept to create a performance around. I meant more that poi, and the movements and patterns of poi, are not necessarily dance, or juggling, or other movement or performance arts- but rather have their very own characteristics and potential separate from the combinations with other genres.

I am not totally sure I would agree that poi is dance, whether one is using the term as dancing to music for fun, or performing. I think we can take it in that direction, perhaps, or in others, but it is not , in my mind, the same thing as salsa, or tango- dances with their own sets of moves- the dance examples Clare mentionned. I think there are some very distinct elements of poi that do not fit in that definition. Not that it really matters, what you call the movement.

Richee- Street dance has some really interesting roots in all sorts of dance and cultural traditions, even going way back to some styles of african tribal dance. I think i excitedly mentionned in some other thread a movie called "rize" ,that has a little sequence in it juxtaposing some of the african dance with the current contemproary street style of crumping. Pretty cool to see the relationship so strongly!

One of the reasons I think street dance has become more accepted as so called legitimate dance form, is because of these historical/cultural references, and because it is most definately interpretive and expressive in nature.

I guess I sometimes wonder what it is we are expressing with our poi? And how can we do it in such a way that an audience could be impacted and interpret that? Not neccesarily a literal story, but using poi to create a sensation within the people watching. Not just wow, thats skilled, or wow that is dangerous-- but maybe to create a lingering feeling or image?

One thing poi has that nothing else does, it the beautiful patterns drawn by the movement, like some kind of elaborate transient three dimensional sacred geometry. This is something you cant get with other modes of movement, not to the same degree. So if one was to try to go to the fullest extent with poi performance, but not try to make it something else-- that might be one of the traits you could focus on and build a show that really highlight this unique aspect of the poi. Lots of potential there.

You could project the images of the geometric patterns onto walls or ceilings, backdrops and ground surfaces, , and have people dancing them with the poi, both in floor pattern ( how they cover the stage area) and also in the air...

Just one germ of an idea.
Enjoying the discussion, thanks guys!
xoxox
a


**I am glad someone mentioned Anya and Til, they are some of the people really using poi in interesting ways, with a lot of theatrical influences, and complex themes expressed in an entertaining fashion...


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Poi definitely ain't "dance" (for me). Poi is a prop and it's in the way it's used...

Personally I rather call my performance "firedance" as (dancing with fire) meaning that the emphasis is on "dance", not on "lit poi and moves".

Whilst the technical aspect of Poi definitely is beneficial for the mind, many do get carried far far away. We had this discussion a few times (in "techies vs. dancers" for example).

It greatly depends on who the show is tailored for. Some moves are very demanding, still the (amateur) audience notices - other are quite simple and repetitive, still the audience will gather more out of it, if performers make the connection to the audience.

Ergo: there is nothing wrong with Poi, but with performers not finding the "good" approach to "performing in front of an audience". Fortunately enough there are exceptions...

IMO it has also to do with the way some people teach. Whereas everybody can usually only transmit her/ his own approach, it should be tailored to the apprentice and her/ his intentions.

Personally I'm deeply impressed with the technical approach some are taking - and feel that in the end it will also benefit the artistic expression... in the meantime we seem to live in a transitional phase...

As previously stated: EJC 2008 has shown many different approaches to Poi and Staff manipulation that are well worth being shown in a circus arena... thus countering the jugglers' claim that "poi is boring"...

I feel this to be just another approach of trying to put 'us' down... *calls for a counter-revolutionary approach and states that most of the Juggling acts "BORING"!* wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Good grief, my brain needs an off switch!!

re choreography, a reference that might be useful for those trying to do their own, is a book called "learning to dance" by Nora something or other.... It outlines basics of what one typically considers when choreographing a dance performance, and a bit about what dance is etc etc.

Even if you dont consider poi dance, the information would be very useful IMHO.

If I ever saw a poi artist doing a piece that utilized all the aspects she recommends as essential elements of choreography, I would be thrilled and utterly astounded. It would be an incredible achievement.

All the attempts to get there are pretty cool too though.




"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Originally Posted By: BansheeCatI meant more that poi, and the movements and patterns of poi, are not necessarily dance, or juggling, or other movement or performance arts- but rather have their very own characteristics and potential separate from the combinations with other genres.

Granted, but where do you draw the line with being similar to stuff like club-swinging? And, yes, I know that there are things that you can do with one that is not possible with the other, but there still seem to be more similarities than differences.

But yes, poi is not the same as clubswinging, is not the same as double staff, even if stuff crosses over.

re your later points about dance: I wonder if this is why dancers who happen to be able to do a few poi moves often look better than poiple who try and dance? Or is that just my perception?


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hey there...

just a quick response, but why do you think poi and its set 'moves/tricks' are different to the various 'moves/steps' that someone would learn in another form of dance, Andrea?

For both, the individual needs to learn the basics, then build them up in their own unique style to be something expressive and interesting to watch.

And as for the suggestion that people use 'dance' as a cover to learning new moves... hmm. Maybe that's true, or maybe it doesn't appreciate what those people are trying to do.

I have been told though (by lots of clients), that they enjoy much more watching someone 'dance' with their props (at whatever standard that is), than watching someone doing lots of amazing tricks - and for someone trying to make money from this, that's quite an important thing.

That's all smile


Getting to the other side smile

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:A lot of the comments people have made about the moves/tricks aspect could really be applied to virtually any circus and juggling discipline- a lot of people follow exactly the same progression of tricks, and all start looking the same, be it juggling, diabolo, staff, hooping.. I don't think poi can be singled out here as much as people are saying.

That said, I've hit a total plateau in poi- I think partly because there's some very easy moves that get very good (muggle- I'd rather compare poi to magic than the preisthood) audience reactions, I remember watching two guys spin staff, one doing a figure 8 (dunno what it's called in staff.. even I can do that though) fast, the other doing quite compicated contact stuff- and the guy I was with was going 'wow, that guy's great'.. and pointed at the one doing the figure 8.. 'I mean, look how fast he's going!'.. Poi gets the same thing-when a cliched move gets a better reaction than trying something difficult or new, it's really not suprising that people tend to stick to the same stuff.

Some of the folks copying at the moment will be innovators later- who knows what poi of the future will be? People have enough ideas, as this thread's proving.. I wanna see some videos though smile


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:hey Clare... I will try and see if I can articulate the difference a little bit later. I will have to think on it, as it is a subtle feeling more than anything. But i think it has to do with the fact you can dance wit poi, but you can also do poi, or spin them, in a way that is much more object manipulation than dance...

Lots of movement starts with basics , builds to a unique style, and is expressive and interesting to watch. Even ski jumping sometimes fits this example!

I will see if i cant put thoughts about the distinctions into better words a bit later!

But I dont think it actually matters much though, i dont see one as better than the other, necessarily.

Yeah, people do enjoy watching people dance, with, or without props! I think as someone said earlier, dance probably makes poi appear more emotionally resonant, and easier for an audience to appreciate and relate to.

xoxo
a


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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DivineFlow
BRONZE Member since Nov 2008

stranger
Location: Bend, Oregon, USA

Total posts: 4
Posted:I dont think that we need to be focused so much on what is going on with people eiter not expading their knowledge or not taking poi to the next level we need to be focusing on how we can expand poi, add our own flare, not only know what we hear but review the past culture of poi, what we know, and what we can be tought or teach ourselves. I personally think cirucus poi would be fun but taking it to the out skirts of things to people who will really apprciate it or who have never seen it before is way more important and fun to me.

Life isnt about surviving the storm, its about dancing in the rain.

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DivineFlow
BRONZE Member since Nov 2008

stranger
Location: Bend, Oregon, USA

Total posts: 4
Posted:^^^ i only hope to see you all focus more on where you going to take it then where it CAN or SHOULD go, just get out and do it, even if you have never seen it done before do it. just this last year at buring man i spun poi and was hula hooping and some lady was extremely happy to see so cuz she had been practicing forever and i gave her tha tlittle boost of confidence, thats what its about.

Life isnt about surviving the storm, its about dancing in the rain.

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:LOL - I guess the flavour of my week has been 'its all about context' and I'm seeing it here again.

My argument goes like this;

Dancing is rhythmic movement to music.

I strongly associate and appreciate poi used in the context of music and rhythmic movement.

Therefore poi (the act of swinging balls on cords) is dancing.

---

now you can attack my definition of dancing, or you can attack my association of poi with dancing, but without succeeding in either of these, you surely cant say poi isn't dancing to me?

oh dear - I think thats one of the shakiest pieces of logic I've strung together in years.



I really like the concept of 'poi is sacred geometry', I've always liked that swung poi are almost like extensions of your body.

One of the nicest compliments I ever got was some guy at a party who watched me 'flailing to music if its not dancing with poi' for ages, and when I finished he said that he could almost see my chi (or some other way of saying life energy or similar) being focussed and projected through the 'flailing to music' I was doing with poi.

so yeah - that's my context, that's my interpretation.


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:No worries, Pyrolyfic, i dont believe in attacking someone elses way of doing or defining things! I hope what i said does not come across that way. Your logic seems just fine to me, as far as it goes-- which is considering dance at its simplest level, thats totally cool.I absolutely think one can dance with poi. I just dont think everyone does dance with them. And I dont think one has to, all the different approaches have their merits.

About your comment of poi being an extension of ones body. I really feel that effect when I play poi in the more typical way, following the flow of the patterns i know. But when I try to dance,( as in modern dance), it seems to disrupt that flow and connection sometimes. The poi dont just extend from my body as if they were a limb-- i realize they have their own momentum, weight, flexibility etc etc factors that mean the quality of any movement in my body will not just extend through them. It is hard work - and interesting- finding ways to work with that, actually.

Trying to define dance may not be all that important to anything
( particularly this discussion!) I only think about these things cause they interest me, i have no attachment to "right" or "wrong". Lots of people involved in different dance forms really love getting into discussion of what dance is, may be or is not, and like push all the boundaries, test all the theories. Most just do that cause it is FUN! and sometimes leads to some neat experiments in movement and performance.

Divine Flow- most of the people I know discussing poi here are really active in playing and performing poi all over the world, so i would guess that most of us share your view that we love getting out there and doing poi,both practice and performance!


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:sorry Andrea - crossed wires, I meant attack an argument not a person, and yes actually I think we agree!

J


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Interesting thread, and I suspect my views are the minority, as usual old

Why does poi need a story, a gimmick, a presentation?

why do the modern interpretations of circus arts have to descend into 'taking me on a journey'?

Why do I have to indulge some character's development?

Why do I need to be 'entertained' through a constructed pathway?

Why does it have to be 'arty'?

Why does it have to be clever?

Why does it have to 'build up' over the act to the grand finale trick?

Why does it have to look 'sexy'?

The thing I can't stand about modern circus is the insistence on taking me on a journey and telling me a story. sick

Why can't I just look at the pretty patterns, turn off my brain and enjoy the spectacle? shrug I don't want to be educated sometimes, I just want to enjoy and go "ahhhhh, pretty".

Save the thought provoking stuff for the theatre, not a bloody poi demonstration

ubbrollsmile


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: aston
re your later points about dance: I wonder if this is why dancers who happen to be able to do a few poi moves often look better than poiple who try and dance? Or is that just my perception?

I've noticed that too, and I was hoping to tap the knowledge of these people ( mostly women who've incorporated their ballet training ) with hopes of learning to be a more dance style of spinner. Unfortunately, these people seem to be extremely rare and finding those who are willing to talk are rarer still.

So, after working this tack for over five years now, and getting absolutely nowhere. I've learned to live with the idea that if I suck as a dancer, then I can always hide behind the object manipulation aspect of poi. My working definition would be something like "spinning these things while moving in a dancman like manner.

However !! I think I found this guy in Vancouver. He teaches dance ( as in has a dance studio ) He teaches poi...I have cash to wave around, and I'm going to make contact and set something up ( I hope ) for the new year.

I'm all up for classifying what we do with poi as being dance at is simplest and most basic level, we do after all, need something to relate those "move your feet more" comments that appear in the comments section in videos, to.


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: AdeWhy does poi need a story, a gimmick, a presentation?

<snip>

Why can't I just look at the pretty patterns, turn off my brain and enjoy the spectacle? shrug I don't want to be educated sometimes, I just want to enjoy and go "ahhhhh, pretty".

Save the thought provoking stuff for the theatre, not a bloody poi demonstration

ubbrollsmile



My sentiments exactly.

Om another thread I mentioned that I was part of a group that was planning on exploring the telling a story idea but what I neglected to mention was my reluctance to participate in this idea. If I wanted to get into telling stories, I just join a theater troupe. I looked into the group Andrea mentioned, Mythmakers ( whew, almost typed Mythbusters ) and I watched all their videos. I'd call them a theater troupe who just happen to use the tools we all use to perform with rather than a group of "spinners" I mean, they have elaborate costumes, huge puppets, narrated story lines, and the whole feel is far more theater than what we do.

I've actually done this type of work before ( a Halloween show two years ago ) sure, it was fun taping garbage bags to my arms and running around shrieking "I'm a bat eeeeeek eeeeeek" then lighting up my poi and reciting Shakespeare ( the witches, Macbeth ) but I found myself drawn more to poi simply for what it was...and is.

If we scroll back through the years in the videos section, I'm sure we could come up with tons of examples of poi spinners taking atypical and creative approaches. Just look at Peter ( Mirineye ) and his incorporation of Irish dance into poi, I'd call that different ( and awesome )


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted::ditto: on the literal interpretation of "telling a story" - this makes me wince, especially when done badly.
However I think there's lots of scope for a story in the sense of a character interacting with an object.
Some simple examples; Get the shoe, the classic routine of some guy juggling balls and hats with a hatstand (Can't remember his name), Meg's Chinese staff routine, Rob's Clock Doubles routine.


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: Durbs:ditto: on the literal interpretation of "telling a story" - this makes me wince, especially when done badly.

i think instead of using the word story, maybe think of it as building a scenario for the manipulation to be involved in.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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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:Originally Posted By: AdeInteresting thread, and I suspect my views are the minority, as usual old

Why does poi need a story, a gimmick, a presentation?

why do the modern interpretations of circus arts have to descend into 'taking me on a journey'?

Why do I have to indulge some character's development?

Why do I need to be 'entertained' through a constructed pathway?

Why does it have to be 'arty'?

Why does it have to be clever?

Why does it have to 'build up' over the act to the grand finale trick?

Why does it have to look 'sexy'?

The thing I can't stand about modern circus is the insistence on taking me on a journey and telling me a story. sick

Why can't I just look at the pretty patterns, turn off my brain and enjoy the spectacle? shrug I don't want to be educated sometimes, I just want to enjoy and go "ahhhhh, pretty".

Save the thought provoking stuff for the theatre, not a bloody poi demonstration

a friend of mine used to do a lot of performing and this was exactly his mentality. dont act. be real, be friendly, and just let the audience enjoy your display of skill. he and his mate travelled australia and lived off performing for a few years, so it seems to be just as workable as the more mainstream 'story with characters and a build up'.

i completely agree Ade, i can enjoy seeing a nice juggling pattern or smooth flowers just being made by someone playing in a park as i can a Cirque Du Soleil show.


"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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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Ade - you don't "need" any of this, unless you want to be a pro and make a difference to your competition...
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1227154545)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Hi Firetom, My point was that you don't need to do it to differentiate yourself from the others.

By thinking that it has to be something complex, it all becomes a bit of indulgent wankery that's the same the world over. eek

I'm suggesting that not all art forms need to have a story. Some are just pretty to look at, and are made quite boring through the use of characters and story lines - because they mostly seem to be variations on a theme.

shrug


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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: Ade
By thinking that it has to be something complex, it all becomes a bit of indulgent wankery that's the same the world over. eek


just because it has some sort of scenario, interplay, *something* going on does not mean it has to be complicated.

simple dance pieces can be 1 dimensional the same way a poi performance can be.

best dance piece i've seen in a while




all it takes is some interplay *something* going on to make it a bit different.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:
Rob said:
as meg said once*, wiggling a bit, and crouching down occasionally is not dance.

Yes, and it doesn't allow you to call it dance when you juggle with it either. As jugglers are prone to doing. It can however make you french. And it generally will make your juggling / spinning look better. So that's at least a little bit good.

As to why lots of routines look the same. Well it's true for juggling too. Lots of juggling routines look the same. Three to FOur to Five to however many. Or balls to Rings to Clubs or whatever. It's similarly a copied theme across the juggling world. Is it just that for impressiveness you have to do it that way? That people want to get paid for their routines so they make something garanteed to work? Like all the jugglers that add comedy to juggling... you don't see so many poi spinners doing that...


why are they mind numbingly dull in performance?

Cos they copied other people for all of their props and tricks, so why should it be any different for their performances? (Excluding of course, certain very innovative spinners) Most poi is just variations on a theme, so why should the performances be any different? After all, they aren't trained in performance... So you shouldn't really beat up on them. I don't go around clubbing baby seals to death cos they can't balance balls on their noses. After all, they haven't been trained in it.


Plus I think most spinners enjoyment is derived from learning, and learning new things. So to start to make a routine and practise it, it's a completely different process, without the same type of learning. So it's hard to derive enjoyment from it to begin with.



Stout: Why is it humiliating for a video to only get a couple of comments? And why do only a couple of people comment, when many more watch?


I think what we really need, is an outlet for more practise at performance and making performances. Maybe some kind of thread for practise performances... that you can be garanteed to get good feedback from people about the performance, rather than the technical aspects.. and will be happy and freindly and soft enough for even lurkers to post their videos... How about that?


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Thats a good idea Meg! ( and I will respond to your pm soon, just had a crazy week, and now its my birthday! So in a couple days...)

I also think people would really benefit from seeing a wide variety of quality performances. It is hard to recognize or develop your tastes without exposure to a lot of different things, one of the most essential being people who demonstrate the skill set you seek, and inspire.

Trick is, to see something innovative, and instead of being inspired to copy it, to be inspired to be innovative...

Although, I think it is really important to bring out your personal style, your personal expression or way of doing things. Then the same move will come across as completely different, because the medium- your body- has changed the message. Oddly, learning to be the most your Self can also take some training!

And Stout, i too wonder why it is insulting to not receive comments? Surely response is optional? I understand that it is nice to recieve encouragement and critique, but expecting it seems unreasonable- there are a million reasons someone might not comment!
xoxox
a


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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DaG
GOLD Member since Jun 2005

DaG

Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas, Australia

Total posts: 156
Posted:Originally Posted By: mcp I would really love to see flight of the bumblebees with bumble bee poi.
woah! I was really close to performing a piece just like this, it was even going to have a confrontation with a humming bird who was trying to take pollen from the bumblebees flower. Then an epic battle ensued. I had the costume and everything
hahahahahaha

but hey back on to this wonderful topic.

I think we are at the beginning stages of defining a vocabulary of movements. We are all copying and learning from each other to improve the collective body of knowledge in this young, not quite juggely, not quite dancey art form.

I guess for me it seems at the moment we are defining the technique and the limitations and will gradually move towards expressing more with that technique.

Recently i have been working on a concept of imagery.
I took a simple Anthony and the Johnsons song that had a few words that were repeated a few times throughout the song and assigned patterns/ movements to those words (boy, girl, grow up, beautiful etc) so that i was doing a kind of large image sign-language. I never had the balls to perform it tho grin (Pun-ish)

I feel this is one of many concepts that could be applied to defining characters/ setting scenes that uses poi to its strength.

p.s. has anyone tried to amplify the sound that fire poi makes in order to form a rhythm? i was thinking with the right set up this may work but IDK.

pax.




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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: BansheeCat
And Stout, i too wonder why it is insulting to not receive comments? Surely response is optional? I understand that it is nice to recieve encouragement and critique, but expecting it seems unreasonable- there are a million reasons someone might not comment!
xoxox
a

Hi Andrea and Meg

I could be off base here, but my way of thinking is that people post videos to receive comments. Now I'm not a video making kinda guy but I figure that if I did make one, and posted it only to have it sink to the bottom of the page, comentless, that people thought it sucked and if I were trying to enter this community via that route, I'd probably be discouraged and somewhat embarrassed to boot.

I'm also basing this on the responses people ( video posters ) give thanking those who've taken the time and effort to actually comment, even if it is a one liner.


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Hmmm - I'd say it's a split of videos of people wanting feedback, and people "showing off" (To whatever level) - and both types might not take well to criticism being levelled at their first posted video, no matter how contructive.

But this is also partly due to the YouTube generation - there are SO many videos posted of poi spinning, that making creative comments, and heck i'll admit to this, even finishing watching a video of a newbie spinning a weave in a badly lit video becomes less and less attractive.

I


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Meanie


Snowplow


Total posts: 18
Posted:I started doing fireshows when I just knew the basic weave and the normal butterfly. It was for a ski and snowboard show in Austria and we didn't get anything payed for it. But it is the sole reason I got in to poi, as friends of mine were doing that show. Looking back I would say I sucked to say the least, and I still think I have a lot of practicing and learning ahead of me, before I can call myself a good poi player.

I noticed that a lot of people in general compare poi with juggling. While is is somewhat the same genre, it is also completely different performance wise. I would categorize poi more like a dance than a circus act to be honest. It is much more open to different interpretations and styles than anything else in the genre. There are so many styles possible, it's hard to compare everything. Just look at some of the good video's on youtube(where I started learning new moves from).

I don't really think there I anything wrong with poi. Most of the responses I get are very positive, and I have gotten a few friends playing aswell. The very few negative reactions are mostly just based on frowning, and are individuals that are very close minded anyway.


Fire + Idiot * wind - brains = Oops

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:Yes I agree with much of what has just been said. I so need to go back over this thread again...

Durbs: Yeah, many people get bored of posting comments because most people don't stick around to read them. Flash in the pan videos. And most people don't post videos because of the environment of hop most likely.

What I was thinking of is a thread just about performance videos. Either ones that are actual performances, or ones that are practises for performances.

Then anyone that replies has to give constructive and probably quite a long post of criticism. (Both good and bad)

Maybe try and allow only one video post at a time to keep the thread focused and directed and so that everyone gets a decent level of feedback.

It's hard to say if this would encorage new people to post performance videos, but there's only one way to get better at anything, and that's practise. And this would both be practise for performing and improve it quicker with expert feedback.

This is the only idea I have for improving performance through Hop, but please if anyone has any others let us know!


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, ...

Total posts: 1046
Posted:I'll vote for a go at MCP's performance video thread - would be really useful I think. Only problem would be the focus issue - at what point would someone be able to post the next video? Still worth a shot though I reckon.

Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:OK. I have a beef.

There's technical and then it's just gone too far.

Poi is supposed to be beautiful. It's supposed to be trippy and haunting to watch. It's supposed to flow and change shape. I realized this two nights ago when I watched Josh spin. He's just amazing to watch. And his repertoire of moves is advanced, but it's not 100% jedi/ninja. But the WAY that he does it is just indescribably graceful, fluid, and haunting. I stood there mouth-agape at the beauty of his little jam. He's THAT good and yet I think he only busted one or two moves that I can't do.

And suddenly people are getting stuck into this crazy "double-antispin-flower-hyperloop-four beat-reverse-BTB-TTN-counterweave isolation" bulldroppings.

When it's all fancy moves, then it ceases to be entertaining. It turns into a science and not an art. Just because a move CAN be done doesn't mean that it looks good.

The best spinners I've seen are the ones who have some technique, but have good grammar. In other words, they string their various moves together and make poi into a form of dance. I know this may seem hopelessly old-fashioned, but back in my day when we were still inventing moves like the 5-beat weave and the 4-beat TTN, poi was an extension of dance.

And now I see people whose performance is so technical that it's just soulless. Well, it looks like juggling. Juggling's cool and all, but it's not exactly graceful and flowing.

And it's not sour grapes from me that I can't do an antispin BTB hyperloop. It's that I don't *want* to learn because so many of these moves, while impressive to the educated eye of another spinner, just look bad.

So that's my beef. Now excuse me. I'm going to go and don a kevlar suit so I'm prepared to be flamed.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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