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Sister Eleven
GOLD Member since Aug 2009

Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1277
Posted:So this is a brief musing on an aspect of performance I've been thinking about lately. There's not really much of a thesis, more just a bunch of Stuff that's bubbling up before I fall asleep tongue2

Specifically, "telegraphing tech" is what I'm calling it when you call attention to some aspect of how the poi work as physical objects, or how certain movements are put together, so you can let the audience in on the fact that what you're doing might actually be kind of weird. The first time I realized this might be needed is when I encountered people watching me practice, and only after I was done did they realize that what I was spinning was a weighted cord. Especially with rope cords, doubled colecord, or streamer poi, I've had people think I was swinging around a stick-like rigid object. The remedy for this has been, when I've got someone's attention, to throw in a spiral wrap or other obvious wrap. This communicates that I've got a dynamic object and changes the mind-bendiness of things like stalls, throws, and isolations.

Hybrids are another instance where playing with presentation calls attention to how the move is done (and provokes the right amount of head-scratching). An isolation vs. cat eye hybrid with poi split-same and hands together-opposite is a weird motion, but people unacquainted with the movements might miss what exactly you're doing, save that it looks kind of twitchy. Change it to the same combination of driving styles, but change the hands to split-same and poi to together-opposite, where the cat eye hand follows the head of the isolation, and suddenly there's a visual cue that makes the components of the movement stand out appropriately.

To some extent, similar telegraphing can be done with timing. While I've seen elegant performances in which antispin flowers were executed only briefly on the way to other motions, extending the number of times you iterate an antispin flower can make it doubly confusing and interesting when you break off into an extension vs. antispin hybrid flower or the like.

Most of the things I've mentioned are obviously for a technically unacquainted audience, and devices like these aren't always necessary when one is spinning for other spinners (though they may sometimes be).

If anyone has something more coherent to add to this, I'd dig hearing.


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ElectricBlue
GOLD Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:I don't have much to add but i just wanted to say that I think you have this totally spot on and have some great ideas.

I often find the same thing with pass juggling, The really hard tricks never impress the audience unless they know what is going on so it is really important to play with the presentation to get the right effect.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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_Poiboy_
GOLD Member since Jan 2004

_Poiboy_

bastard child of satan
Location: Raanana, Israel

Total posts: 1113
Posted:Personally I think it's more effective to communicate "watch this", rather than "this is hard since my poi aren't rigid".

A good way to do that is to use your body language to attract the audience's attention to what you're doing. If, for example, I spend a lot of the time looking at the audience, then, for a specific move I look at my poi (NOT out of concentration), the audience will notice this and think they should look where I am.
Adding some sort of applause cue (like a pose or a long stall) after the move also tells the audience "This was hard. Clap!".

The advantage of this is also creating that link with the crowd through your body language. Since you're not counting on your poi to do your work for you, and you try to attract the audience's attention to certain movements, you'll inevitably have to communicate with them in other parts of your performance, so they notice the contrast between where you look, how you move etc.

Poiboy.


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Sister Eleven
GOLD Member since Aug 2009

Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1277
Posted:Aye, I don't actually think making it look hard is the point; rather, I think "watch this" can come in different flavors, one of which is "watch this and understand". I think it changes how you watch the performance when you understand the prop, and not just in a "look, it's hard!" way, but because I think the limits and possibilities of the prop contribute to its aesthetic effect.

Though I totally agree that for the most part you can be much subtler than the devices I've mentioned. But I have found that throws don't hold attention as well as throws after a spiral wrap, and I think the different understanding of the prop is part of that. Though to be fair, most of my performing is at bus stops, so I can't vouch for the quality of the audience.... tongue2


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chemairo
SILVER Member since Sep 2008

person who like to spin all gears
Location: Germany - Dsseldorf

Total posts: 62
Posted:I know the problem, but isn't the main problem that most people don't recognize most of the patterns you are performing?

In my opinion it is like most people said, that it is very hard to see the patterns, if you are performing with sock poi for example.

But if you are perfoming the same patterns with light, or you draw it to them with a light presentation of the pattern like you can see in "Poi Transmission" (look the video) more people recognize them.

If you look then at the Jugglers, most people recognize siteswaps which is mostly also just some kind of geometrical patterns.

But what is the main difference between these two kind of juggling.

For me it is that juggling clubs is more known that spinning poi.
Wait some more years and maybe let get more publicity and then you don't need that much body language.


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Warri0r: In my view, it is mostly because siteswap *only* talks about the throws. If you are a good enough juggler, you can pick those up just by watching for a few cycles of a pattern.

With poi, so much of what is important is down to body movement and position that the actual moves can get lost.

Of course, many juggling patterns are all the same siteswap as well. (For example: the cascade, Mills Mess, tennis, false shower/windmill are all 33333.) In those cases it is a bit more like poi (in my view): the position and movement of your body becomes important, while the actual pattern gets lost.

Hope that that makes sense.


'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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chemairo
SILVER Member since Sep 2008

person who like to spin all gears
Location: Germany - Dsseldorf

Total posts: 62
Posted:Yeah maybe some patterns are the same, but if you for example see a siteswap 3 Mills Mess a normal not that much experienced juggling guy watching the show can compare it with some tricks that he can play. Because the "normal" juggling arts is more common and much more famous then playing poi. The hardest thing for me is to make it look that easy, but at the end it isn't that easy.
But when people for example see someone is doing a 3btw most people don't see that it can be very hard, because it looks that easy.

I think that we just need to pass time and hope that playing poi is getting more famous and so more people recognize that it is a lot of work to get the patterns looking that easy.


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Ah. I think I get what you are saying. Comes back to knowing enough about it.

I still think that the analogy does not really hold up, because if you are able to follow siteswap, even if you can not juggle a pattern, you can construct it. (That works even if you can not juggle at all, but are interested enough in the maths behind ss.) No equivalent exists for poi, so it will always come down to the spinner making something look good, or look hard to get a reaction.


'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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