Archive for February, 2007

Ivan Pecel

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

In one of my previous posts, I talked about some of the things I don’t like to see in juggling videos, so today I thought it’s be appropriate to show a video that I do think was entertaining.

You’ll notice that the tricks are for the most part run-of-the-mill, but they are all aesthetically pleasing and fit the mood set by the music. You don’t have any of that pretentious “creativity” that you see so much if in the “look Ma, I’m random” videos. Instead, Ivan demonstrates a more subtle art by the composition of the shots, the choice of the tricks, the music, and in the style and attitude displayed by both jugglers. Rather than begging for recognition, his creativity is appreciated without most people even realizing it exists.

The tricks may not be jaw-dropping, but Ivan did an excellent job conveying an atmosphere that can be readily appreciated. The shots were well planned, and the juggling executed almost flawlessly. He made practicing with another person look enjoyable, rather than just a distraction—which for me is a change in perspective.

Shanghai Acrobats

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

I find the strength of the guy on the bottom amazing. One armed handstand while his partner does a one-armed handstand on his neck? It’s nuts! Although I find the dance elements pretty boring, it’s worth it to see the tricks they do.

You may have seen a cable attached to the woman on top, but if you look carefully, you should be able to see it has a fair amount of slack on it. I think it’s just a safety line rather than to assist in the trick itself. When the lights go dim when both of them are on top of the pedestal, he drops the counterbalance weight from the pedestal to the ground.

What is it with Jugglers and "Creativity"?

Monday, February 19th, 2007

It seems like most of the juggler’s posting videos online these days have a pretty twisted sense of creativity. They seem to think that something is “creative” and interesting just because they haven’t seen it before. I think it really got kicked off when Wes Peden started making videos with random tricks in them. Most of them weren’t visually appealing or very difficult, but it was cool at first just to see such an extremely advanced juggler fooling around. To me, it was just random stuff to show how flexible his juggling was. It got old fast, but now everyone seems to think that all we want to see from highly skilled jugglers are random things that are way too easy for them. And this they label “creativity”.

Real creativity isn’t easy to come by. It takes hard work and time find something memorable and interesting, and even after you do, it takes more time and effort to learn the trick well enough that the effect isn’t lost in the execution. A creative person should be able to discern between the tricks that have memorable qualities, and the tricks that are just nonsense. Instead, they just fill their videos with whatever little thing enters their head, and the few winners are lost in the deluge of trash. You may like to think that by doing random things you avoid boring people, but you’re wrong. If your tricks aren’t memorable, they just look like “more random stuff”. I’d much rather see some of the standard technical moves done well. It still won’t be interesting, but at least it will provide more useful examples of correct execution for those of us who are still learning.

Trained Sea lions

Monday, February 12th, 2007

I always wondered what a trained sea lion act would look like, and now I know. I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Compared to some other animal acts I’ve seen, it was impressive as well as being cute. Off the top of my head, this is the only time I can remember seeing an animal do a one arm (or in this case, flipper) handstand. Sea lions are obviously very intelligent animals.

Backyard Pastime

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

I guess this is what you do when the thrill of your childhood swingset wears off. The whiplash is probably pretty extreme, though. Not for those who have recently eaten.

Crazy Gymnastics

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

The Ministry Of is a pretty decent site, with links to a lot of good videos. For some reason I can’t fathom, they seem to find body popping and contact juggling worth watching, but other than that, they have a lot of cool stuff. I got a bunch of my video links from them, including this one of some French gymnasts.

A lot of what they do isn’t all that amazing, but watching them do some of those tricks, I have to wonder if they haven’t all been castrated by their practice. It take a lot of nerve to attempt some of those tricks, for obvious reasons.

Why you don't wanna mess around in a TV

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

This video will give you a faint idea of how much power can be stored in a CRT monitor or a TV. It’s pretty cool watching him power a fluorescent light bulb, and set things on fire.

Vova's Last Day In Russia

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Vova Galchenko got his green card approved and is back in the US now. His Dad taped his last practice in Russia, and man! The difficulty of the tricks he is working on is just unbelievable. 6 club shoulder throws? It must be awesome to watch them come pouring over your shoulders from a jugglers perspective. I still find 3 ball backcrosses difficult, so it’s hard for me to imagine doing 6 club shoulders.

The thing I admire most about Vova’s juggling is the extreme level of control he displays. Not only does he do incredibly hard tricks, he does most of them nearly flawlessly, and even when his patterns start falling apart, all his throws still look deliberate, and he doesn’t seem to lose his concentration. His corrections can impress even the best jugglers.

For a downloadable copy of this video, try here.