Soleil - a lesson in story telling - 3 march 2018
During my two weeks in Vegas I had the rare opportunity to watch six Cirque du Soleil shows in less than a week and to be part of a creation. It has been a wonderful but also educational experience to see the final product of this huge machine, in six different forms. One thing I notice is that Cirque du Soleil use any means, whatever it takes, to tell a story. They put the story first and foremost. Then there's technique, both beautiful and impressive, visual picture, etc.
Now my challenge is to create juggling that tells a story, is visually impressive, unique and difficult. Cause why settle with something less, right?
AROUND 2018 - 25 february 2018
The plan was to film Around back in December but after working intensively with Jay Gilligan for five days, I came to realise I need to rework some parts and compose it differently in order to give it the quality I think the juggling deserve. I tried to think of the idea to release in it's current state, and I couldn't bring myself to it. It has to be better than what I have now! I have postponed the release of AROUND to later this year. Stay tuned!
Kota Hayashi - 21 february 2018
Another Japanese juggler doing sweet juggling on video! Coincidence? I don't think so.
Display my juggling - 15 february 2018
I'm currently in Las Vegas, rehearsing with Sean Blue for an event called One Night for One Drop, which is a charity gala to raise money for clean water (read more). We'll do two dressed rehearsal and then one off show on the March 2 in the Michel Jackson theatre.
Parallel with this project I'm still working on AROUND, an piece I think I actually might be both proud of and satisfied with. I want to make it safe, not only because I hate drops in performances, but also because I find a controlled movement much more appealing than a uncontrolled one. When I see someone know a movement through and through, it tickles my sense like a nine club flash used to do.
New tools - 21 november 2017
Since I got back to Stockholm there's been a lot to do. Not only for AROUND specifically, but for my life. I've been running through AROUND 2-3 times a day, as the first thing after warm up and then been working on details and techniques. A month ago my computer crashed, so instead of worrying about when I could get the things I wanted to get done, I've been focusing on training and building up my new life routines (sleep, food, clean, biking etc.). Yesterday I finally got my new computer.
to do list
- lighting sheet
√ design and print business cards
√ design and print stickers
- take photos of props and suitcase
- promo shoot
√ buy costume shirts
√ rehearse with warm up, costume, lights and music
- film rehearsal
Water on Mars - 20 november 2017
Video project is now out on Youtube.
Watch it here
AROUND - final prototype - 16 october 2017
One hundred shows have been played and eleven are left to be done. I've performed the last prototype of AROUND, my new act which will be filmed this winter. It's been a lot of challenges these past six months:
Short warm up time in a small space (2x2x3 meter)
Low ceiling height in the performing space (4,2 meter)
Dirty backstage (which makes both props and hands dirty)
Live music (can differ from night to night)
Train hard in the day, but keep enough energy to perform at night.
I've learned a lot from this tour and I've made many new routines, which hopefully will help me in future job situations. More about this in a workshop called "From idea to dropless".
Restrictions - 12 october 2017
Restrictions is the best tool I have. It's how I learn a new technique and it's how I create.
Juggling provides natural (non human made) rules. Gravity is one of them, a maximum of two hands is another. The rules are clear to me. However; I like more restrictions, so I create them. Low ceiling, no walking, good posture, five qualifications in a row etc. They are examples of technical restrictions. Then there's also restrictions for creating. Only use one prop, or every catch has to be done in another location than the throw etc. These rules helps me to juggle the way I want.
Untitled - 8 october 2017
A lot if the tricks I work on, I work on because their aesthetic. A train it for a couple of months and I then find a even better version, a version that make the shape I wanted even clearer. This version I could only find by spending that many hours doing that move.
Now when I know that the second version exist the original version is ugly, awkward and weird. I wonder how I ever thought the original could be anything of value. Well, it's because I didn't judge it by my highest standards.
I find something that I could only find by spending that many hours doing that move.
The dream is of course to be able to find version two and three way faster, so therefor I keep looking for patterns in my thinking, research and creation.
Who's the best? - 1 october 2017
I see that people want to find the best juggler. The problem with that is that they miss so much good juggling! As a kid I saw juggling on a scale. Good on the top of it and bad low down. A couple of years ago, I came to see juggling on a wider spectrum. There's different juggling for different occasions. Then there's slow, fast, soft, hard, weird, cool, happy, smooth, choppy etc. All to fit each situation. There's juggling with less quality, but not all situations requires high quality juggling.
It's a matter of opinion and taste, and we all are different.
Not that we shouldn't view juggling, jugglers and their work critically, rather the opposite! I personally think most jugglers accept other peoples creations too easy, but I think it's important that we clearly see and understand the goal of an artist, and not our own goal, before we criticise.
Perhaps in the future, I'll be able to see juggling on a three-dimensional scale, instead of the primitive two-dimensional I have now.
Details - 28 september 2017
This is not the first time I've been writing about HEPTAD, my absolute favourite film by Wes Peden, but when I discover something new, I want to share it with you. At 3.13 the first pattern with five balls in the movie is repeated five times, so each ball does has one place in the pattern once, not more, not less. Beautiful!
Teaching - 24 september 2017
For the past 15 months I've been creating a masterclass in juggling, and I think it'll be done by this year. In July last year when I taught it at IJA I had a structure of what ideas, exercises and technics I want to go through and in what order. I now realised I needed a script. Word by word of what I'm saying. Just like any other performance. First then it can be clear and I give the students a fair chance to learn.
For all the conventions and festival out there, yes, it'll be available together with Around in January 2018.
AROUND - 21 september 2017
The reason I haven't been updating my blog for long now is because I'm currently working hard on my new act, Around. Five months ago I set out to perform a beta version of it and after 80 shows I've learned a lot. Some minor changes in choreography, music refinement and the technical parts are getting cleaned up. For the last three months this year I'll be writing way more about the process and update you all on what I'm doing. This blog will be the main focus, but also a lot of pictures will be posted on Instagram (holyring).
have done list
- design logotype
- write script
- write prop list
- edit music
- buy shoes
- get shoes modified
- buy pants
- buy suitcase
- create harder versions of all tricks
- make a warm up program
- make stretch program
- website (pictures, texts, compose)
to do list
- lighting sheet
- design and print business cards
- design and print stickers
- take photos of props and suitcase
- promo shoot
- buy costume shirts
- rehearse with warm up, costume, lights and music
- film rehearsal
Head rolls - 18 september 2017
In the beginning of 2014 I decided to learn head rolls. Today I did 100 head rolls in one round. Far from perfect but still a sign it's going forward. 3,5 years is a fair amount of time for to learn a trick, right?
Nails - 17 september 2017
Yesterday I talked to my best friend Katarina and I mentioned I broke a bit of my right hands long finger nail while juggling and she said I rarely do that anymore. (I did it a lot a year ago). Here is my analysis on why that is:
- I use both of my hands in my everyday life, instead of only my left hand.
- Equal right-left hand treatment in juggling training (train both sides)
- The general attitude of don't throw anything that you probably won't catch: quality before quantity.
Haavard Hvidsten... - 11 july 2017
...just released a new short film!
Do your self a favour and watch it!
Modify king - 23 june 2017
Ameron released yet another video, this time with modified objects
Check it out!
I just go schooled! - 15 may 2017
Juggling by Jay Gilligan
Magnet clubs by Ameron Rosvall
Relationships - 1 may 2017
Every now and then someones asks me, when you know a trick or a certain number. Next time that happens I’ll answer, “when do you know a person?” It’s not black and white. But if it where, I’d say a thousand catches. At a thousand I feel comfortable and relaxed in that number. I’m not comfortable with six rings yet, but it’s getting closer. I’ve gotten 850 catches at best. My five rings are easy and chill, I know five rings. There my best is 1250 catches.
Identification - 15 april 2017
When I first started to collaborate with a photographer I did my best trick and thought it would look fantastic in the sunset we were shooting in. It didn’t. It rather looked like shit and even though I couldn’t comprehend it at the time, the composition of the picture as a whole, looked like shit. Since then I’ve created some juggling only for photo and I have to say, it has influenced the other juggling I do. I’ve also started to take photos myself, mostly of my juggling and I’ve started to understand three things:
• How to compose a picture
• What technical challenges a photographer has
• What juggling look good in a photo vs in real time.
I don’t think I can ever make a as good looking photograph as a photographer can, since I’m not a photographer. I am a juggler, but if I go through some practice about photography and juggling, as well as learning a bit about the techniques behind photography, I can then come back to the photographer with more understanding and together we can make a much better photograph. My favorite photographer to work with is Einar Kling Odencrants and since he started his circus career as a juggler his 5 ball cascade is quite solid. This means he has a deeper understanding of juggling, which makes our photo shoots way smoother.
During the past years, I’ve gotten interested in films and how they are composed. A film is usually thirty pictures per seconds, which made me realize the importance of juggling in pictures, since there’s thirty of them in each second of film! For the past couple of months I’ve been educating myself by creating a few juggling films. I’ve also used youtube as a source for knowledge and then tried to translate it into juggling films. Now I can go to a film maker and have a slightly better understanding about their craft.
Ameron Rosvall - 22 april 2017
Ameron is a juggler who combines curious creativity without fear of failure! Here he hands us a few old clips in a created compilation à la Ameron.
Jay Gilligan - 30 march 2017
A lecture about his work in juggling (past and present) to give us a glimpse into the future. This version has better lighting, better filming, better articulated, better juggling, better sound, better music, better staging and better costume. It all makes the message more clear. Hearing Jay talk about juggling helps me finding my own language about juggling.
Here’s five reasons why I find Jays talks interesting:
has worked with most juggling styles and technics.
thinks a lot about performing juggling.
has English as a first language.
works extremely hard to keep up with other art forms.
has been in the game for a very long time, actively.
The most important part for me is at 14:48, where Jay starts to talk about colors. His example of a painter using one color makes me realize how ridiculous our object manufacturing is. We’ve come a long way, but there’s an even longer way of what we can do with juggling. This realization makes me excited and motivated to push juggling forward to give future generations of jugglers more possibilities to express themselves.
Around - 15 february 2017
When I created Magnet Opus I believed it was perfect, but after doing over 200 shows with it, both short and long contracts, I’ve learned it isn’t. To write down all it´s flaws (and mine) are way to many for this place, but I’ll mention one thing and that is to not only have one set of your things (propstand, costume and props). Therefor I've bought four sets of Supra Camino and gonna have them modified into Around shoes. So far I only have one pair (plus one prototype that I don’t use anymore). Modification of all shoes for Around has been made by Carina Eneroth and I must say, she is amazing with shoes. Here you can see a short film I made for Skomakeri Framåt about the shoes function.
Gustaf Rosell - 1 february 2017
A video made by Gustaf Rosell, for free! Go watch it here and then let me break it down for you.
- All balls are in shot, at all time. Which mean I don’t have to guess what his juggling looks like, cause he shows me. That also makes me choose where to look, he doesn’t push it in my face.
- The juggling has a high tempo and is full of surprises. The cutting of the film is clearly done after Gustafs juggling style. Sometimes it takes us three or four times watching the film before we realize what pictures he’s showing us. That gives the film a certain depth. He doesn’t even start or end with a black out, just to throw us straight into it!
- The choice of location and art work as a background is phenomenal in relation to his costume. Just look at it! Mostly blue with a slash of red. Pink balls matches the pink parts of the painting perfectly. The location of a sunny Miami makes his tank top and shorts fit in great.
- The choice of music is a delicate one, where it doesn’t take over, but simply supports the juggling and to keep the background noise at just the right volume is so sweet.
All in all. A rare, golden juggling film that at least have me inspired to work harder and be more precise in my composition!
20.20 minutes - 1 december 2016
I liked Heptad when it came out, and still after four years, this is probably my favorite juggling video by Wes Peden. Here’s seven reasons why:
Heptad has a all going through theme and is one piece of juggling film.
Heptad has a sweet mix between technic and the expression of the technic.
Heptad has very few unnecessary “object-is-out-of-shoot” moments.
Heptad is filmed clean, juggled clean, space clean and lighted clean.
Heptad is a summing up of where juggling currently is, in terms of style, technics, objects and numbers.
Heptad contain signs of Wes being Wes. From unaware hands, to jumps and spins, from concentration face to juggling style.
Heptad has a added talk-about-video so we can understand more about Wes choices.
Aesthetics - 15 of November 2016
This morning when I ate breakfast with my right hand and as usually it feels clumsy, I went back to my left hand to see if there was something concrete to learn how I hold my spoon. I then noticed I hold the spoon far out on the handle and aesthetics hit me. It looks beautiful in my eyes to hold far out on the spoon, with very little handle sticking out. It makes use of the whole spoon and it makes a longer extension of my hand, which also demands higher level of control.
After I created Magnet Opus I got more urge to do thing with aesthetics of my own liking and I didn’t like when I started the spin of the club on the pole half way down, since it didn’t make use of the whole pole. That aesthetics is something I’ve used when I started learning hand balance with rings. I want the ring to be balance on the tip on my fingers instead of half way in.
Your other side - 1 november 2016
From the early days of my life I used my left hand way more then my right hand. For the past 4-5 years I’ve been working on getting my right hand equally as confident and useful as my left hand. Finally, some things gets so solid with my right hand I no longer need to use the left hand, but rather go for what’s most practical in that moment. For example, If I have a spoon in my right hand, I can carry stuff or open doors with my left with out getting a bad conscious about it. Or if I’m turned with my left hand towards a thing I need to grab, I no longer need to turn around just to make the lift with my right hand. That’s some progress towards the main goal I’d say.