Yes... I like it a lot.
Also, I'm a little bit jealous. I just imagine a lot of fun while practicing and coming up with the tricks for this.
Yay! I'm a massive fan of the Raw Art people. They really put a lot of effort into the production of their films & it really shows. This video works so much better with an industrial setting rather than on the opulent red stage we saw a few months ago at the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Circus and Variety Arts Exam.
So what do people think of the term 'post-circus'? From the Raw Art website:
From the point of ideology, post-circus closely resembles art-house in cinema – the same non-commercial ground, DIY-ideology (“Do It Yourself”), deliberate drift from the mass audience. As in art-house, the main accent is on the actor’s inner world, personal conflicts and moral dilemmas. Unlike classical (and many modern) circuses, with their desire to entertain the spectator, to impress through visual opulence, post-circus is characterized by its urge to make the viewer think, sympathize with what is going on, to raise questions and give an opportunity to find an appropriate answer independently.
I half disagree with the 'deliberate drift from the mass audience' part. I think the films they are producing are far more mass-market & accessible than trad-circus. But is that more down to the channels they are using & the marketing rather than the content?
The first "Raw Art" act I saw (an act directed by Taras) was pre internet video or youtube channel days, and it felt very fresh to me. I really enjoy a lot of the acts, including this video (I didn't watch all of the live video due to early drops).
However, I don't see anything new within the skill sets itself, and in the last 10 years the presentation has become more formulaic. Wear black, don't smile, present tricks with as little fuss as possible. Removing the trappings of normal circus, especially in the videos, makes them more accessible, not less, as you say.
The part I'm not entirely sure about is "urge to make the viewer think, sympathize with what is going on, to raise questions". What am I meant to think about? What questions are raised? Cynically, the only question I have when watching Raw Art acts is "Why do they all look and feel the same, despite different skills on display?"
I thought about, how the (parts of the) performance relate to "DRUGS" .. but I didn't get too far: .. imagining to be the one juggling while lying, it should feel like throwing up- & downwards alterningly .. then, crossing paths in motion in carousel .. then, leapfrogs
now you can start finding a `drug´ part in all that, like "gravitation deliberately annihilated"(?), "loosing the bottom under your feet"(?), "turning upsidedown"(?), "no plan"(?), .. and the synchronicity with music's beat might convey being trapped in perfectly fitting movements, throws & catches, "no way to get out", .. all of this with a big question mark whether to if and what the message is or might have meant to be conveyed or left unclear, open or the performance could have just aswell been titled "new conformity" ..
.. or .. if the clubs are the "drugs" and they jugglers seem to have synchronized with them club-drugs' flight-paths and also they and them with music and physical laws and everything, bodies and minds too, .. are there then not `good´ nirvanic drugs versus `bad´ toxic drugs?!
.. so is it just a performance of skill, nicely looking and to watch and to do, or is it a metaphoric piece of art expressing something more than only what you see .. maybe conveying a feel of life, something `bigger´ .. ?
I just saw the whole thing as a statement about addiction to juggling, and that powerful final metaphoric image - all those discarded syringes lying on the floor...
"Post-circus" sounds like someone trying to claim new territory that is actually already occupied.
When the New Circus movement started in the 1970s it aimed for a lot of what these guys are claiming - non-commercial, move away from pure spectacle, make the viewer think, raise questions etc. Also the DIY component - I'm assuming that means making circus happen themselves, as opposed to working for an existing circus.
In that sense they are 40 years behind.
For the rest:
- main accent on the inner world, personal conflicts and moral dilemmas - perhaps what makes this different is the 'main accent', but I would still say that plenty of circus artists are already exploring this territory.
- deliberate drift from the mass audience. Why would that be a goal? If the focus is on making 'internal' 'morally-conflicted' work I suspect the audience will drift away of its own accord ;)
Perhaps they mean 'not attempting to appeal to the mass market' but that's kind of the same as non-commercial.
Good on 'em for having a philosophy with stated goals. I am a huge fan of people attempting to break new territory, although I do tend to be rather suspicious of self-created labels - they just sound like marketing to me.
It's a really interesting topic, though - acts that actually achieve emotional or thought-provoking response. I can already think of a couple of aerial acts and quite a few duo-acro acts (they obviously lend themselves to 'personal conflict' themes). Can't immediately think of any juggling acts that qualify - I'm gonna have to think on that one. I might start a new thread, so as not to confuse this one.
"The I nner world, personal conflict and moral dilemmas" would seem to describe every angst ridden circus school aerial act I've seen in the last 20 years
I'm getting a bit bored of it to be honest
Actually, what I like about this video is that it is completely lacking in angst, inner worlds, personal conflict, or dilemmas of any kind. It's just fun passing choreographed to cool music. The end.
Agreed. Angst is overdone and overrated.
I wonder... do black beanies + sunglasses = angst?
Fail from me, I'm afraid. I can't think of a single act in juggling or circus, that has stirred a 'deeper' emotion in me (not counting emotional reaction to the skill or presentation - excitement, disappointment etc.)
The acts I had thought of initially, on further thought were 'portraying' emotions - Mouvance trapeze duo, 7 Doigts de la Main acro duo etc. - but while I love those acts, they still don't genuinely make me 'feel' the emotion they are portraying.
Also, haven't been able to think of any act that's been genuinely thought-provoking regarding the wide world outside.
Anybody else got any?
I recently watched this from the Circus Geeks blog:
I thought it would have worked much better without the skipping. Most of the circus-theatre I've ever seen has left me thinking that it was less than the sum of its parts. Circus skills generally get in the way of telling a story, they are a distraction that breaks rather than adds to the narrative. We're in the middle of absorbing a story, then we snap out of it as we appreciate a performed skill.
The show Not until we are lost by Ockham's Razor (Ooh! New show!) is the only exception that comes to mind for me. This company really focuses on character, & the skills they perform somehow don't get in the way but I can't put my finger on why.
The story is real, and uses the actual words of the 15-year-old boy involved. The whole show was a series of short pieces, with the words directly taken from interviews on sexuality, intolerance & religion. A very powerful and often disturbing show.
Orin, I agree with you totally that the skill gets between you and the story, but in this case I feel it works to great effect. The skipping keeps the audience slightly distanced from the story, so when the stabbing comes the contrast of the reality of that moment makes it even more visceral. Then afterwards, returning to the skipping becomes a giant 'fuck you' to the attackers, if you see what I mean.
I hadn't thought that through until right now, although I saw the show 5+ years ago. I may be over-thinking it (ya reckon?)
I'm so pleased you posted this, because it's the first time I've seen a piece that takes the 'problem' of skill-based performance and turns it to advantage.
I think you're on to something here. I saw the vid a couple of days ago on /r/juggling and couldn't quite bring myself to comment there.
The thing is, it's a really nice video and I enjoyed it a lot. Most of us here understand and respect just how technically difficult the piece was and will have no complaints about the skill and dedication that has gone into it. But to repeat, it's a nice video, as distinct from it being a nice juggling routine
It's really well planned, lit, and shot ... but I found myself wishing it had been given to an editor who was unfamiliar with juggling. I don't care enough abut the juggling routine for it to be shown as a linear narrative, capturing every element of it, in its correct order and excluding nothing; instead I feel it was a missed opportunity to use a little license to make it more exciting.
Just to clarify, I was awarding myself a fail, not the Drugs vid. Sorry for the confusion.
In my previous post I said I'd dig up some examples of acts that elicited emotional response, which I have failed to achieve. I was too lost in my own headspace to notice I appeared to be awarding the initial video a fail. :D
I loved Drugs, as a piece of juggling-on-video, although I do see where you're coming from.
Two great juggling acts that are very emotional are:
Tangram (Stefan Sing & Cristiana Casadio), an exploration of a relationship. I saw it at EJC Munich and it took my breath away for the emotional punches as much as the skill.
Smashed (Gandinis) - a show with so many facets, one of which is that it is pretty shocking in places, even on a third viewing. I love it.
Casadio & Sing, Tangram: https://youtu.be/oEQOo9mHKs4 .. ( several versions of it: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=stefan+sing+casadio )
Gandini Juggling, Smashed: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gandinis+smashed ( = many versions .. indoor, outdoor, street-perf., stand-up, short)
Fair enough, but you won't get more than a hint of the emotional impact from those trailers, in my view. One reason I didn't add links.
No worries - I can't imagine the trailers would put anyone off! But in my view these are both theatrical pieces to be watched all the way through, preferably live.
The work of Matthias Romir is very much thought-provoking and has "stirred emotions" in me.
If you don't know him, be sure to check out the trailer of his show Life is short stories.
I can't really sympathise with "Raw Art". It feels like they're just setting up a brand.
Alternative music, minimalistic costume design, the synthesis of different art forms, experiment in staging – these are the characteristics of post-circus, and [Raw Art] project. These are either empty claims or nothing new/special.
Also, what is "raw" in any of their pieces? What does it mean? I think they only chose this title because it sounds cool.
Personally I love "Raw Art". They make cool videos.
And in my opinion the "Raw" means the raw talent that each of the performers has.
Put those guys in sequins and pancake, give them a olde circuse musick soundtrack and stick them in a cold big top. Would that act really look out of place?
I also suspect (maybe someone who knows more about it can help out here) that the clown tradition has had plenty going on in the way of inner worlds, personal conflicts and moral dilemmas.
And I don't know what's more DIY-ideology than a traditional travelling circus.
In other words I think I agree with you there Orin. For sure, arty-bollocks circus is a thing, but I'm not sure this is it.
in other news I note that having the Reply button on the bottom of the post is a great affordance for replying without reading what everybody else had to say first!
not that I have any better idea where a reply button would live.
I soooooo wish they had called themselves 'Arty-bollocks Circus'.
Re clowns' personal conflicts and moral dilemmas, I assume you mean whether or not to do birthday parties?
Bollocks: https://youtu.be/beWKA9b-6ic [les founambules, 1992] take a seat, fasten belt and prepare sth to bite on .. °hoo-hooh° .. °whoopp° ° ° HAHAHaHahaaa ° °
can you make that it reappears after about 2 seconds, so I don't have to reload the page to click it again?
Why isn't there a "like" button on the Edge? I bet somewhere on the Edge there's a long thread arguing about it;
A "like" button would be fun!!!
Ethan: "oooo! look! Orin posted a video of flying monkeys!!!!!"
Ethan: *clicks "like" button*
Ethan: *clicks it again, and again, and again, and 100 more times*
Ethan: "this is more fun then juggling!!!!" "I'll never be bored again!!!!!"
ohhh......now I see why we don't have a like button;)
Then Ethan can claim the record for pressing the "Like" button the most times on Juggling Edge
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