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peterbone -

I'm interesting in learning some under-actuated balancing tricks. This means than the degrees of freedom (DoF) of the part of the body used to balance on is less than the objects being balanced. With a single inverted pendulum (e.g. club balance on nose) you have 2 DoF to move in and the pendulum also has 2 DoF, so it is fully actuated (not under-actuated). The 3 ball stacked balance I do is also fully actuated because you can rotate and move the lower ball (4 DoF). I'm now interested in learning the double inverted pendulum (one pendulum freely balanced on another) and the dual inverted pendulum (two pendulums of different lengths both balanced on the same rigid platform). Several years ago I wrote a simulation game for the double pendulum and also leant to balance a peacock feather on top of a club, although I always felt I was cheating with the peacock feather and would prefer to balance two equal objects.

For now I'm more interested in the dual balance as I think it's more doable. This is possible only if the pendulum lengths are different. I intend to balance one on my nose and one on my forehead (or possibly chin). I tried a spoon and a club already and it was way too hard. I think that one pendulum needs to be around 30cm and the other around 2m to make it doable.

I'm looking for some props for general balancing tricks like this that would be configurable to different lengths. I'd like something modular than can be linked together to give a wide range of lengths. I could make something myself but something may already exist. Anthony Gatto uses pens that chain together but probably can't be used to make long rigid chains, so I'm wondering what other options people can think of. The individual modules should ideally have the following properties:
- Ability to chain together rigidly to at least 2m, preferably not using magnets.
- preferably no longer than teaspoon length.
- a small point to balance on at one end. Not a flat area at both ends that would make it possible to balance statically.
- preferably cylindrical shape with uniform weight distribution.
- good weight for feeling the balance. Hollow plastic would be too light I think.

Finally, I'd be interested in finding out about people doing the double or dual balance now or in the past (not including robots, which have done both and more). This must be a free dynamic balance. The only evidence I've seen is a drawing of Paul Cinquevalli doing what looks like a double balance with two pyramid shaped objects.

DavidCain - - Parent

Peter,
I'll look into some examples of what you're looking for in my books and records. Speaking of books, I just finished reading Ziethen's Book about Rastelli, Brunn, Ignatov, and Gatto. It contains a lot of pictures of Rastelli that I hadn't seen, including a number of triple ball balances, both in the hand and on the foot. I didn't know if you had a copy of that book, but I thought of you every time I saw a picture of that trick.
David Cain

peterbone - - Parent

Thanks David. No, I don't have that book but I know the one you mean.

peterbone - - Parent

Just an update on this. I've made a set of balancing poles that fit into my juggling bag but can be linked together to make a pole about 6 metres long. The poles are aluminium and come from a cheap wardrobe from Argos. They're already designed to fit together, so I just had to cut them to length. I got some rubber chair leg feet off the internet for the bottom of the poles. I cut a hole in a ball and stick it on the top of the pole to make the top more visible.

I made first attempts at the twin/dual balance yesterday. One pole is 45cm long and the other is 4 times as long. I balance the short one on my nose and the long one on my forehead. First impression is that it's hard but definitely doable. I'm already getting a feel for it. Seems like it could be easier than the triple ball stack balance. Next step is to make or buy a universal coupling attachment so that I can work on the double balance.

Orinoco - - Parent

You asked for info on people performing this feat but I've never come across anyone mentioning it. Is this something you've seen or heard about before & was just asking for more references? Are you taking inspiration from the robots?

It used to be the case that roboticists were trying to match human achievements, now it seems to be the other way around. I know people have been using siteswap simulators for ages now, but this is the first case of non toss juggling.

peterbone - - Parent

I was originally more interested in the double balance. I took inspiration from robots but also from reports and images of Paul Cinquevalli. More recently it occurred to me that the dual balance may be easier and a starting point for the double balance. Here's a robot performing a swing up of the dual balance.
https://youtu.be/LaDd0gqwCCs
Here's a 2 axis robot performing a triple balance!
https://youtu.be/3Cc6d37FI1c

Orinoco - - Parent

Wow! I'd seen a triple pendulum in 1 axis before but not 2.

Little Paul - - Parent

I've been through 4KYears and The art & its Artists, and I can't find much that fits the true double balance (There's an awful lot of mouthstick+balance) None of the following are satisfyingly clean enough to count as the trick you're going after (and apologies for the quality, my scanner is playing up so I had to resort to my phone)

Paulo Bedini, head pedestal ("easy" balance) plus a balance on a mouthstick:
http://www.paulseward.com/photos/albums/2013/august-2013/Paolo_Bedini.jpg

Massimiliano_Truzzi, head pedestal ("easy" balance) plus a balance on a mouthstick:
http://www.paulseward.com/photos/albums/2013/august-2013/Massimiliano_Truzzi.jpg

Angelo Picinelli, illustration depicts a chin/forehead ballance, although I think reality was probably a mouthstick:
http://www.paulseward.com/photos/albums/2013/august-2013/Angelo_Picinelli.jpg

Bert Holt, which now I look at it isn't a double balance at all, he's suspended by his teeth:
http://www.paulseward.com/photos/albums/2013/august-2013/Bert_Holt.jpg

As I said, none of those count as direct hits for me - so if anyone else can find some source material which shows this trick I'd love to see it too!

peterbone - - Parent

Thanks, yes I've seen those. Most of the combination tricks that were/are performed often involve static balances and one dynamic balance or in some rare cases multiple dynamic balances on different parts of the body that can be moved independently.
This image right center shows Paul Cinquevalli doing what appears to be a true double balance.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/peterbone/paul_cinquevalli_zpsbe65a8b9.jpg
The next image shows his most famous balancing trick, which I think is a kind of very hard double balance. I've always assumed that the first ball on the cue is held statically at the end of the cue (I've not read anything that suggests otherwise) and so there are 2 points of free balance. There's a better photo of this, which I think is in Juggling, the art and its artists.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/peterbone/paul_impossible_zps07829575.png

Little Paul - - Parent

That first image looks more like "balance something on your forehead, juggle three hats with the left hand, and spin a 4th on a pole in the other hand" which is still a nice trick, but not in the same ballpark as a double ballance.

While the hat directly above his chin is where it would be if it was being balanced, I can't see a support connecting the hat to the chin, either in your scan or in the books I've got.

The billiard ball balance is an interesting one, and there's been an awful lot of debate about how pure/gimmicked Cinquevallis approach was. I know a lot of his contemporaries gimmicked tricks like this (flattened edges on the balls, wax, in extreme cases holes and pegs) and I've read reports which say PC did it ungimmicked, but I'm suspicious of the validity of some of those reports.

Going from bottom to top, hold a glass in your teeth, with a billiard ball in it. Balancing a cue tip down on that would seem plausible as there's quite a lot of friction from the leather tip. The first ball on the top of the cue would sit quite naturally in a divot on the end, or in the rubber end stop you get on a modern cue. I'm not familiar enough with the construction of billiard cues from that time to guess as to chich it was, but it seems likely one of these approaches was taken.

The contentious bit is that last ball on top of the whole stack. A flat spot on the top two calls would certainly make it a lot easier (but still not "easy") but did PC do that? I don't know.

peterbone - - Parent

For the first picture of the double balance, I'm not sure you're seeing what I'm seeing. I'm not talking about the hats at all. He's balancing on his forehead what appears to be two long upside-down pyramid shaped objects, one on top of the other. This is a double balance as opposed to the dual balance that I'm now attempting. They could of course be one solid structure but then I fail to see why it would be that shape, other than to make it look like a double balance.
From what I've read, I'm of the opinion that PC didn't gimmick his tricks. I believe that the billiard cue and balls balance is genuine if we assume that only the cue and the top ball are truly balanced and can see how it would be possible after 8 years practice. The only question I have is how he set it up. If he set it up on his own then this would surely be a lot harder than the balance itself.

Rob van Heijst - - Parent

A photo from Olivier Caignart just popped up on facebook where he appears to do a similar balance. It could be that this is the same balance that Paul did and if that's the case it's not a double balance (I believe). https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1075329_10151529788872282_2012507519_o.jpg

peterbone - - Parent

That's interesting. The tripod arrangement does look similar to the one in the PC image. However, in the PC image it appears that both objects are the same. I guess we'll never know for certain though.

varkor - - Parent

Well, you'll just have to learn a triple-balance, so you can say for sure you surpassed PC.

Little Paul - - Parent

I really need to have another look at the copy in my books as I can't make it out clearly from the scan, but it is looking a lot like a tall glass balanced on three sticks now that I look at it in that context.

Given that it's part of a combination trick, that theory makes a lot more sense than the "two inverted pyramids" theory to me.

A couple of us spent some time one bungay balancing a tumbler on top of three chopsticks, and it's not any harder than balancing a club (even for a glass with a flat bottom and no "foot") The bit we couldn't manage (but got rather wet trying) was to pour some liquid out of a bottle, into the glass, while it was balanced.

One day I might go back to working on that, as it'd make for a lovely renegade routine. "set up glass on chopsticks, balance whole thing, open bottle of beer, pour beer, feed pipe into top of glass, syphon whole thing into your mouth"

The Void - - Parent

See 2m33 of
http://juggling.tv/475
for evidence.

Mïark - - Parent

I remember, at Edinburgh BJC (I think), somebody doing the balance the pint of beer on top of a club on their head and syphoning the beer into their mouth, but they seemed unable to stop the syphon-tube with their tongue and couldn't cope with the speed the beer was being syphoned into their mouth.

Little Paul - - Parent

That would be one of the risks yes, but possibly also one of the more entertaining parts of the idea

mike.armstrong - - Parent

Can you point me at the stuff that you've read? I can't see why Cinquevalli wouldn't gimmick his tricks - he was a professional performer, not someone working on ideas for his own pleasure or interest. Of course I don't know anything reliable about his personality or motivations, maybe he really was a purist (I guess we'll never know for sure) but I'm not sure that purists even existed in the days before juggling as a hobby.
Magic books from that era certainly have adverts for gimmicks that would make that trick easy, with a lever in the cue which pushes a pin out of the tip which threaded onto holes in the balls. I suspect Cinquevalli wouldn't stoop that low for fear of being caught (especially as plenty of people had access to that gimmick) but it seems foolish not to make a trick a bit easier for yourself if you're going to it onstage twice a night.
Cheers
-Mike

peterbone - - Parent

I guess this is the main article, which was written at the time. It describes the trick and the debate over whether it was gimmicked or not.

http://www.juggling.org/fame/cinquevalli/strand.html

"It sounds idiotic to say that anyone could do this if the billiard balls were flattened; of course he could. Times beyond number has Mr. Cinquevalli been called upon in various parts of the world to decide bets arising out of this very feat. "It's an utter impossibility," one man will say; "he uses wax or something." But he doesn't."

It seems to suggests that bets were placed and the trick carefully checked to decide the winner. This doesn't prove anything and we'll never know for sure, it's just the feeling I have. He practised the trick for 8 years, so doubt that it would take that long to learn a gimmicked trick. I'm quoting PC himself with regards to 8 years.

http://www.juggling.org/fame/cinquevalli/how-to-succeed.html

It also doesn't seem like the kind of trick that a non-juggling audience would fully appreciate. I do think that he learnt this trick mainly for the challenge rather than to perform it (imagine someone performing this trick on X-Factor and being told is was boring and not dangerous enough).

Nobody is doing this kind of trick currently, which I think contributes to how impossible it seems. Would be interesting to test a robot on this trick.

I would still like to find a quote that describes how he set up the trick though.

mike.armstrong - - Parent

I guess this is the main article, which was written at the time. It describes the trick and the debate over whether it was gimmicked or not.
http://www.juggling.org/fame/cinquevalli/strand.html
...
It seems to suggests that bets were placed and the trick carefully checked to decide the winner. This doesn't prove anything and we'll never know for sure, it's just the feeling I have.


You're right, it seems to suggest it. It doesn't say it and I don't believe it - remember that the Strand was a popular entertainment magazine the Cinquevalli would have been using in the way that a modern "star" goes on a talk show to plug their film - it's in his interest to spin a good story.

He practised the trick for 8 years, so doubt that it would take that long to learn a gimmicked trick. I'm quoting PC himself with regards to 8 years.

How many times have you heard a street-performer claim that 5 balls took them 5 years to learn?

I guess this says more about my cynicism that Cinquevalli's skill, but billiard ball on billiard ball seems almost impossible (because of the size and slipperiness) in a hand - on the end of cue which has to be lifted into place on his chin is completely implausible to me, even for someone that talented and skilful.

I hope I'm wrong but I don't believe that I am. As we've both said we'll never know for sure.
Cheers
-Mike

peterbone - - Parent

That's fair enough. I understand your cynicism. However, no-where I've seen does it say that the ball on the cue had to be lifted and placed on the chin. Also, I don't think I've seen anywhere that suggests that he performed this trick regularly in his act.

Here's how I visualise the control of the trick. There are two ways to visualise the movement of the end of the cue to centre it under the ball. Firstly, when you move under the cue it start falling the other way, and then you move back under the cue. This is slow and not good for balancing such a small object such as a billiard ball on the end. Secondly, there's the instantaneous movement of the top end when you move the bottom end due to the cue's rotation around its centre of gravity. For a cue, the centre of gravity would be about 2/3rds of the way up. When you make a quick movement at the bottom of the cue, the other end instantly moves in the opposite direction by a lesser amount. It's this movement which I think could be employed for making very fast micro-corrections.

The Void - - Parent

I'm curious as to how you think he got the cue/ball combi onto his chin if not by lifting it.

I'm with Mikey. Too hard to be feasible if not gimmicked. (Sorry, Mr Cinquevalli.)

peterbone - - Parent

The ball could be placed on top by an assistant or the ball could be held in place somehow until it had been raised, at which point it would be released.
I think that if I saw a decent video of the trick I would be able to tell instantly if it was gimmicked or not based on the movement of the cue and ball. I know that it's very unlikely that any video exists, but perhaps a more detailed description from another juggler who witnessed it.

Little Paul - - Parent

I'm with you Mikey.

Articles like those published in The Strand need to be read in context, and in this case the context is of a performer promoting himself to a journalist. I wouldn't take anything in that article at face value.

I also dispute that flattened surfaces make the trick easy. Any flat subtle enough to not be seen by the audience isn't going to be big enough to make it "easy"

Orinoco - - Parent

- he was a professional performer, not someone working on ideas for his own pleasure or interest.

How many professional performers of that time called themselves professional performers as opposed to say performing artists? I would imagine that some calling themselves the latter would rather put in the effort to learn a near impossible trick rather than cheat.

Anyone got any references for what Cinquevalli thought his job title was?

Little Paul - - Parent

At the time, part of being a "professional" performer was effectively competing with other performers to bring a new stunt to your act which was bigger, better, faster, harder than your contemporaries to improve your billing.

You can see this happen in a lot of skill based performance at the time, jugglers, magicians, acrobats, trapeze artists... they were all innovating like mad to get an edge on their competitors.

I think it was that purely commercial pressure which drove the skill innovation rather than any navel gazing notion of "art"

Obviously as soon as one performer is performing something, other people want to copy it, and those people haven't got *time* to put in 8 years to learn something - they need it to work in 6 months to ride the wave of bookings.

In that light, I feel that the originator of any given feat is likely to do the hardest version of it - and indeed there are many ways to gimmick "a billiard cue and two balls" which vary greatly in their difficulty.

From outright frauds (hidden pegs and holes securing everything together, thoroughly documented in prop makers catalogues of the time) through wax and flattened surfaces (also documented) to roughing the surfaces to eliminate slipping (I don't *think* I've seen material about that), and finally the raw, final trick, as it appears.

Which in this case, I think is probably actually impossible given the smoothness of the surface, the size of the balls, and the length of the cue.

Personally, I don't think flattened surfaces make the trick "easy" (at least, not in the way that the peg/hole gaffs do, or to a lesser extent the wax) but I do think they make the trick possible.

However, I would love to be proved wrong by someone performing this stunt today.

peterbone - - Parent

I've been searching a bit in online digitised newspapers for Cinquevalli and found this article in particular relating to the billiard balance trick.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4451864

The text is difficult to make out. I interpret it as:
'Paul smiled and said, "I can always perform this trick. You may not know it, but there is a bean of virtue in a tiny rubber ring".'

I'm not sure about the word "bean". Is "bean of virtue" an expression I've not heard of?

It seems to suggest that he used a small rubber ring between the balls. This seems likely since he could then allow people to inspect the balls for flattened surfaces. I learn from Erik Aberg that he also performed more difficult versions of the trick with additional balls stacked on top of each other. I still feel that the trick is possible even if he didn't perform it legitimately.

Other good search results for Cinquevalli can be found here:
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?state=&date1=1836&date2=1922&proxtext=Cinquevalli

mike.armstrong - - Parent

The text is difficult to make out. I interpret it as:
'Paul smiled and said, "I can always perform this trick. You may not know it, but there is a bean of virtue in a tiny rubber ring".'

I'm not sure about the word "bean". Is "bean of virtue" an expression I've not heard of?


Nice find!
I think that "bean" might actually be "heap" - still not a common phrase but I think it makes more sense
Cheers
-Mike

peterbone - - Parent

Yes, you're right. I found the same article again where the text is much clearer.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/29959418

Little Paul - - Parent

Nice idea, I wonder if that helps with the golf trick too?

mtb - - Parent

Personally, I think even with a small rubber ring that that is bloody difficult.

Going to try it?

peterbone - - Parent

I don't see how having a small rubber ring between the balls means this trick is still difficult. All you need to do is keep it steady and it won't fall. You could easily balance a stack of balls on the floor with this method. There's no control required.

Little Paul - - Parent

I think it depends how large the ring is. Assuming the ring has to be small enough to not be detectable, I think it's certainly going to be harder than just balancing the cue (because you will need finer control over it) but it's certainly nowhere near the difficulty of doing it ungimmicked.

I've got some suitable o-rings in my workshop, next time I go to a car boot sale I'll keep an eye out for a cue/balls.

Hmm. Thinking about it, there is a car boot sale which happens about a 5 minute drive from the Bristol convention site on Sunday. I might go along to that, see if I can get a cue and some balls - then give the lot to Ewan and bet him a beer he can't learn it by the end of the convention.

mike.armstrong - - Parent

I bet you a beer that you'll never persuade Ewan to learn a gimmicked trick

Little Paul - - Parent

On previous experience, I'll try to explain the gimmicked trick, he'll misunderstand and make up a similar-but-not-quite-the-same trick which isn't gimmicked but is actually much harder - then learn that.

mtb - - Parent

Balance the ball with the cue on top?

mtb - - Parent

I am more thinking that a rubber ring only simplifies dealing with the balls. So you still need to get the balance between the stick/cue and the balls right. I was thinking that the balls might still be legitimately balanced on the cue, though.

My impression is that he is balancing a billiard cue, on which are balanced two billiard balls.

Am I totally misunderstanding the trick or over-estimating the difficulty of balancing something on something else. Either are possible. :)

erik aberg - - Parent

I have plenty of references from programmes, interviews and posters. He used: Juggler, Artiste, Equilibrist, Humorist, but more often a short sentence to describe him: "Supreme Juggler", "Master of Balance", "the Incomparable Cinquevalli in miracles of equipoise", "Cinquevalli l´incomparable" etc etc etc.
One thing to remember, at the time of Cinquevalli, it is not certain to the public what juggling actually is or what it takes to be able to execute it. For us today, it is quite safe to say juggling is defined as skill aquired by practice, not by hocus pocus or gimmicks. This was not the case around 1900. You will find many pictures of magicians from india, labeled as jugglers. Cinquevalli is the first to really claim that his tricks was achieved by practice and that no gimmicks was used. He would talk about many tricks as "I practices 4 hours daily for 8 years before I could do this feat". He was also the most famous juggler that ever lived, probably the first (and only, besides Rastelli? WC fields was famous, but not for his juggling) famous juggler. If this is true Cinquevalli is the establisher, and definer of the art form.
I think it is true, however perhaps a bit simplified.
The other jugglers that were famous of their respective times like Holtum and Trewey I think worked with juggling in another way as then we know it today. I think the list of jugglers that got world wide recognition would be very short......
I don´t know how famous Signor Vivalla was (the juggler of PT Barnum´s exhibitions before he did circus).

Back to the billiard trick, I do not think it was done for real. I have serious doubts that Cinquevalli would expose his secret to someone. When he retired he was flooded with mail from people who wanted to buy his props. His apprentice Torino performed some tricks of Cinquevalli, not the double balance as far as I know.
Cinquevalli also did fantastic balance tricks with cigars and cigar holders. I don´t have the time to write more now, but later I will explain.

Little Paul - - Parent

I believe Cinquevalli is the only juggler whose name appeared in the popular press and literature at the time as a term applied to anyone carrying out a task with great skill. This factor makes finding articles which are actually about him (rather than just use his name) more interesting.


I don't think any other juggler (not even Rastelli) has ever achieved that.

The Void - - Parent

I'm sure I've read somewhere of newspapers reporting of children "playing Rastelli". Can't remember where or when though, sorry.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

I wasn't sure where to reply in this thread.

What's the gimmick in https://youtu.be/pIhPj1Xf2_A ?

peterbone - - Parent

I was at the EJC. If I'd seen him doing that I would have inspected his balls (no sniggering). There's a Russian guy with several videos of himself doing the same trick. I'm guessing small rubber rings the same as Paul Cinquevalli, but could also be flattened surfaces. Clearly impossible as a free balance with perfect spheres without having any sensory feedback.

Little Paul - - Parent

Hard to tell from the video, but they could also just be glued together - which would still be a pretty damn hard trick.

As it's his video, lucasgabd would be able to tell us (if he ever joined in on any threads rather than just promoting his youtube channel and running off)

peterbone - - Parent

Lucas appears to believe it is a genuine 3 ball stack head stall based on his YouTube comment.

Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

Lucas is wrong.

Mïark - - Parent

Lucas has posted on facebook that the balls are not spherical and are in fact deformed.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

I have seen this trick by another performer, a video was posted on rec.juggling I believe during the first talks about a possible three ball stack. I can't be bothered to find it now but it was then already suggested that it might have some flat surfaces.

Later I stumbled upon this very performer on the street, and while I did not have a chance to inspect his balls I saw him do the trick multiple times and every single time his fingers search for some specific spot on the ball, likely to be flattened out.

Little Paul - - Parent

Thanks for finding that, it's rare I have to turn the music off on a juggling video, but that did my head in after about 30 seconds

peterbone - - Parent

Update for this. I've made a video of the dual balance, complete with pole mounted camera view.

http://juggling.tv/13393
https://youtu.be/a-xsX3PfuZE

mike.armstrong - - Parent

That's lovely!
Are they typical runs, or have you picked a couple of flukes there? Either way it's a great trick.
Cheers
-Mike

peterbone - - Parent

That's fairly typical. I get around 10s around 50% of the time once I'm warmed up. My best is around 17s. Obviously I picked the best ones from the session. Filming it is a bit harder because you have to stay within the camera's field of view.

Little Paul - - Parent

Wow! Nice to see you getting so far with that trick so quickly.

Also, was that a 7 ball flash with a teaspoon balance?

Orinoco - - Parent

That is amazing!

Really inspirational stuff! Well done!

varkor - - Parent

That was amazing—the 7 ball flash was incredible.

mtb - - Parent

I suppose you need a pretty solid single-item balance?

peterbone - - Parent

Yes. Not only to be able to balance it well but also move it around in any direction with complete control. The tea spoon balance helped a lot. I chose a relatively long short pole (45cm) so that I would have complete control of it.

mtb - - Parent

Can you share any advice on learning a single-object balance? Watch the unattached end and keep movements small?

What is best to learn with? I am making vague progress with a club, but a longer stick should be easier....

peterbone - - Parent

Yes, there's not much else to say. Start with long things and progress to shorter things as you improve. Also practice moving around while maintaining the balance.

Little Paul - - Parent

The "traditional" approach is to get a long stick (broom handle, garden cane, whatever) and learn to balance that. Then when you have that comfortable, cut an inch off the top and re-learn it. Rinse and repeat until you're at the shortest object you want to balance.

My problem with this approach was that you can fool yourself too easily that one good days practice is enough to warrant shortening the pole, the shorter pole is then too hard and you're stuck trying to learn something slightly too far out of reach to be comfortable and it gets frustrating. I "fixed" that by having two poles, and when I could comfortably balance the shorter one, I cut an inch off *both* poles. So I had a "learning pole" and a "reassurance pole" I could fall back on to firm it up.

General balance advice is:
- look at the top of the object
- using small steps to step under the balance is not a crime - use them for large corrections, but try not to chase the thing round the room
- for medium corrections, use your torso/shoulders
- for fine corrections, use your neck.
- as with everything else, good posture helps more than you could imagine
- expect it to take ages to learn, then if you learn it quickly it'll be a nice surprise
- If the balance is falling, catch the pole. Be aware of the end of the pole or you'll have someones eye out.
- 15 minutes twice a day is more effective than an hour every other day. Little and often.

All that said, my balancing is nowhere near where it was when I was actively working on it, and even when it was at its best I was nowhere near Peter (my teaspoon PB is around 5 seconds)

mtb - - Parent

Does where you are balancing make much difference?

That is, am I going to have to relearn to a large extent on my forehead if I learn on my chin?

Little Paul - - Parent

I feel the skills are largely transferable between chin/nose/forehead - although I find shorter objects much easier on my nose. I've never really worked out why.

I don't like the forehead balance much, I think it's because I wear glasses and it involves looking up through the gap between the top edge of my glasses and my forehead - and that region is terribly fuzzy.

mtb - - Parent

Thanks for the advice. Time to buy a couple dowels, I guess. :)

varkor - - Parent

I completely agree—although after learning to balance in one location it is not hard to learn the other balances, the nose balance seems to offer slightly more precision and the forehead balance always seems a little awkward with the positioning.

Norbi - - Parent

I've always thought that as the nose is so central on the face, you have a significantly larger range of movement with less effort. Especially the forward/backward recoveries include whole upper body movements when the object is on the forehead/chin, as opposed to smaller head or neck movements when it's on the nose.

Maybe I'm crazy also.

While on the subject of easy location. I strongly agree that forehead is the best to juggle with, because the balance and the juggling are separated. You don't have any objects passing in front of the balance and messing with your vision, there is a big space between the juggling and the balance when the forehead is used.

varkor - - Parent

Would you say the type of prop changes which part of the face is best used too? I don't think I've ever seen anyone balance a ring on any part of their face other than the forehead, whereas you often see people using all three (main) positions for a club balance.

Little Paul - - Parent

I think rings are a special case, in that their size/shape make it harder to fit them on your chin, and they're so narrow that the placement on your nose is super critical which makes it hard to do it at speed.

Also, most people seem to catch objects into a balance on their forehead, I'm not sure if that's because it's easier or because a lot of jugglers learnt to catch a ball on their forehead when learning headrolls that it feels natural for them, and everyone else has assumed that's just the way you do it.

Talking of headrolls, I don't think I've seen anyone working on them for years. At one point you couldn't move for people learning headrolls at UK conventions.

Norbi - - Parent

I think it's a safety thing also. You don't want to catch a club with your nose, or close to your teeth. While thinking about that, I thought that the forehead is close to the eyes, but maybe that's the reason...you can see everything happening right up until it lands.

mtb - - Parent

Well, I bought two broom handles. I will need to see about where to learn, since they are a fraction too long to use inside....

 

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