File puptcrit/puptcrit.0603, message 243

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 23:09:58 -0600
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Another Remarkable Video- Juggler's Smackdown

Just my 59 year old opinion (performing & creating since age 6), but I 
find the artistic smack down just another hideous example of the 
trivialization of art and the culture of humiliation that dominates art 
and entertainment (and completely overshadows TV, except for the most 
unique and excellent MY NAME IS EARL).

I learned to juggle and actually performed duo and trio juggling 
onstage, but have spent more time working with good jugglers and good 
musicians to choreograph performances. In the process of meeting lots 
of jugglers from all over the country I have noticed some who need to 
think more is more, the numbers guys. They are rarely the most 
entertaining or interesting. I think the Chris Bliss piece hit a good 

Probably the two jugglers I'd see as best I've encountered were Ray 
Jason, who worked the street in Frisco and Michael Moshen who 
eventually worked his act down to one ball. The five ball guy doing the 
video was simply tedious to watch (again my opinion), no build, no 
dynamics, no theatre. Skill never guarantees talent, and can't replace 
it. If he could start with one ball and end with five, or the other way 
around he might have an act. Like the comedians say, timing...

m      m
(throw - catch - throw - etc)

On Mar 24, 2006, at 2:45 AM, Daniel McGuire wrote:

> I don't have a dog in this fight between these two jugglers. (and I
> wasn't trying to one-up Diane, who posted the Chris Bliss link). I must
> say that as an observer, I find the whole idea of aesthetic
> "smackdowns" highly amusing. I am trying to think of other examples -
> one that stopped me cold a few years ago was the headline of a NYTimes
> obit:
> "Remembering De Kooning as the 'guy to beat'"
> and this meme was repeated, later, on PBS's "The News Hour":
> "And De Kooning, himself, said painting is a way of living, and he was
> just doing what came naturally to him. It=92s also interesting that you
> mentioned that he was called the American Picasso because in
> formulating the abstract expressionist style they said De Kooning is
> the guy to beat. And he set out to beat Picasso."
> I imagine some kind of donnybrook taking place over at the Guggenheim,
> with De Kooning and Picasso locked in mortal combat,  beating the crap
> out of each other as they roll round on the spiral-ramp gallery. "Team
> America" did a good send-up of the absurdity of the whole idea of
> aesthetic competition in its treatment of a kind of "acting duel"
> between Alex Baldwin and the character of Gary Johnston.
> "Shakespeare in Love" had a humorous scene of one-upmanship between
> Christopher Marlowe and the bard.
> I'm trying to think of other examples, particularly as they pertain to
> puppetry. The "Bruce Schwartz" character in "Being John Malkovitch" had
> a rival, who created a giant Emily Dickenson puppet. Bruce called is a
> "gimmick". Any others come to mind? C'mon - who among us will deny the
> hilarity?
> But seriously, in the world of Hip-Hop there are some legendary,
> brilliant verbal freestyle battles between Supernatural, Craig G and
> Juice, captured in the film "Freestyle: The Art of the Rhyme. The film
> Rize documents some breathtaking "krunk" and "clowning" dance
> competitions.
> And this is a Good Thing. It has certainly does wonders for promoting
> the form and the leading practitioners.
> The fact remains I never gave a thought to the aesthetics of juggling,
> and didn't really appreciate the technical challenge, until I read
> about this dust-up. Now I'm intrigued by the world of juggling. Also a
> Good Thing.
> By the way - I pity the fool who challenges my puppetry skills.
> Cheers,
> Dan McGuire
> On Mar 23, 2006, at 3:20 PM, Freshwater Pearls Puppetry wrote:
>> Regarding the second video:
>> Jason Garfield, apparently, is a technically advanced juggler. What a
>> shame he could only prove that to himself by belittling someone else.
>> Chris Bliss's performance is transcendant. Jason Garfield's
>> performance is a sneer.
>> Just my opinion.
>> Regards,
>> Diane
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"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire." =96 Confucius

"I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand."

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