Three days of wonderful fun and heartwarming moments at Florida Flow Fest will be hard to recap in words. I was thrilled to be in the instructor lineup with two workshops. And even more happy to reconnect with some of my favorite people. Thanks, Cassandra for having me at F3!
Here are some photos to set the scene:
Here’s a panorama of hoopers figuring out how to incorporate unusual movements into their hoop dance during the Hello, Hoop Dance workshop. We did the Hoop Dance Game together and discussed the ideas of GlitterGirl’s 7 Layer Dip theory of spin performance.
Workshop participants show off their group formation and movement routines at the end of the Group Shapeshifting workshop. We covered ways to move groups around stage and how simple movements can be dynamic and interesting when done in a group.
Tink & Tod sang two songs in the Friday evening showcase. It was our debut as a duo and although it wasn’t perfect, we sure did have fun.
The “family photo” shot on Sunday. So many inspiring teachers, flow artists, and new friends.
If you haven’t been to a flow festival lately, put one on your calendar for 2014. Whether it’s something local or one far away, gathering together to share ideas and smiles is a brilliant way to spend a weekend.
This is Maru, the “on beyond smart hoop” that Chris Wang of Freaklabs has been working on. It’s version 1. Version 2 is already in the lab with a tinier logic and power supply:
Chris watched the Maru video above and decided to switch from slow software serial to faster hardware serial to eliminate glitches during heavy data transfers like fading. So he made a new board right after our meeting yesterday, and explains, “Here’s a shot of the new logic and power supply circuit for Maru. The power supply IC is tiny now so it heats up quickly. I’m going to have to figure out how to dissipate the heat. Otherwise, logic gating works fine. It’ll be nice to be able to use hardware SPI. Software serial is so flaky.” He made a video in the lab of the faster acting updates
This video has a rather long history. It started when the Japan Hoop Dance Championship was announced in spring of 2013. I passionately dislike contests, but I wanted to support Ayumi’s project, so I devised an entry based on one of my favourite ska songs, Every Day is Sunday by The Slackers. Then I read the rules more carefully – no editing!
Well, I was still up for the challenge of hooping to ska. It’s super bouncy music and the traditional ska dance movements aren’t ideal for on-body hooping or many fancy tricks. Dancing to ska is full of abandon. Hooping to this song led to a lot of joyful, gawky gyrations. I kept the tricks to a minimum, focussed on dance, practiced a lot, and still ended up looking like I’d just learned to hoop. Yay, me!
During Guru-guru Camp on Niijima in May, Rob & Tod helped me shoot the video. Rob & I scouted the location in the windy, grey dawn capturing some pre-coffee footage, By afternoon the sun had come out for some beautiful blue sky shots.
Although I’d been practicing singing the last line of the song backwards for the final scene, I wasn’t happy with the results, so I kept my mouth closed as we shot the bit in the water. Good thing, since I concussed myself in the outgoing tide.
It was worth it, though. I love this video, wonky moves, windy mistakes, B-roll and all. It helps me remember that every tomorrow’s Monday.
It’s time to edit all of our performances into one big video! Help me make the project compilation shine; send your video now. Instructions below.
It doesn’t matter whether your WHD Dance is perfect; I’ll do my best to use a flattering bit. Or tell me your favorite part: we rocked the kick line; our poses were cute; epic vertical moves in the first section; we started perfectly in sync. Whatever you like, I will try to make sure that ends up in the compilation.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR FOOTAGE
Option 1 (recommended): the Cloud
Upload your unedited, high quality footage to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Please upload only one file per performance and name your file like this: WHD2013-LOCATION (i.e. WHD2013-Tokyo-JP.avi or WHD2013-Lancaster-PA-US.mv4). Use the city, state and country in the name. This will ensure I credit your location correctly and it doesn’t get lost in my filing system. Send the notification/invitation to connect to email@example.com
Option 2: Raw Footage on YouTube/Vimeo
Upload your unedited video (no titles, credits or transitions) at its highest resolution to YouTube or Vimeo. Please title it WHD Dance 2013 – LOCATION where ‘location’ is your city, state and country. This is how I will credit you in the compilation. Then send an e-mail with the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will then screen capture your video, so the quality will not be as good as option 1.
Option 3: Edited Footage on YouTube/Vimeo
Upload your finished video to YouTube or Vimeo. Please title it WHD Dance 2013 – LOCATION where location is your city, state and country. This is how I will credit you in the compilation. Then send an e-mail with the video link to email@example.com. I will screen capture your video, so the quality will not be as good as option 1. Edited footage is much harder to work into the compilation, but I will do my best.
* Submission deadline is October 13, but if you’re performing your dance after that, get in touch. I may be able to save you a place in the video. The compilation will be completed by the end of October.
Greetings and salutations to hoopers around the world! Wishing you all the hoopy best from Japan.
World Hoop Day is a good time to reflect on your hooping and connection to the global community. Here at Spin Matsuri, we are thinking about events and activities for 2014. Here are some of the questions we’re asking; maybe you’d like to share your ideas?
- How did I participate in my local hoop community this year?
- What have I done in the global hoop community?
- In the coming year, what events will I attend in my area? Outside my area? Online?
- What events do I wish to host/organise?
- How will my hoop and I contribute to society in the next 12 months?
- Will/can I earn money from hooping? How?
- What are my wildest hoop dreams?
- Top three hoop goals between today and WHD 2014…
Thank you to everyone who joined me for workshops at Flow Camp over the weekend. Hello Hoop Dance, Ideas for Group Choreo, Hajimete Hoop, and the WHD Dance workshop were well attended. I had a great time teaching and sharing all weekend.
Nine participants in the WHD Dance workshop performed the dance for an audience of about 100 people during the open stage on Sunday night. Four of those dancers had just started hooping that morning, so congratulations on your hoop dance debut!
Two chances to take some of my workshops before the end of the year. Get your tickets online directly from the events.
Flow Camp Japan 9/21 – 23
15:30 Sat – Hello, Hoop Dance
11:00 Sun – Ideas for Group Choreo
16:00 Sun – WHD Dance
19:00 Sun – WHD Dance performance with WS participants
Florida Flow Fest 11/1-3
16:15 Fri – Hello, Hoop Dance!
11:00 Sat – Ideas for Group Choreo (aka Group Shapeshifting)
Tokyo won the bid to host the summer Olympics in 2020. What does this mean for our hoop community?
First of all, we can attend the rhythmic gymnastics events on August 5-7 and cheer on our hoop sisters. Inspiration!
Secondly, we might not be hooping in city parks for the duration of the event. We’ll have to hold July’s 4th Sunday Spin somewhere else in 2020. Yoyogi, Ueno, and Hibiya parks are all slated to host “live sites” with video feeds for people to watch events for free. What this means will happen our favorite park during and after the event, I don’t know because the plans don’t specify. I hope it is nothing permanent.
Finally, I think we ought to form a hoop troupe to perform either near the venue areas (special performance like that is in the plans) or in the Opening Ceremony itself. That sounds terrifically fun. Get in touch if you are interested.
Members of Tink’s palm candle workshop did a short fire performance at Hoopie Garden in Hakuba last weekend. Beautiful work with your new toys! (photo by Sareh)
Last week, I kicked off a new project with Chris Wang of Freaklabs. Chris is a wireless expert and does the electronics for the Wrecking Crew Orchestra costumes. He and I are working together on a programmable LED hoop. This hoop will be beyond smart. I am beyond excited; this is the hoop I have been waiting for since I first saw LED hoops.
This is a hoop for performers. For hoop troupes. For soloists. For circus acts. For any sort of choreographed hoop event with a soundtrack. You will pre-program the hoop to your musical score. You will be able to set lights and patterns to any MP3 you wish, giving each hoop in your troupe a unique routine or making them all the same. They will synch wirelessly to the controller so when it comes time to perform, you press play on the computer which starts the music and the hoops’ instructions.
Chris is working on a prototype over the summer. The plan is that the hoops will use 50/50 LED ribbons and LiOn 14500 batteries. The wireless control boards are designed to fit inside tubing with a 15mm (5/8″) ID. The LED ribbons have 50 color and pattern options. Of course all of this is subject to change – it’s a plan and plans can morph.
We’ll spend a few months with the prototype working out bugs and physical issues. A hoop takes a lot of hits (literally), acceleration, and torque as its used. We want to make sure it isn’t going to flake out mid-show.
I’m planning to use this year’s WHD Dance as my test choreo. I can see in my mind’s eye how programmable hoops can enhance the dance by changing color on key movements, turning off and on to spotlight dancers, sequencing across a formation, and giving the audience an extra spark of interest and excitement.
The coolest thing is that once we’ve gotten everything to spec, tested the hoops, tried out the programming, and are sure it works they way we want, Chris will release the designs open source so you can make your own. And maybe, just maybe, there will be kits or pre-made hoops for purchase.