Daidogei 2010

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Teatoro Pavana's giraffes towered over the crowded street.

Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka gathered 96 street performers together for four days of performances on street and stage.

There was so much to see and so much to be inspired by! Tod & I stayed the night on Saturday so we could take in two days' worth of the schedule, but we still only covered a quarter of the performers. We could easily have been there all four days.

It's possible to simply wander the town and stop by all 36 of the venues to see performers in every category from world-class invitees to local clowns. Or you can get tickets to showcase stage shows where half a dozen acts perform. We did both and thanks to strangers, here are some videos!

Gypsy Gomez, hula hoop and balance; Anastasini Brothers, acrobats; Miss KuriKuri, roue cyr; Les Vitamins, acrobats.

My favorite act was the first one we came across, Cru Cru Cirque. We saw a crowd and wandered over. Stood on tiptoe on the very edge of a park bench with half a dozen old men; Tod had one foot on the bench and steadied himself on a pole. People passed under his arm trying to find spots closer in. Despite our precarious perch, we watch the show with great delight - juggling, acrobatic, theatre, dance and fire. Everything to love and shirtless Japanese boys, too.

Kana and me after her act.

And I finally got to see my hooping friend, Kana, perform. This is her 6th year at Daidogei! She does a mix of hooping, balance, and dance all in super kawaii-style. Hers was the only show where the old men with cameras sat in the front row and the kids had to settle for places further back. Her true fans knew the act forward and backward!

I loved seeing so many different kinds of performers all at once. I learned a lot for my future hooping and circus-inspired acts.

  • Acts of two or more people never slow down.
  • Timing actions to music is exciting keeps the audience rapt.
  • Well-practiced skill is important but flubs can be covered with stage presence.
  • Patter is either important or unnecessary.
  • Performers on stage together must interact with intention towards a conclusion.
  • A sincere smile is engaging.
  • Wooden or unsmiling performers are nasty.
  • Repeating the same gag too many times makes the act flat and boring.
  • Pausing for applause is good.
  • Pausing to fiddle with props or music isn't so good.
  • Audience involvement and engagement is crucial, especially if you want money in your hat.
  • A big finish is easy for the audience to understand. Music stops, show over.
  • When you have a crowd around you, doing things on the ground gyps the people standing in the back.
  • Acrobatics always thrill me. I need to learn some.
  • There is a lot of crossover among skills and a unique take on yours is smart.
  • Exercise balls make brilliant props.
  • Poi moves can be done with beads, kendama, hoops, and almost two of anything...

1 Comment

Ahhh! This makes me want to play! I love the giraffe. Great notes on what you saw and how to apply it to your own performances too.

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