SHALL WE SPEAK?

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Unique animation which the main features are the combinations of the original and dapper costumes and the talent of the contact juggling.

When did your vocation for contact juggling and stilt walker begin? What were your main sources of inspiration?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… :)

So most of us began ‘contact juggling’ in the early 90’s. That’s almost 30 years ago!!! I’m not sure I can quite believe that myself but it has indeed been an intrinsic part of our lives for a very long time. We came across it in a quite basic form on the UK rave scene at that time but it captured our imagination in a much bigger way and I know myself that I found it deeply beautiful and akin to a real live magic. It took a huge amount of self discipline and practice even to progress a small amount but I felt I was becoming able to create an effect right out of the pages of the fantasy novels I had read as a child and this was very exciting. I have always loved the aesthetics of very skillful human movement and contact juggling quickly became an obsession. We came to learn that the art form had been largely created by a visionary American physical artist in the 1980’s called Michael Moschen (now regarded as one of the greatest jugglers of all time) and we owe much of what we do to his original work.

Stilt-walking came a few years later as we became professional performers and found that it was a perfect vehicle to enhance the way the Calvos characters moved and interacted. I love the willow-y and ethereal quality this lends the performance and when we get it right the interaction between the ground-based juggler and the stilt-walkers is very unusual and striking.

We continue to be inspired by strong magical visual creations be they certain cinema and TV scenes (e.g. Twin Peaks, Star Wars, Ang Lee stuff), contemporary and street dance (e.g. Pina Bausch, David Elsewhere), novels (e.g. Ursula Le Quinn, Tolkein, Phillip Pullman), new circus (Cirque Du Soleil of course) and technological spectacles (e.g. projection mapping, LED programming etc) as well as martial arts and certain niche sports like climbing and snowboarding. There are very few people practicing contact juggling seriously these days but we are also driven on by the creativity and dedication of a younger generation of jugglers working with more traditional props (check out www.juggling.tv)

And we still like to dance all night now and again….

Can you short explain the keys of the performance? Why is it so eye-catching?

There’s something quite indescribable about contact juggling done really well and this is what is at the heart of our performance. It is a reversal of the laws of physics, it is a moment of frozen time, it is a deeply beautiful picture of crystal balls floating and flowing around the human body. It is eye-catching because even when you watch it hard, close up, the illusion remains intact and it still looks utterly impossible. The key to the performance? Practice, and more practice ;)

What possibilities does it offer to resolve the artistic / emotional part of a marketing action, such as an Christmas event?

I think an act like Oz Crystal is a wonderful way to enmesh a distinct and memorable image within an event. It provides a shared experience between the guests and therefore a talking point that helps people relax, have fun and interact better with each other. Its a spectacle they won’t see anywhere else and helps mean they will talk about the event in the days and weeks following.

You have performed at different brand events around the world, is there an event that you would like to participate in and why?

With one of our other acts we performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. I was quite unprepared for how emotional it would feel being part of this event as the Olympics had become something surprisingly positive and unifying in Britain that year. It was a lot of fun performing in such a huge stadium on such an auspicious occasion and with a huge professional cast and top level director. Oz crystal is a more intimate performance but nonetheless I hope we have another shot at a performance like this one day in the future.

What does it mean for you to be part of this performance?

Oz Crystal is quite simply a central part of my life and identity. It draws upon many aspects of what I love in the world – imagination, magic, beauty, movement, and allows me a chance to share this with groups of people from hugely different backgrounds and situations in circumstances all over the globe. Every performance is a unique opportunity to learn more about different people. What more could you want?

What projects do you have for the next months?

We’re just coming into our most busy period of the year so at the moment I am mostly juggling the calendar, spending time in the rehearsal studio and liasing with the rest of the team. Soon we will be pretty much flat out at events running up until Xmas and New Year. We have a couple of new acts right now, one of which involves riding around on one wheeled segways which is superb fun. My favourite act though is still Oz Crystal. :)

SHALL WE SPEAK?

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