1. Observe and Interact
Learning skills from other people is an easy one to link the principle to. Passing on knowledge is as beneficial to the learner as it is to the teacher, and is common within the world of circus. In addition to this, the world wide web is allowing the observation and interaction between people globally now, with Australian circus folk learning directly from Finland, England or Russia.
Photo: Bill La.
2. Catch and store energy
The term ‘energy’ can be related to many different areas within our world, it can relate to the energy derived from the sun, physical force, electricity and so on. Another aspect of energy, in this image, is energy transferred as information. Our brains are capable of catching and storing energy from other people, experiences, or even making up new energy through experimentation. In this picture, Petey is teaching Poi to a group of people through a workshop at the Melbourne Juggling Convention. This is a very efficient way to broadcast energy, sending it once for multiple captures.
Photo: Bill La
3. Obtain a yield
I think acrobalance is probably as far away as you can get from pulling carrots out of the ground! These fruitful young performers, from Slipstream Circus in Tasmania, performed this finale trick in the Creative Edge Show at the Melbourne Juggling Convention. It’s one of the yields obtainable through hard work and determination, firstly learning it (one kind of circus yield), performing it (a second yield), and later teaching it (a third yield). Photo: John Fisher 4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback
When working out a new trick or putting together a performance, video is one of the most effective tools around. As soon as you’ve filmed a test run you can play it straight back to yourself to see how it looks and make the necessary changes instantly. Once you’ve got it looking the way you want it, you can then email it to a friend, or post it to a website like youtube. The exposure of youtube is such that your work can be viewed by people all around the world, and feedback comes from these people, bringing the tool of self regulation and feedback from micro to macro scale. Photo: John Fisher.
4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedbackWhen working out a new trick or putting together a performance, video is one of the most effective tools around. As soon as you’ve filmed a test run you can play it straight back to yourself to see how it looks and make the necessary changes instantly. Once you’ve got it looking the way you want it, you can then email it to a friend, or post it to a website like youtube. The exposure of youtube is such that your work can be viewed by people all around the world, and feedback comes from these people, bringing the tool of self regulation and feedback from micro to macro scale.
5. Use and value renewable resources & services
At first, this image was meant to demonstrate that this event, the Melbourne Juggling Convention (MJC), is a renewable service that should be used and valued... but then I realised that using chalk for signage is also a renewable resource! So there are two facets of the same principle in the one picture.
The convention is renewable because it’s run by people, and people energy is renewable. Chalk is renewable because it is biodegradable, non-polluting, temporary, and is derived from natural materials. It’s one of the best ways to make a temporary sign and not pollute the environment.
Photo: Christian Parr
6. Produce no waste
Three guesses what this is a picture of... if you get it, you’ve probably had a go with them at some point. These are Devil Sticks, (or Flower Sticks), an ancient art form dating back to medieval times (when used with skill they looked like magic, which people thought was work of the Devil).
The reason for them representing Principle 6 is that they are made from recycled materials. Simple in construction, they comprise of 3 pieces of recycled wood or bamboo wrapped with old bicycle inner tubes, which can be sourced from any bike shop for free. It’s clear that making equipment this way creates no waste, in fact is turns a waste into a resource, which is permaculture at its finest!
7. Design from patterns to details
The image above (believe it or not) is a 4-person juggling pattern where the jugglers are passing objects to one another. Able to record patterns for any number of people with any number of objects, ‘Causal Diagrams’ like these are used frequently in the juggling world. The pattern pictured is called ‘Cyclone’, where two pairs of people walk in an oval shape, each pair moving in opposing direction to the other, while juggling/passing 12 objects.
The diagram on the left accompanies the causal diagram, showing the direction of movement and one moment when passes happen between people. There are 8 passes per cycle of the pattern. Can you see where this pass (Anne-Ben) happens within the causal diagram above (there’s two of them)?
You can clearly see design from patterns through to details with juggling in this example. Patterns here involve ovals, while other patterns use stars, arrow-heads, triangles and even zig-zags. Pictures sourced from ‘The Highgate Collection’ by Aidan Burns.
8. Integrate rather than segregate
You could juggle on your own but finding a bunch of people to juggle with makes it that much more fun. This photo is of a monster passing line at the Melbourne Juggling Convention, where everyone is connected together by the zig-zag shaped line of passing partners. The convention strives for maximum integration, and full accessibility so that the community can grow and evolve. Photo: Bill La
9. Use small & slow solutions
‘Pure Juggling’ is the name of a small business owned by Wayne Green in Eltham, Victoria (pictured wearing the hat). He designs and lovingly creates juggling balls by hand for jugglers in Melbourne. If you buy three or more balls he’ll even sew you a bag to keep them in. He is a wonderful character loved by the community and is a perfect example of how supporting small and slow solutions is advantageous over other bigger, faster, quick-fix options you might find in the city or over the internet.
Photo: Lily Lucent
10. Use & value diversity
A juggling tradition at conventions around the world, ‘The Big Toss Up’ is the final last gasp of energy expelled by those in attendance. It’s a great way to bring everyone together at the end to say “Yey, we did it and had a great time! Now, where did my clubs go???”
In the picture, you can clearly see a diversity of props, and of people. The Melbourne Juggling Convention continually strives to be accessible and open for all to enjoy, for this ultimately allows more diversity to come and play!
11. Use edges & value the marginal
Clowns? What have clowns got to with Permaculture...? You’d be surprised!
There’s a new branch of ‘Clowns without Borders’ being created in Australasia. Briar, pictured in her costume, and her fellow ‘Clownies’ are setting up the non-for-profit organisation which aims to improve the condition of life for children and communities living in crisis through laughter and humour.
Their highly valuable work is based on the boundary between circus and marginal communities, positively affecting those who are in need of support.
12. Creatively use & respond to change
Not more clowns??? Yes, it’s true, clowns are able to help us with this principle too. Creatively using improvisation and responding to changes in plot at any given moment, especially when dealing with audience participation, is where much of the humour is generated for a good clown act.
Reuben, the clown pictured, has an audience member on a mime motorbike. He used comic timing and improvisation to turn this bizarre situation into a hilarious act full of surprises. Photo: John Fisher.