|The illustrations are taken from Charlie Dancey's Compendium of Club Juggling, p. 187, by kind permission of the author.|
This time we're going to take another look at feeds patterns that involve more
than 2 jugglers. Don't know what I'm talking about? Then take another look at
the last issue of Kaskade.
Last time I mentioned the possibility of combining passing with moving around. It's especially easy to do that while feeding: two of the partners keep the juggle going, while the third gathers in his clubs, runs to his new position and re-joins the pattern from there. He could also continue juggling as he runs it's all a question of keeping up the rhythm.
But whether juggling or not, you should still be counting as you move to a new position. Otherwise you might be in for a nasty surprise, as the title of this workshop suggests in some patterns you'll be walking right through the line of flying clubs, so please be careful! Reading this article is fairly safe, but actually juggling the patterns is not. I, for my part, am not taking any responsibility for injuries sustained while trying them out.
This time I'm going to stick to the 2-count variants of the patterns. If you prefer to throw with both hands, you can try the patterns with a left 2-count. I'll save runarounds with combined left and right passes for later editions.
Let's start with something easy. A, B and C are standing in the positions shown
in Fig. 1 a-c.
A and B are passing 6 clubs in a 2-count rhythm. C already raises his open left hand that will make things easier for B in a few moments.
Without advance warning, B now starts passing to C. As C is already holding up his catching hand, B can see exactly where she has to throw to. A continues throwing to B, which means that after a while, A no longer has any clubs, and B and C are passing together.
When everyone has calmed down again, A can move to the position shown in Fig. 1b, next to B. C turns slightly so that he's looking at A, and the 2nd round can begin. Try the pattern in all positions. I've shown the first 3 positions in Fig. 1. After that the pattern repeats itself, except that you're standing in slightly different places.
Try to keep the pattern going without a break: you never pass back to the partner
you received from, but always to the third juggler. At the beginning that means:
as soon as A has passed his last club to B he runs to his new position. Just
before he gets there he receives his first club from C, for whom the rule also
applies: never throw back to B.
While running, always keep your eye on the pattern. You move around anti-clockwise, while the pattern rotates clockwise. Don't rush and panic. You have two whole beats with nothing in your hands. And if you already take your first step as you're passing your last club, and take your last step (backwards) as you catch your first club from the other partner, you'll find you have plenty of time.
The idea is not to first get to the new position and only then turn round. If you do that, you'll probably have to catch the pass with your teeth. Running and turning is all one movement.
To add some spice to the proceedings, you can add an extra club. At the start,
B has 3 clubs, A has 3 clubs, and C already has 1 club. Each of you will always
throw to the same partner: B always to C, A always to B, C always to A.
A and B start together. As C already has one club, he starts to throw to A's new position one beat earlier than in R2. Take your time, throw slowly, calm the pattern down. It won't work if you get hectic. I've drawn you a causal diagram for the pattern. The diagram shows you that there's enough time to pass and run across it's not necessary to carry the extra club across, though you can if you want to. When you only have one club remaining in your left hand, you go across, handing it from left to right as you go. That slows the pattern down and makes it easier.
More clubs: R1 and R2 can also be done with more than 6 clubs. Using 7 clubs,
the rhythm is alternating and you pass doubles, as in a normal 2-person 7-club
pattern. The same can also be done with 8 clubs, and it's easier than you might
Fewer clubs: The fewer clubs you use, the easier the juggling. The main difficulty here is not to lose the rhythm. Take a look on the Internet. I've written the basic patterns for 3-7 clubs and 3 jugglers for JoePass! (but only the pattern with 7 clubs contains a description of the movement).
Other patterns, more jugglers: This is the subject of a separate section.
Runaround the other way around. Instead of running to the right of the pattern
to stand at your opposite number's left side, the idea is now to stand on his/her
right. Of course, you could run all the way around both partners. But it's more
exciting to go straight through the middle. At first sight, you might think
that this is not so very different from R2, but you'd be wrong. As you have
to run through the pattern, you have to pay very close attention to the passing
rhythm, otherwise it could hurt.
When only one juggler is running, you don't move around in a circle, as in R1 R3, but move sideways along a straight line (Fig. 2). Alternatively, when your partner has just run away, you could step across into his/her vacated position, in which case the pattern rotates on the spot (Fig. 3). This is more suitable for conventions and other places where space is limited.
As A makes his last pass, he gets ready to run, waits until B and C have passed, then goes through the pattern, turning so that he backs into his new position while receiving from C. The interesting thing is that instead of passing to the person on the right of the pair standing opposite you, you now pass to the person on the left. That means that the flight paths of the passes now cross each other, and there is a danger of mid-air collisions. For this reason, the passers should not pass at the same heights. We have made it a rule that the passes to the juggler who's just arrived at a new position fly slightly higher and are therefore in the air slightly longer. In Figs. 2b and 3b that means: C passes slightly higher than B.
Find yourselfs another juggler and a total of 9 clubs. Imagine (or draw) a
pentagon on the floor. A juggler is now standing at 4 of the 5 corners of the
pentagon, leaving one corner empty (Fig. 4).
The rules are the same as before: When you have no more clubs, you run. But in a curve to the left, as in R4, not to the right, as in R1-3. Yes, you go through the pattern.
When you only have one club left, start to move with the pass. You have to go into the middle of the pattern before the pass from your left neighbour. Now three clubs fly around you (you hope!) in all different directions.
The first time you try this, you should interrupt the move at this point. The others should stop passing. When everyone has calmed down again, you can try the full sequence. Start as before, but this time don't stop in the middle, continue forward as soon as the clubs have gone past. This should be a fluid movement, and not too fast. If you go too fast, you just run right into the passes. So please, BE CAREFUL!
You can do the Shooting Star with one extra club. That makes it slightly faster, and you begin to understand where the name came from.