We’ve all got them but we’re going to talk about how to use them.
A contact routine is an interaction between the ball the performer and the audience and so it’s a really key part to be thinking about from the beginning. It’s really going to influence how your routine progresses so a few things to think about when you’re picking which prop to use. The first one is the most technical one is just the comfort of the thing, what are you comfortable using? If you’ve never used an acrylic before you don’t want to buy one and then go straight out to perform with it because it’s going to handle very differently to a really light stage ball.
Next thing to think about in those certain kind of technical terms is the size of the audience and your visibility. So a big rhythmic gymnastics ball like that that’s going to be really visible from really far away if you’re up on stage if you’re doing a big circle show something huge like that is going to be much better whereas this much smaller stage that’s just going to disappear that’s more for close-up work for a multi-ball things like that you can use those smaller balls.
And then we’re going to think about the atmosphere that they create as well there’s a very different atmosphere between having that acrylic there’s that kind of magical surrounding to it to see some brightly colored balls like that that more circusy kind of feel that classically circus-y kind of feel it’s going to create a very different atmosphere and set an expectation in the audience’s mind.
And i think that’s one of the key things that I want to talk about today because it’s not really talked about all that often is how important the prop is in setting that expectation in your spectators. So for example the most obvious example you come out on stage with an acrylic and it’s this very special thing, it reflects the light in a very unusual way, everything’s upside down to the audience, it has that kind of magical air to it, the audience is going to expect something magical to happen to it and they’re going to think it’s made of water it’s a bubble or something like that. Again you’ve set those expectations. You either follow through with that or you can break it you can do a very harsh bounce routine or something like that with an acrylic and really change those expectations but that initial thought is still implanted there.
Contrast that with coming out with a dented up old stage ball or a tennis ball or something like that again the audience isn’t going to expect something magical to happen with that so you have this very different expectation that you can play with or you can break for a lot of routines. The ball could even be the first thing that the audience sees if it’s already placed on stage, you’re already setting an expectation for them as to what’s going to come next. So don’t necessarily go with your first instinct, actually give it some thought about what you want to choose and what message you want to send to your audience with that choice.