Legendary trick witnessed

Greetings,

Are you frustrated by your freemount? Worried by your wobbliness? Irritated with
your idling? Or just plain given up gliding? Have you ever thought to yourself, hey, if
only I’d practiced for ten hours a day for the last ten years I might be able to do some
of this stuff? Well, for those in need of inspiration, or alternatively the mere sight of a
man having four bricks smashed on his head in one go with a sledgehammer, you need
look no further than the incomparable Chinese State Circus.

I saw the show myself yesterday. To tell you all about the daredevil acrobatics, the
delightful plate-spinning, the delicious juggling and the downright dangerous Kung Fu
would take far too long. And would, of course, be horribly off-topic. I shall confine
myself to describing the unicycling, which was obviously the highlight of the show (in
my completely unbiased opinion).

The curtain is drawn aside and a young lady emerges at the controls of a 6ft/16"
giraffe. She pilots her machine toward the centre of the ring and idles there
nonchalantly for a while, taking in the utterly nonexistent applause. Uneducated
heathens, I mutter to myself as I look round the audience. If only they knew. Following
this short pause, she catches a bowl thrown to her by an assistant, goes into a
left-footed one-foot idle and places the bowl on the toes of her right foot. After a short
pause to take aim, she swings her right foot back then kicks the bowl upwards. It spins
round twice then lands neatly on top of her head. Applause breaks out, led rather too
enthusiastically by one person in particular. Well, what can I say. I was impressed.

She takes two more bowls, and balances them on her right foot. An expectant hush
descends. The right leg swings back again and kicks both bowls upwards. They spin
gracefully through the air and land neatly on top of the first, making a stack of three.
As the clapping starts up again, and my lower jaw begins to sag, I find myself
reflecting on the amount of money that David Beckham is paid to kick just one football
with his right leg into the top corner of a rather large net. Now maybe if he took two
footballs, one balanced on top of the other, and kicked them both at the same time
with one ball going in one corner and the other in the other, then maybe, just maybe
he’d start earning his wages. Heh.

Our intrepid unicyclist hasn’t finished yet. She takes three more bowls and balances
them on her foot as before. The crowd gasps. No. Surely not. Not three bowls. She
kicks them up, they all spin round, and settle perfectly on the pile, making a stack of
six. As the audience cheers, the floorwards velocity of my jaw increases perceptibly.
But there is more to come. She takes FOUR bowls. Oh my God. She arranges them on
her leg, as calmly as one might lay a table for supper, and then with another (slightly
longer) pause to take aim, kicks them up, and…

…drops one of them. The audience sighs in sympathy. The poor thing. She’s human
after all. As for me, I’m still in shock from the three bowl trick, so this tiny setback
barely registers on my brain. By the time I come round, she’s nailed the four bowl trick
on the third attempt. Wild applause. This person obviously possesses superhuman
powers beyond that of mere mortals.

A notion which is seemingly confirmed by the arrival on stage of a 4ft diameter
walking globe. But then I think to myself, no, I’m just letting my imagination run away
with me. Look, she’s just dismounted. The globe is obviously part of the next act. It is
not possible to unicycle on one of these things. Well known fact. Can’t be done.

Our heroine stands next to the globe. Her assistant steadies it with her hands. Ha! This
is just for comic effect. Nobody can unicycle on a walking globe. It’s physically
impossible.

But then it seems that for some people, the laws of physics do not apply.

She climbs on top of the globe, plants the wheel down in front of her, steps on the
wheel to lock it, climbs up onto the pedal and sits on the seat. And starts idling. My
eyes are telling me that she’s just freemounted a walking globe, but somehow the
message is not getting through to my brain. I look at the assistant standing next to the
globe. She must be holding it steady. Nope, she’s not touching it. I look at the globe…it
must be set firm on the ground. Nope, it’s moving back and forth. The globe must be
set in a groove in the floor then. Please tell me it’s set in a groove, for my sanity’s sake.

It’s not set in a groove. It has full freedom of movement.

She places a bowl on top of her head, and catches a cup thrown by her assistant. She
goes into a one-foot idle, and places the cup on the toes of her right foot. My own foot
nudges something on the floor in front of me. It’s my lower jaw. She kicks the cup
upwards and it lands in the bowl, right side up. Well, obviously, if you kick up a cup
into a bowl on top of your head whilst unicycling on a walking globe you want it to
land the right way up. Because that’s where you’re going to kick your spoon. She
balances the spoon on her foot and kicks it up to the cup, where it nestles satisfyingly.
First time. Wild applause and cheering, the biggest of the night. And for me, anyway, the rest of
the show - as good as it is - passes by as something of an anti-climax. For my mind is
still swimming from what I’ve just seen.

If you ever get the chance, you MUST see this show. If only to say you were there. :slight_smile:

yours,
just off to get some more practice done,

hole-in-my-shoe

Thank you, thank you, thank you for that fine description. I hope your lower jaw is back to making contact with your upper.

I once described Rudy Horn’s giraffe/cup trick to a colleague who, to this day, firmly refuses to believe he could do it.

I believe what you saw confirms Harper’s description of the transcendental nature of the unicycle and it gives me a warm feeling inside just to know that such an act will be taking place somewhere in the world as I go about my normal day. Although it would be nice to witness first hand.

Thanks again,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Love the Richard Thompson reference there JJuggle. As a redhead, I couldn’t agree more. (if black leather not available, white linen works almost as well…)

Lyrics to 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Immaculate balance

I saw that trick done on TV ages ago. It was probably the same woman, an Asian lady but I am sure she was on a huge 9’ or taller giraffe. She didn’t drop anything, but I did’t see the Walking globe trick. That was a most imressive display of precise control and concentration. Thanks for sharing your observations.

eek2.gif

wow…

That’s pretty impresive.

it a lovely trick, the day after i saw that i just had to learn to idle one foot extended.

According to
http://www.chinesestatecircus.co.uk/index.html

Appearing in Brighton Wednesday 7 to Saturday 24 May

Next to Southsea 26 May to 8 June, whereafter who knows ?

I’d love to see that performance if the circus comes nearer my way.

Leo White

P.S. Richard Thompson Sung 1952 V.B.L. the last 2 times I saw him live!

Re: Legendary trick witnessed

On Fri, 16 May 2003, hole-in-my-shoe wrote:

> If you ever get the chance, you MUST see this show. If only to say you
> were there. :slight_smile:

Yes! I saw the Moscow State Circus several years ago, and was blown away
by it. Then a few months later, I saw the Chinese State Circus.

Each act was easily as good as the whole of the Moscow show!

Russian bar? Nah! Russian bar on stilts! Hooray!
Giraffe? Nah! Giraffe on a walking globe! Yay! With bowls! Panowie!
Acrobats? Chinese Lion? Nah! Acrobatic Chinese Lion! Woohoo!

Fantastic stuff.

Cheers,

Stu

fascinating! Thanks for sharing!

That’s incredible. Could you possibly make a little diagram to help explain this walking globe trick? I just want to check that i’ve got the right idea! Unfortunately the circus isn’t coming to Australia any time soon. I’ll keep my eye out though.

Andrew

Re: Immaculate balance

Rowan.

Was it Nancy Huey on Guinness World Records Prime Time on T.V.
I’m with you, Saw it too here in Australia. Balancing 32 rice bowls on her head Tossing them on her right foot while idling the Giraffe Unicycle. I remember Taping it on Video and I still got it.
She was Asian as you said but I didn’t see the walking globe trick at all.

David.

hiya,
i also saw this on a video, it was impressive but me and my friends came to the conclusion that the bowls and such were magnetised because of the way they fell into the previous ones- they got sucked in. nevertheless its impressive. sorry to spoil the act for you :roll_eyes:

LOL u spoilsport!!

Maybe shes just practiced the trick nonstop for 10 years, mabe shes employed by the greatest circus of all time, maybe shes performed the trick several thousand times infront of several thousand ppl, maybe, just maybe, shes better than u and ur jealous :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

I first heard about this being done without the globe. Then I think Sarah did lighting for one of their shows and said that the mat the globe was rolling on was grooved when she saw it. I saw it earlier this year when they were on Clapham Common and I couldn’t see any groove on the mat, it could be grooved by making it out of dense foam except for a less dense foam groove in the middle and no-one would be able to tell though.

The mat the globe is on looked quite thick to slow down the movement. I didn’t reckon there was any trick to the bowls, there doesn’t seem much point in putting magnets on them, I’d have though they’d swoosh in anyway because of the shape.

Even if it’s tricked in some way, it’s probably still one of the hardest tricks anyone’s done on a unicycle. From the evolution of the trick, it’s obviously taken several years to perfect, I hate to think what she’ll do with it next, two globes maybe (is two walking globes possible even off a unicycle)?

Joe

Re: Legendary trick witnessed

In article <joemarshall.nkkuo@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
joemarshall.nkkuo@timelimit.unicyclist.com (joemarshall) wrote:

> (is two walking globes possible
> even off a unicycle)?
It is in theory possible even on a unicycle, but you would have to stay
perfectly balanced in the middle and would have no control over the bottom
ball. If you were just standing, you would have indirect control of the
bottom ball, so it would be much easier. Standing on two globes would be
of similar difficulty to the uni on one globe, I would imagine.

Liam

Re: Legendary trick witnessed

In article
<Pine.LNX.4.44.0305162242120.372-100000@zippy.mini.demon.co.uk>,
stu@mini.demon.co.uk (Stu Carter) wrote:

> On Fri, 16 May 2003, hole-in-my-shoe wrote:
>
> > If you ever get the chance, you MUST see this show. If only to say you
> > were there. :slight_smile:
>
> Yes! I saw the Moscow State Circus several years ago, and was blown away
> by it. Then a few months later, I saw the Chinese State Circus.
>
> Each act was easily as good as the whole of the Moscow show!
>
> Russian bar? Nah! Russian bar on stilts! Hooray!
> Giraffe? Nah! Giraffe on a walking globe! Yay! With bowls! Panowie!
> Acrobats? Chinese Lion? Nah! Acrobatic Chinese Lion! Woohoo!
>
> Fantastic stuff.
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Stu
>
>
Does the CSC use animals in their acts? I thought it was an acrobats,
unicyclists and jugglers only circus.

Liam

Re: Legendary trick witnessed

On Sat, 17 May 2003, Liam wrote:

> > Russian bar? Nah! Russian bar on stilts! Hooray!
> > Giraffe? Nah! Giraffe on a walking globe! Yay! With bowls! Panowie!
> > Acrobats? Chinese Lion? Nah! Acrobatic Chinese Lion! Woohoo!

> Does the CSC use animals in their acts? I thought it was an acrobats,
> unicyclists and jugglers only circus.

Nope, no animals. Giraffe being a big unicycle, and chinese lion
being like a chinese dragon, but with only 2 people in it instead
of lots. I belive they also had a baby chinese lion, played by
a single acrobat.

As far as I know, Moscow and Chinese State Circuses use no animals.
(They didn’t when we went to see them).

Cheers,

Stu

Re: Legendary trick witnessed

hole-in-my-shoe wrote…

I read this with great fascination – very well written!! I have seen some old video of
something similar. I do go to the Zazhituan (Chinese circuis) when I go to China but
was not fortunate to see the globe act, though they always do the cup-kicking.

Maybe we should get them to come to Unicon 12!? With enough effort I can probably
find them through my contacts in China.

>
>Greetings,
>
>Are you frustrated by your freemount? Worried by your wobbliness?
>Irritated with
>your idling? Or just plain given up gliding? Have you ever thought to
>yourself, hey, if
>only I’d practiced for ten hours a day for the last ten years I might be
>able to do some
>of this stuff? Well, for those in need of inspiration, or alternatively
>the mere sight of a
>man having four bricks smashed on his head in one go with a
>sledgehammer, you need
>look no further than the incomparable Chinese State Circus.
>
>I saw the show myself yesterday. To tell you all about the daredevil
>acrobatics, the
>delightful plate-spinning, the delicious juggling and the downright
>dangerous Kung Fu
>would take far too long. And would, of course, be horribly off-topic. I
>shall confine
>myself to describing the unicycling, which was obviously the highlight
>of the show (in
>my completely unbiased opinion).
>
>The curtain is drawn aside and a young lady emerges at the controls of a
>6ft/16"
>giraffe. She pilots her machine toward the centre of the ring and idles
>there
>nonchalantly for a while, taking in the utterly nonexistent applause.
>Uneducated
>heathens, I mutter to myself as I look round the audience. If only they
>knew. Following
>this short pause, she catches a bowl thrown to her by an assistant, goes
>into a
>left-footed one-foot idle and places the bowl on the toes of her right
>foot. After a short
>pause to take aim, she swings her right foot back then kicks the bowl
>upwards. It spins
>round twice then lands neatly on top of her head. Applause breaks out,
>led rather too
>enthusiastically by one person in particular. Well, what can I say. I
>was impressed.
>
>She takes two more bowls, and balances them on her right foot. An
>expectant hush
>descends. The right leg swings back again and kicks both bowls upwards.
>They spin
>gracefully through the air and land neatly on top of the first, making a
>stack of three.
>As the clapping starts up again, and my lower jaw begins to sag, I find
>myself
>reflecting on the amount of money that David Beckham is paid to kick
>just one football
>with his right leg into the top corner of a rather large net. Now maybe
>if he took two
>footballs, one balanced on top of the other, and kicked them both at the
>same time
>with one ball going in one corner and the other in the other, then
>maybe, just maybe
>he’d start earning his wages. Heh.
>
>Our intrepid unicyclist hasn’t finished yet. She takes three more bowls
>and balances
>them on her foot as before. The crowd gasps. No. Surely not. Not three
>bowls. She
>kicks them up, they all spin round, and settle perfectly on the pile,
>making a stack of
>six. As the audience cheers, the floorwards velocity of my jaw increases
>perceptibly.
>But there is more to come. She takes FOUR bowls. Oh my God. She arranges
>them on
>her leg, as calmly as one might lay a table for supper, and then with
>another (slightly
>longer) pause to take aim, kicks them up, and…
>
>…drops one of them. The audience sighs in sympathy. The poor thing.
>She’s human
>after all. As for me, I’m still in shock from the three bowl trick, so
>this tiny setback
>barely registers on my brain. By the time I come round, she’s nailed the
>four bowl trick
>on the third attempt. Wild applause. This person obviously possesses
>superhuman
>powers beyond that of mere mortals.
>
>A notion which is seemingly confirmed by the arrival on stage of a 4ft
>diameter
>walking globe. But then I think to myself, no, I’m just letting my
>imagination run away
>with me. Look, she’s just dismounted. The globe is obviously part of the
>next act. It is
>not possible to unicycle on one of these things. Well known fact. Can’t
>be done.
>
>Our heroine stands next to the globe. Her assistant steadies it with her
>hands. Ha! This
>is just for comic effect. Nobody can unicycle on a walking globe. It’s
>physically
>impossible.
>
>But then it seems that for some people, the laws of physics do not
>apply.
>
>She climbs on top of the globe, plants the wheel down in front of her,
>steps on the
>wheel to lock it, climbs up onto the pedal and sits on the seat. And
>starts idling. My
>eyes are telling me that she’s just freemounted a walking globe, but
>somehow the
>message is not getting through to my brain. I look at the assistant
>standing next to the
>globe. She must be holding it steady. Nope, she’s not touching it. I
>look at the globe…it
>must be set firm on the ground. Nope, it’s moving back and forth. The
>globe must be
>set in a groove in the floor then. Please tell me it’s set in a groove,
>for my sanity’s sake.
>
>It’s not set in a groove. It has full freedom of movement.
>
>She places a bowl on top of her head, and catches a cup thrown by her
>assistant. She
>goes into a one-foot idle, and places the cup on the toes of her right
>foot. My own foot
>nudges something on the floor in front of me. It’s my lower jaw. She
>kicks the cup
>upwards and it lands in the bowl, right side up. Well, obviously, if you
>kick up a cup
>into a bowl on top of your head whilst unicycling on a walking globe you
>want it to
>land the right way up. Because that’s where you’re going to kick your
>spoon. She
>balances the spoon on her foot and kicks it up to the cup, where it
>nestles satisfyingly.
>First time. Wild applause and cheering, the biggest of the night. And
>for me, anyway, the rest of
>the show - as good as it is - passes by as something of an anti-climax.
>For my mind is
>still swimming from what I’ve just seen.
>
>If you ever get the chance, you MUST see this show. If only to say you
>were there. :slight_smile:
>
>yours,
>just off to get some more practice done,
>
>hole-in-my-shoe
>
>
>–
>hole-in-my-shoe
>------------------------------------------------------------------------
>hole-in-my-shoe’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/3661
>View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/25199
>
>___________________________________________________________________________
>rec.sport.unicycling mailing list - www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu
>

Stay on top, Jack Halpern
Executive Director for International Development
International Unicycling Federation, Inc.
Website: http://www.kanji.org

Re: Re: Immaculate balance

There was a brief run of a show called “30-Seconds of Fame” or something like that. My family and I witnessed a Chinese man doing the bowl trick on a giraffe uni. Pretty impressive.

B