The love affair between the Circus and the Pendulum – Part 4

One-point aerial swinging discipline

How can the rules of the pendulum impact students using single-point apparatus such as silks, straps, aerial poles, aerial hoop dance trapeze (and others that I’ve not listed?) The type of swing commonly used in these disciplines is a lateral circular swing, which covers a broader area on the stage. Sometimes, they utilize one plane swing for two-point swinging sports (see Parts One and Two of the series.) It is unnecessary to increase height when moving around in a circle since, most likely, the area of training in which they perform is limited in scope. If a student wanted to increase their height, it would also expand the area, but because space is limited, it isn’t required. Height is not a factor that is needed to be successful. Therefore, there is no deliberate effort for students to be taught to increase or maintain height. When a student has started “flying,” the individual’s weight causes the diameter of the circle they swing to shrink and eventually bring them back to a static position. The student uses their running energy to initiate the following circular pendulum routine for the most significant area possible and then will have to land after a quick sequence. Because of the generally smaller size of the circle, weight fluctuations during swings are minimal, in contrast to the trapezes that fly. Therefore, no extra strength is required for them to be proficient in swinging.

Duo straps/silks differ in that when two artists have been swinging (usually in one plane), and they connect, then grip each other, their forward momentum transforms into circular speed. They can spin exceptionally quickly, creating the force of centrifugal, which can increase the weight of their bodies, making spins at high velocities more difficult. The details they are experiencing are all transversal, and the weight increase is uniform, unlike the single-plane pendulum that could dramatically increase body weight at the point of suspension at the end of each swing. The lateral effect of this spin is worthy of the time and effort, which increases the enjoyment value of these shows. Most shows using this type of show require a mechanical high-speed winch to lift the performers to different heights, as the routine or choreography demands. The speed of the winch raises the performers and reduces the pendulum’s length, consequently enhancing the power of the swing already made. The technique is used when the participant is near the edges of the performance area, and the winch can lift off the ground, resulting in one plane swing. The sequences they train using this method will automatically expose them to the laws of the pendulum that we’ve read about in the first and second parts of the series. A competent winch operator will be needed as a “third” person in one of these actions to regulate the speed of landings and take-offs before safely returning to the stage after every sequence.

In addition to the lateral swings in the single-point apparatus, we can incorporate pendulums produced by any vertical device, such as those used on a cord or silks. The lateral spin of the performer’s Spanish web is always a popular attraction. A web “sitter” controlling the performance’s speed from the ground will realize that the more quickly they spins on the website, the more his body will be raised until it is fully horizontal. The force exerted by the performer’s grip on the hand loop or rope is highly intense. The pressure exerted by the performer in this spin frequently causes blood vessels to explode in the eyes of their faces. Using biomechanics adapted for students who use pendulums on silks or cords to allow the release and re-catch of movements using these devices has transformed the skill vocabulary. A growing number of people are using this information to add more twists and somersaults into their range of abilities. Once they’ve mastered how to utilize the pendulum of their body to reach the maximum height, they have enough time to defy gravity and re-catch in confidence.

Another pendulum is utilized in strap methods to attain height when doing the horizontal spin. The student is stationary and performs the straddle leg kick to speed up their upward momentum and raise their body to the flag. They then perform further upward roll horizontally. The sudden increase in speed is the reason for the rise. The performer must use the appropriate pace at the right moment to utilize the technique correctly and not rely solely on brute force. The pendulum swings of the straps students use when performing the single arm dislocation or in-locates generate the highest point downwards on any circus equipment. The results of measurements as high as 8.8 percent of the person’s total weight have been reported. (this is why circus performers require at least a 10:1 security factor for their equipment.) The correct technique is essential to ensure the health and well-being of those students. Again, the most critical factor in the success of dislocate-like moves is the speed at which the kicks as they turn around their hands. Knowing how to use pendulums effectively is an essential element of the training process for aerialists from these disciplines. Engaging a skilled coach who knows these methods will allow you to develop high proficiency with the least effort and minimize the risk of injury.

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