As part of the Nokia Connects: GO competition, we sent a Nokia Lumia 900 to Riel Green and Sennyo of Casual Arcane, a mesmerising juggling duo from the USA for them to capture some of their skills – and they didn’t disappoint. Before you feast your eyes on the video, though, we asked them some questions:
In a nutshell, can you tell everybody what is it that you guys do and what some of the ‘disciplines’ are that you practice?
Well, in a nutshell, we bring simple objects to life. We study a wide variety of props but our favorites to bring alive are Contact Juggling, Buugeng (s-shaped staffs), and different sizes of hoops.
Tell me more about contact juggling… how does it work? It looks like magic to me!
Yes! It makes us very happy to hear we’ve managed to give an impression of magic. We promise you there are no gimmicks, tricks or deceptions involved at all. Contact juggling is the art of manipulating the sphere and it takes hours upon hours of careful practice to build the skills required to give the prop the illusion of floating. We’re often challenged by audience members to know the secrets when they refuse to accept that there aren’t any. Though, simply handing them the sphere to inspect for themselves, and giving a few demonstrations, helps them understand it is nothing more than a sphere gracefully rolling on our hands and body.
How did you come to form Casual Arcane and who came up with the name?
The two of us were originally in a group of four performers called Aether Arts. Due to some member relocations, it was impossible to continue performing regularly as a group. With just the two of us remaining, we had no choice but to start a duo. As far as the name goes, we both came up with it. We wanted to create a sense of subtle duality. The both of us have noticed, often, our similarities are connected only by how opposite are – kind of like a Yin Yang type of thing. Something else we noticed was we’re not intense performers. We’re not focused on building an act entirely out of impressive moves. Themes, characters, and immersing the audience with a sense of fantasy is just as important to us as the manipulation skills. So we decided on Casual Arcane to reflect our ideas of duality and sharing a calm performing style mixed with a surreal experience.
How often do you have to practice your moves, I imagine it must take a lot of work to perfect them?
We have to practice every day. Not only to get better, but also to hold onto the skills we have already attained. Much of what we do requires very small, controlled muscle movements which need constant exercise to develop and improve. Without exercise, we’d become rusty and the illusions would suffer. It is an endless learning process. There are no limits on ways to advance what we know; There is always room for growth and we are enjoying the process.
Tell us about your time with the Lumia 900 for Nokia Connects Go, how did you find using the phone for two weeks?
We really enjoyed it. We’ve had a few years of experience with different kinds of smartphones so we approached the Lumia 900 the same way. It’s menu design was very simple and easy to customize. It was very quick to load and install applications. It didn’t lag while we used it. Navigating the internet was effortless. The memory size was a comfortable 16gb so we filled it with music and took it everywhere. The screen was HUGE and the resolution was unbelievably clear. We can’t think of any time where we didn’t enjoy using it. We were kind of sad to send it back.
Thanks guys. For more on the Nokia Connects: Go competition see some of the recent entries like the offroad unicyclist Jacob Spera and a showcase of some of the earlier videos. So, given a Nokia Lumia 900 and two weeks, what kind of a video could you produce? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter, and you could be trialling one soon. Of course, entries into the Nokia Connects:Go competition are open to anyone, at any time :) (check out the Ts & Cs)