A couple of weeks ago I got back into yoing after about a 10 year lay-off.
Over the last days I’ve watched a number of videos of people performing/competing - here, youtube, etc…, and find I may watch for a moment, but after seeing what often seems like a rapid-fire run-thru of tricks, I often stop watching well before the video is complete.
Of course, the level of technical skill is absolutely incredible. But after seeing the yo fly in, around and thru the string in rapid succession, for the XXth time, it made me wonder what role artistry or entertainment have in the yoing community in general, and how that is valued and emphasized.
Speed and rapid-fire can be great (!), and should be a required element, but if there is no variety, it can get kind of difficult to sit through.
In the Olympics, a number of sports have separate scores for technical and artistic achievement. In my somewhat limited experience with yo competitions & videos, things in the world of yo seem exceptionally skill-based.
For example, figure skating includes artistic scores, while ski jumping does not. Ski jumping doesn’t have any room, that I can see, for artistic scoring (heh), but there have got to be a world of possibilities in the world of yo.
Don’t get me wrong - I’m suggesting that there be any lessening of technical merit, but more thinking of an adding-on of other components. Nor am I suggesting that there is no one out there paying attention to artistry/variety (not variety of tricks, but variety in the structure and timing of a routine). Like I said, “…in my somewhat limited experience.”
Many times I have found myself saying things like:
“Is he ever going to slow down?”
“It is all happening so fast I can’t appreciate/enjoy the individual skills.”
“His music choice was really weird, considering what he was doing, and his style.”
In the world of magic there is a saying, “Magic for magicians.” These are the types of tricks that aren’t meant to entertain an audience as much as they are fool other magicians. On the other hand, performing magic (for money) has to combine technical skill and be able to entertain.
Of course, magic has always been about performing/entertaining for lay-audiences. Yoing seems to be a very “Yoing for Yoers” community. The intent is not to entertain non-yoers as much as it is to compete with other yoers.
There isn’t anything wrong with that. Nothing at all. I just see so much skill out there - and because of that, the potential for things that could be added to that incredible skill to make even more incredible experiences.
That said, I did find these judging elements re: a National Contest in Chico:
Do you feel these elements are far out-weighed by purely technical elements in judging, or do you feel they are generally on equal footing?
Just thinking out loud and thought I would share. Time to end this novel!