|Written by cynicdave|
|Saturday, 19 September 2009 16:11|
What is Glowsticking, Freehand Glowsticking, and Glowstringing and Where did they Originate?
What is glowsticking?
Glowsticking is the act of dancing with glowsticks. Glowsticking can be done with glowsticks or glowstick-like instruments sharing the same kind of qualities: durability, consistency in light, safe to toss around, and often made up of a soft and pliant plastic that doesn't hurt (as much) if you smack yourself with it.
Glowsticking is an "umbrella term" describing two broad categories of glowsticking, with the most agreed upon separation being whether it is stringed or not stringed. More importantly, glowsticking has roots in the electronica and rave scenes, and has a cultural paradigm more in common with those scenes than those of other scenes. Some aspects include the culture of non-competitiveness, preferring sharing and performing in accordance with your observer, without any kind of negative statement implied. Because of this glowstickng competitions are frowned upon by most practitioners of glowsticking. Although glowsticking as a field can largely be practiced anywhere, the roots it has with raving has led to the adoption of most of the ideals (whether they actually exist in practice, is of course, up to debate) of the raving scene.
Freehand glowsticking and glowstringing are technical terms describing the set of moves common to both practices. Freehand glowsticking is glowsticking typically practiced without strings attached to the glowsticks. Glowstringing, a field that shares many of the same aspects as many other stringing related fields such as poi, yo-yoing, and martial arts forms common with swords, flails, and rope darts, is typically done with glowstick or glowstick-like instruments tied with a durable string at the end of it.
Freehand is defined by the steadily growing body of concepts and moves. Some of these concepts include tracing, tapping, tossing, stalling and threading, as well as interdisciplinary dance skills borrowed from common funk style categories. Freehand glowsticking typically borrows from many other dance styles as well as having its own unique set of moves. Here is a video advertisement (circa 2002) with a variety of freehand glowsticking:
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What is Glowstringing?
Glowstringing is defined by a few factors: the use of glowsticks on a string, the swinging motion, and an equally large growing category of moves and concepts that are common to glowstringing, including but not limited to: wrapping, tracing (with strings), and elaborate string manipulations common with yo-yoing and martial arts (as well as other disciplines). Glowstringing, in a way much similar to freehand glowsticking, typically borrows from other disciplines, with a huge portion of moves coming from poi related disciplines. Glowstringing has even on occasion borrowed freehand concepts, such as the aspect of mimicking traces (and vice-versa). In some case, handles may be used, because of moves which favor the fact that the glowstick handle can be grabbed and switched with the swinging part. In other cases, because of the existence of handles which glow both ways, moves which "throw" can be accomplished as it can be grabbed on either side. Here is a video example:
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An Explanation of the History of Glowsticking:
Glowsticks were preferred by many in the rave scene as objects to dance with, and were preferred to other light emitting objects for numerous reasons, including their relative cheapness, their harmlessness and durability and their disposable nature. Glowsticks have become largely cemented as an icon of the rave scene, sometimes negatively, which is why there was and still is such a large prevalence of glowstick use by freehanders and glowstringers alike.
The nature of the glowstick, allowing for concepts which would otherwise be impossible with other objects, has thus significantly influenced the development of both freehand and glowstringing. For example, in freehand, the obvious shape of the glowstick is used in numerous ways to accent, to catch, or to even create patterns of light or accentuate body movement.
In all glowsticking has a fundamentally different outlook to its art than do other dances. It is defined by its roots in the rave culture, and thus the philosophies surrounding it about style and dancing are different from those of other arts. That does not mean, of course, that it is stuck in the rave culture. Even to define the rave culture as such is sort of a misnomer, as it is different in every nation, in every region, and even in the same cities. As the music and the dance evolves, so will glowsticking and glowstickers.
We simply ask that everyone have an open mind. Thank you for respecting our culture and taking the time to read through all of this.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2009 20:32|