Tandem Troubles


That’s two people doing the same thing at the same time, ostensibly together, though often in opposition — intentional or otherwise.

It’s complicated.

Tandem kayaks have earned the nickname “divorce boats;” likewise, “divorce bike” is a not-uncommon term for tandem bikes.

I suppose that’s understandable, given that on a tandem bike, both partners have to work, but only one gets to steer. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than the situation with a tandem kayak, where both partners can work or slack off and both partners can (attempt to) steer.

Regardless, Denis and I actually do pretty well where both tandem bikes and tandem kayaks are concerned (okay, so I do kind of yell at him on the climbs sometimes on the bike).

Tandem trapeze routines?

That might be harder.

Not that I think we’re anywhere near “divorce trapeze” territory — just, now that we’re into the meat of rehearsal, I’ve realized that he works a lot more slowly than I do.

In fact, that’s true in more than one sense — he memorizes choreography more slowly, but he also works through his movements more slowly.

The memorization part is mostly under control: he’s pretty much got his routine down, so we’re more or less online to actually really run things now.

The movement part — well, that’s a different challenge.

On one hand, it’s kinda cool. It imparts stylistic spice. We’re not two perfectly-matched RoboTraps doing almost the same moves (but in a different order) with exactly the same style. For the purpose of our piece, I think that works.

On the other hand, it’s kinda weird in terms of trying to get everything synchronized.

It makes working out the timings (which falls to me as the musical member of our daring duo) a little more challenging. It means that we’ll definitely need to rehearse the piece together a couple of times, which means somehow finagling a chance to rig two single-point trapezes at the same time.

In case you’re wondering, that doesn’t happen terribly often at our studio. We usually have two double-point traps rigged and at most one single-point; people just don’t use the single-point as much (well, people who aren’t us). I’m not sure why, though it could be a function of the single-point offering some challenges that the double-point doesn’t.

Case in (single?) point: if rigged with a pivot — as ours are — the single-point trapeze can spin.

Likewise, because there’s a significant taper from the bar to the rigging, moves in the ropes can feel quite different on the single-point trapeze than on the double-point (some seem easier; some, harder — the distribution, there, seems to be highly individual).

Don’t get me wrong, though — as a performer, a choreographer, and a problem-solver, I’m rather enjoying this process. As a glutton for punishment masochist trapeze addict aficionado, I like having an excuse to play around on the trapeze more.

Doesn’t hurt that I now know that I can run my routine three or four times back-to-back without feeling over-worked, either.

Anyway, part of the solution for this challenge involves adjustments I need to make anyway — slowing my execution of the individual “tricks” (ye gods, how I cringe at that word) and transitional movements; Using All The Music; adding expression.

Another part of it involves the well-considered use of pauses; that’s fine. I don’t want to create a routine that’s mostly a series of pretty poses, but it seems reasonable to incorporate a few attractive pauses in the interest of giving Denis room (musically-speaking) to work.

We also discovered that, although I have about 1 minute and 30 seconds of actual trapeze wrestling in my routine, the other bits (we have some acro-balancing elements as our mount and our dismount, as well as a tiny, tiny bit of character dance) don’t fill all of the music.

All of this has come together to produce a kind of turn-taking format in parts of the routine, which works into our theme (the piece is called “Duelo Trapecio” — “Trapeze Duel”).

The remaining challenge will be sorting out Denis’ spin tolerance. The highlight of our piece, really, is the executing of a set of moves in the ropes — but his are done in an inversion, which makes him dizzier than it otherwise might.

Since our current final move is a two-man counterbalance that requires him to support my entire weight, that could be problematic!

At any rate, we’ve got a few more weeks to work out the kinks, and I’m pretty happy with the progress we’ve made.

I’ll be even happier when I’ve got clearance to do all the moves in my routine again. Right now, I can’t do the demi-mill roll because of my injury, which makes me haz a sad. (I know: #FirstWorldProblems.)

I shot a brief bit of video tonight, but mostly it’s me faffing around on a spinning trapeze thinking about what to do to fill a time gap in my bit of the choreography, so I’m still on the fence about posting it. OTOH, my iron cross-stag-switch-stag-iron cross looks better than it did in the previous one (I wasn’t less tired; it’s just that watching the previous video helped identify things I need to work on).

And I’m wearing bike-length shorts, so you can see my blazing calves of solid alabaster. Bleh.

Okay, well. This is now about 3 times as longer than I intended it to be, so I’ll shut up.

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, we have Killer Class, Trapeze 2, and Conditioning.

Only I won’t actually be doing Killer Class, because #StupidInjury.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2016/05/10, in aerials, balllet, injuries and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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