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Old 10-13-03, 05:42 PM   #1
LMB
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Cool Chinese Poles

Hey everyone,

Does anyone know where I can either
a) Find information on how to make chinese poles
or
b) Find out who can make them for me

Extensive google.com searching hasn't turned up anything so any information would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-03, 12:38 AM   #2
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You could get someone from Beijing to marry someone from Krakow.
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Old 10-14-03, 09:05 AM   #3
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Jester

Har Har...
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Old 10-14-03, 09:31 AM   #4
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What are chinese poles, anyway?
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Old 10-14-03, 09:55 AM   #5
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Never heard of chinese poles? Hmmm, kind of hard to explain. Have you seen any of Cirque du Soleil's performances? They chinese poles in 2 of them currently. Pictures of them are scarce, let me see what I can find...
http://reedycreek.azlance.com/~richa...tbnco/act2.htm
and
http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/Cirque...co_t/poles.htm

I guess you'll have to use your imagination. But if you'd really like to see, go rent a DVD of Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco or Mystere. It's a very cool art and I want to learn it, that's why I'm trying to get my hands on some. (Pun not intended.)
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Old 10-14-03, 11:22 AM   #6
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Based on the photos you provided I would say the Chinese poles are just that: poles. Anchored at the bottom and rigged together at the top. The artists pictured can not put their hands around the diameter, so it must be somewhere between 4 to 6 inches. They are wearing custom made lycra costumes which are very slippery, but there is no telling what they might do to prepare the poles -- maybe not at all, or maybe with wax or powder.

Why not contact SdS directly and see what they say?
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Old 10-14-03, 11:45 AM   #7
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The "Chinese Poles" that Cirque uses are about 3 inches in diameter, are securely anchored at the base, with cables attached to a flange at the top. Even with the cables, they flex a little bit as the performers climb up and down, but they are quite secure. To be able to climb the poles, the performers use "Chinese glue", a yellowish concoction that they apply to their hands and thighs. The stuff has the same consistency as tar. They then use acetone to remove the goo from their bodies after each performance, and from the poles once a week. The performer's hands, legs and arms are constantly abraded and torn up with scabs and burns. The costumes have quite a bit of padding in them, particularly to do the shoulder catches. Shoes have rubber soles and are similar to scuba shoes.

Good luck.

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Old 10-14-03, 12:21 PM   #8
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Cool

Thanks for the info, Steven!
Do you know if the poles are coated with anything? Someone mentioned to me that they might be covered with a rubber sleeve of some sort, thought I don't know how accurate that is.

Do know what type of metal is used? Is it steel or aluminum? Also, how tall are they normally? 20 feet?

It sounds like Chinese Poles would be extremely easy to make by one's self. Regardless, do you know of anyone who manufactures them?

In regards to the shoes, it sounds like rock climbing shoes would work pretty well (rubber soled, tight fitting, flexible).

[ 10-14-2003: Message edited by: LMB ]</p>
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Old 10-14-03, 12:49 PM   #9
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No, the poles are not coated with anything. Rubber would be bad because some tricks require slides. Each acrobat knows where on the pole there needs to be more glue applied depending on which tricks they do. The poles vary in height, but twenty feet sounds about right. To my knowledge, they are simply poles, so I would be surprised if anyone manufactured them as such.

There isn't as much gimmick as you might initially think. The technique requires lots of strength, balance and weight control. Be prepared for some major bruises!

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Old 10-14-03, 01:03 PM   #10
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I'm quite aware of what phyical prowess it takes to perform such feats. I already have a substantial amount of strength and co-ordination, and having a pole or 2 will help me further my conditioning.

Thanks for the comments and information.
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Old 10-14-03, 06:28 PM   #11
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In the circus, or the ones i know, they are called Perch, and wrapped with athletic tape. I never used pads, but for sliding down (headfirst...) slippery pants were nice.
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Old 10-15-03, 06:13 AM   #12
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Hi LMB,

here is something that might be useful. My friend Cory used to perform the chinese pole in that show for three years. Here is his website
www.handbalancer.com
He is currently teaching at the Circus Cirkor school in Stockholm, but if you email him , I am sure he could give you some info on material and a tutorial or something. he is a super nice guy, drop a hi from Jewels.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-03, 10:07 AM   #13
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Thanks Julia! I'll do that.
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Old 10-23-03, 09:30 PM   #14
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LMB,

So, have you had any luck with the Chinese Poles project? I do some stuff on aluminum peg stilts and have always thought that it would be cool to have an acrobat do pole tricks on the legs (jumping from leg to leg, climbing up and down, etc.) It would be a neat way to present the pole technique that wouldn't require rigging.

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Old 10-25-03, 11:05 PM   #15
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try:


www.unicycle.fr

TOP quality circus equipment. It helps if you speak French...

étienne
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Old 10-28-03, 12:18 PM   #16
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Haven't had much luck so far finding the materials or time to work on this. I might just end up postponing this project because I'm leaving to attend the Toronto School of Circus Arts in January; I'm going to study Chinese Poles there (Yay!).

Regardless, I really appreciate everyone's comments, tips, and information.
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Old 10-29-03, 11:12 AM   #17
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hey,
you might want to check out any gyms where serious gymnasts train... at least in italy, all of the gyms have poles that seem to be very similar to the ones they use in the circus...anchored in the ground but flexible and they spin...they're loads of fun...
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Old 10-29-03, 06:51 PM   #18
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Lightbulb

Trent Sherrell in Las Vegas constructs and rigs the slickest, lightest, and portable poles anywhere.
Call him, tell him I sent you..
702.813.1138
kami1kaze@juno.com
or,
Ask Etienne or Darren in NYC:
imago-act.com
imagoy2k@aol.com
Established in poles performance.
Good luck
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