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my big book of little catastrophes
I ate WHAT?
about flagging 
5th-Jul-2005 10:14 am
angel
Since sirbelgarion asked...

Flagging (sometimes called fan dancing) is when you take a piece of cloth and spin it about in the air in time to music. Usually you use a pair of them, hemmed with drapery chain on the edges near the leading corner to give it some weight so it can cut through the air. Typical flags are a few feet on an edge, up to really big ones that can be 5 feet or so. You have day flags that are reflective and look good in the sunlight outdoors, and club flags that are often fluorescent to use in a dark dance club. All tend toward vibrant colors, tie-dye patterns, etc. Lightweight, sheer fabrics are a must.

There are many techniques, some of them very difficult. The basic one is making a figure-8 with your hands so the flags spin constantly in front of you, always chasing each other in an infinite game of cat and mouse.

http://www.seattleflaggingboys.com/ has a few pictures, but it's a pretty out-of-date site. Still pictures never look good - you have to see the flags spin to understand the appeal. This is the best pic I could find on that site:

Comments 
5th-Jul-2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
Okie Dokie, is it fun?? Seems like dancing with glow sticks on strings is that kind of right?
5th-Jul-2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
yes, it's that sort of thing. i find it more artistic and less painful (ow, my eye!) than glowsticks on strings 8-)
5th-Jul-2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
It sounds different (and not in that bad way :). I am surprised I have never seen it. What kind of thing/event would one be likely to see it at?
6th-Jul-2005 01:36 am (UTC)
I think it's a regional thing, so mostly on the west coast. But I think it has been popular at circuit parties. Some people I knew even had a performance troupe that did flagging, and they got hired to do shows at events.

And yes, it's fun. It's also a bitch of an upper body workout, and very aerobic. Someone should market it as a weight-loss exercise program. The thing I like about it is that, as with haitian and african drumming, you can get lost in the music and the movement and end up in a trance. An old drumming buddy of mine did research into trance states, and found that drumming was a potent way to induce a trance. I can get there much more easily with drumming, but the flags can do it sometimes too.
5th-Jul-2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
Cute journal!
6th-Jul-2005 01:31 am (UTC)
Thanks. Are you really as much an alcoholic as your journal makes you seem? :-)
6th-Jul-2005 06:10 am (UTC)
LUSH!
5th-Jul-2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
LOL, I thought you meant flags like in a marching band or DCI.....lol
6th-Jul-2005 01:30 am (UTC)
One time, when I was at band camp, someone said those are called "short flag" and "tall flag".
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