Globe Theatrical Supply Resource Center 712/255-0972
Return to INTRODUCTION. View PRODUCT CATEGORIES directory.
All GTS files are intended for customer printout for easy reference. If you encounter difficulties, consider the following.
General information is usually in paragraph format and should wrap when
printed. Most product lists are columnar or tabular. The column
listings should wrap but may be lengthy. To more compactly view on
screen or in printout try selecting from you WEB browser "View, Text
size, Smaller (or Smallest)". This will present more copy per page.
Also, more copy per page will be printed by selecting "File, Page
setup, Margins" and reducing the four margins. If the tables do not
print full width (the right edge is lost), select "File, Page setup,
Landscape" to provide wider paper.
If combining these layout changes does not result in useful reference copies, let us know.
The information below is commonly requested or found useful for specific product use or performance applications.
Floating ("Dancing") Cane
Heavy-duty Dance Barre
FLOATING ("DANCING") CANE
The Floating Cane illusion presents "hands off control" while
the airborn cane floats, swings, circles, precariously balances,
angles, and lays sidewise. The following description is an inexpensive
amateur device with limited capabilities and is intended primarilly for
Using a PCBl7376Parade
Cane, remove the plastic head cap and vinyl tip-cover, determine the
mid-length and drill (using the smallest available drill bit) a
horizontal diameter hole through the cane, and a centered vertical hole
(for a 2-3" long, tip diameter head, panhead screw) into the tip. Screw
in the tip screw and replace the vinyl tip-cover. The cane is now
ballasted (tip-heavy). A monofilament (transparent fishing line) loop
is the primary float control. Heavier weight (larger diameter mono) is
stronger and more comfortable to handle, but also, more visible -
select filament weight based on audience proximity and effects to be
used. Insert monofilament through horizontal hole and tie into a loop
about 2" above top of cane, then rotate loop to hide knot in or near
cement the openings. Replacing the original plastic cap with a rubber
furniture leg cap enables improved handling control. Hanging by the
monofilament for a day or two will eliminate the tendency for the mono
to recoil. This basic
construction permits swinging, horizontal and vertical circling, and
mock "balance" effects. Other effects require a second loop and/or
magnets; if interested - ask.
The following descriptions are for right hand use; reverse if desired.
Unless otherwise specified, the base of the middle finger remains in
the loop during effects. With the finger un-looped nearly any standard
cane handling is facilitated: passing, tossing, balancing, twirling,
tapping, various floor bounces, etc. Commonly, a routine begins with
standard handling, then progresses from subtle to more aggressive
effects - "keep the audience guessing". The following effects sequence
is intended to build skill level, not as a routine sequence.
(Cane remains steadily balanced during vigorous activities.) Slip
mid-fingers through loop, invert cane with cap on palm and fingers
extended, allowing vertical cane to rest on hand while supported by
spread loop. Better control can be acheived with loop around backs of
finger knuckles with fingers spread but slightly bent as though ready
to "catch" toppling cane. Perform dance slides, hop-overs, turns,
etc. while cane remains "balanced".
(Sidewise, circular.) Hold head of cane with thumb and forefinger
maintaining loop tension, "rock" head from side to side then in a
horizontal circle while tip remains "in place" ("scribing" an inverted
cone); gradually slow the
movements until the cane appears to be trying to defy gravity. Stopping
the cane in a tilt, place the forefinger on the top of the cap while
removing thumb and extending fingers, then walk in a circle around the
"floating stuck" tip while maintaining the tilt, then raise/lower and
otherwise "travel" the cane while sustaining the tilt - "act
surprised/confused" as though the cane is self-propelled. Plan the
dance staging to counter the cane effects, giving the impression of
(Side to side, forward to backward, each diagonal.) Straighten fingers
palm down and practice controlling head of cane with finger tips,
releasing to one or more swings in controlled directions, then move arm horizontally to match swing speed and smoothly
"catch" the head with finger tips.
(Horizontally, vertically.) Horizontal circles are the swing control
modified circularly. Vertical circles are acheived by contracting
non-supporting fingers into palm, then swing upright cane upward to
circle around supporting finger(s) so that the tip passes over the hand
and cane continues to starting position. Some find it easier to support
with forefinger, two fingers, and/or with loop around second finger
knuckles. Execute with a smooth arm swing preparation for circle, end
with either a swing past hand and "catch" cap on return swing or allow
swing to elevate until mid-cane is level with hand then tug loop to
"snap" cane to hand for mid-cane catch.
(Airborn cane bounces, sways, and "partners".) Careful
coordination of dance with cane effects will produce a natural "duet".
Many additional "dancing" effects require one or two magnets, commonly
on the unsupporting hand wrist and the front of the waist ("belt
buckle"). A small opposing magnet, imbedded under the cap or in the
head of the cane, permits the nonsupporting hand waving above the cane
to rhythmically "musically direct" the cane while not moving the
supporting hand. Raising the supporting hand to shoulder level, and
"grasping your partner's invisible hand", allows the tip to be
attracted to the "belt buckle" and follow hip movements; while, with
the other hand "behind your partner's invisible waist", a
"ballroom dancing" effect may be acheived.
The above is intended only as an introduction, providing some insight
into the apparatus and associated illusions. Depanding on hand strength
and cane rigging, not all effects may be functional. Practice various
sequences and combinations of the above effects and experiment with
other maneuvers, cane design modifications, and performance
applications. Smooth, effective control isn't easy, but it's
interesting - have fun!
HEAVY-DUTY DANCE BARRE
This design is offered for anyone desiring a "nearly
indestructible", semi-permanent dance barre. It is made using all steel
pipe and matching fittings. The first units were installed in 1965 and
continue in use with several additional units periodically later added
at various studio locations; as well as, use as a maintenance bench
rack for stage lighting fixtures. Thus far one floor flange required
replacement (stripped threads) and one barre weld required rewelding
(fractured during relocation transport). They have been used by
students ages four through adult, including men during self-supporting
battu training and women to learn seating placement for pas de deux
shoulder sitting. The listed dimensions were initially cooperatively
determined with the assistance of a structural engineer and proved so
functional that they have been consistently duplicated; however, they
are easily modified should your needs require. The longest units were
planned to be hauled sloping from a pickup truck bed to above the truck
cab; but, by coupling barre pipes, any length is possible with pipe or
vinyl end caps covering end pipe threads. Cleaning the pipe is
essential, painting optional.
The supports are ¾" pipe, shaped (using a pipe bender) through
approximately 20" forming a 90º continuous bend and secured to the
wall and floor with 3" diameter, 4-hole pipe flanges. Wood lag screws
or masonry lag bolts/anchors are usually satisfactory; however, bolting
through light partitions may require a strip of 1" thick reinforcing
lumber and pressure distribution washers on the partition wall opposite
the barres. There have been no problems with support spacing of 6' to
The barres are 1½" pipe welded to the supports. The top barre is
centered 13" from the wall, the bottom barre 17". The barre centers are
approximately 10" apart along the support bend. Barre ends extend about
10" beyond nearest support. Barres have been constructed off sight and
later installed; but, although requiring a portable welder, any major
out-of-square wall/floor alignment problems are avoided by installing
the supports then clamping and welding the barres. The ¾"
supports are sufficiently flexible to accommodate minor room
Over the decades this design has been offered in response to dozens of
requests for durable barres; however, if, at any stage or with any
element, you are in doubt regarding structural or safety efficacy,
consult an appropriate constructor or engineer.
For information about stock wall and free-standing barres, see DANCE BARRES.
Ultraviolet (UV) lighting permits performance effects in the dark or
near dark by using non-visible radiation to activate UV responsive
pigments. Fluorescent (UV responsive pigments, as opposed to
phosphorescent pigments) require persistent UV illumination - no UV, no
"glow-in-the-dark". Fluorescent pigments are available in a wide
variety of vivid visible (bright under non-UV lighting) and more
subdued invisible (transparent under non-UV lighting) colors. Many
colors may be available in various mediums (water, latex, oil), as well
as, materials (paint, dye, makeup, fabrics, trims, papers, etc.)
permitting nearly any set, prop, costume, or makeup application.
Ultraviolet light is available from UV lamp sources or the use of UV
filters with other light sources. Because filters attempt to remove all
unwanted light frequencies, sources not dominantly near or immediately
above the limit of the human visible spectrum produce very little
output. For very large venues, mercury-vapor lamps provide high output,
wide throw, and long throw coverage but are expensive and require
substantial amperage. For most applications fluorescent lamps are a
more functional source. Because the phosphors in fluorescent lamps are
activated by UV radiation, the traditional performance lamp is the 4'
medium bi-pin F40T12/BLB
blacklight blue which, when not lit, appears nearly black, and when
lit, produces nearly invisible dark violet. Blacklight blue lamps
are available in several sizes from a few inches to 8 feet. The very
economical F40T12/BL (blacklight) is the same lamp without the
BLB internal blue-black visible light filter. When not illuminated it
looks like a cool white lamp but when lit emits a mild visible
lavender, as well as, largely UV output.
As with most performance lighting applications, UV should be mounted
overhead for best performance area coverage. More importantly it should
be understood that ultraviolet radiation is harmful to the eyes and
therefore should never be put in the performers' or audience sight
lines. While this does not prohibit the up stage use of floor units
behind ground rows to light backgrounds or sets, UV footlights or side
lights should be avoided.
Children on stage during a blackout may prove problematic. If
complete performer invisibility is not required, using BL (unfiltered)
lamps permit the children to more safely navigate their surroundings.
For a vibrant background consider UV lit upstage with low speed fanned fluorescent slit-drape while performing under moderate down stage lighting.
UV set pieces to open a scene in blackout are not only striking,
but can provide a limited introduction to a scene which, when generally
lit, includes a more complex array of non-UV pieces. This is an
excellent technique to introduce a fantasy theme.
Visualize abstract animations under BLB. Consider ribbon wands, capes, lengths of chiffon, "disconnected" hats, hands, shoes.
Need fluorescent gloves or other "white" fabric? Rinse them in bluing, which is fluorescent dye.
IN PASSING: Because shorter (higher frequency) waves are more
easily redirected, the atmospheric dispersion of the violet and
ultraviolet sunlight waves produces the blue sky.
Series Fixture Design
A few commercial UV fixtures are listed with SPECIAL EFFECTS - ULTRA-VIOLET.
For occasional personal use, an inexpensive alternative are 4'
fluorescent shop lights with UV lamps. 4' fluorescent lamps provide
only 40 watts output, encouraging the use of several dual lamp fixtures
to provide a reasonable effect across the width of a stage. Common,
inexpensive fluorescent ballasts should not be powered by a dimmed
circuit; so, if the available dimmers cannot be converted to "switch"
(non-dimming on/off) mode, a stage wall outlet may be used. To
facilitate easy simultaneous multi-fixtures control, the shop lights
may be rewired with male and female power cords, allowing series
connection of several fixtures controlled at a single power source.
Although the above graphics are of one brand of single lamp fixtures,
anyone with functional electrical capability should be able to
accommodate the design concept to other dual lamp fixtures. If in
doubt, consult an electrician. Sorry for the poor graphics quality.
When time permits they will be improved. Until then, if assistance is
desired, contact GTS.
The above design uses 15 amp 3-wire electrical cable and 5-15 PBG (15
amp parallel blade grounded household type) in-line male plug and
female receptacle, but twist-lock or other connectors may be
substituted. The fixture end plates include "knock-outs" for electrical
conduit or strain reliefs, the latter here securing the cables. The
male cable in this design is cut to 5'6" with a 3' "pigtail" outside
the fixture. The female lead is 3' with 1' exposed. This spaces in-use
fixtures about 3' to 3½' apart after looping joined cables
The internal connections are:
Wire nut the 2 cable white wires to the white lead from the ballast.
Wire nut the 2 cable black wires to the black ballast lead.
Drill an adjacent small bolt hole through the back of the fixture, sand
off any enamel around inside of hole, attach ring terminals to the 2
green cable wires, (from the exterior) push a bolt through the fixture,
place the ring terminals on the bolt, cover them with a washer, then
lock down with a nut.
The external connections are:
Install strain reliefs in knock-out holes, place cables through the knock-outs, and secure cables, with strain reliefs.
Attach in-line plug and socket.
Use a volt/ohm/milliamp meter or multi-meter to test continuities and for shorts. Install lamps and test.
Also, if desired:
NOTE: Drilling holes near the ends of the back of the fixture allows mounting C-clamps (use washer inside
fixture). Because 40 watt illuminated fluorescent lamps remain warm
(not hot), a mesh screen or two or more loops of synthetic cord or
insulated wire may be gently wrapped around the body and lamps, serving
as safety lamp retainers should a lamp be shaken loose while being used
on a fly system.
As always, if in doubt, hire an electrician.
Return to INTRODUCTION. View PRODUCT CATEGORIES directory.
This file was partially updated 4/26/10.