China Plate Spinning

Pete, aka PeteZa, aka Chief does real China plate spinning as an act.

Here we are not talking about plastic spinning plates but real China!

He is one of the few UK performing plate spinners and together we can have a smashing time!

I only want to quickly talk about the act itself and move on to last weeks (end Feb 2015) plate spinning work at Edinburgh University.

Oftentimes it’s performed as a comedy plate spinning act involving lots of clowning; other times it may be a typical circus variety type presentation.

Circus Variety Plate Spinning Act.

You know the one… sequined circus artist rushing backwards and forwards placing and spinning  the plates on tall sticks aligned in a row, tweaking and speeding up the wobbly plates before they stop spinning and fall.

Comedy China Plate Spinning.

comedy plate spinning act plate juggling act

I prefer the clowning route as you can add more comedy with falling plates, far too tall sticks, bendy sticks, breaking sticks, and odd this like paper plates, juggling plates, plate manipulation tricks and a  much much more. Laughs and skills combined.

Team-Building and Corporate Analogies with Plate Spinning.

As a real china plate spinner, I have presented real China plate spinning acts for many different scenarios from pure circus entertainment in circus tents, parties, shows, Greek nights, Butlins etc to corporate presentations with the typical analogy of “how on Earth do you keep doing so many different tasks at the same time?”… Keeping all the plates spinning.  Here’s a business Leadership Analogy I have found on the web.

I have used plate spinning in training sessions, team building, exhibition stands, I have taught Microsoft graduate trainees, used plate spinning in training video for Arriva  Buses; Over the years so many different places.

plate spinner uk plate spinning for training video uk

There is more information and photographs of  PeteZa’s various spinning plates scenarios and how to book a plate spinning act here.

I thought I’d done it all.

Till last week!


Edinburgh university inaugural lecture by chris speed multi temporal experience of plate spinning

The Multi-Temporal Experience of Plate Spinning.

That was one topic in a great lecture entitled “The Random Lift and Other Algorithmic Stories”.
To be honest.. I’m still not sure what it means but I had great fun doing it!

I was asked by Professor Chris Speed at Edinburgh University; College of Arts, if I could do some plate spinning while he did his inaugural lecture to his peers at the university.

Say that again?… China plate spinning during a university professors inaugural lecture!…  Interesting!

Not knowing what it would involve, of course I said yes, flew up there, had a few days in Edinburgh and got on with it. (Thank you Flybe for allowing my plate spinning equipment on board, dismantled into a ski bag!)

plate spinning equipment plate spinning equipment

Chris had previously done a lecture in Paris in 1999 accompanied by a performer with plastic plates….. Pah!

This time he wanted to up the ante and add to the drama and confusion.

The point was it would be difficult for me, the audience and himself to concentrate and achieve, just like real life.  It would use multiple levels of brain activity.

Judging by the other topics in his lecture about connections, spacial concepts, random floor buttons in a lift, Internet and web algorithms, I think there was another very clever algorithm involved.

I didn’t hear much during the lecture as I was concentrating on performing, filming, taking photos, doing weird things, all in a far more random, arty way than normal.   Very much conceptual and non-circus but also ending in all the plates being spun, coinciding with the end of his lecture.  I think it worked very well and added to the dramatics of a very interesting and quirky lecture.

real china plate spinning plate spinning artist uk

For posterity it’s now on the Edinburgh University Inaugural Lectures website and YouTube video database.

Edited Plate spinning section of Video to come!  Or watch it in full here and learn something!  ( plate spinning approx 35 mins into it from memory!)

So, if you have any normal or random requests for a plate spinner for your event or for real China plate spinning, or with plastic, or a combination give me a call!