Modern Club Swinging and Pole Spinning -------------------------------------- Auth: Anna Jillings Publ: Butterfingers, UK Cost: GBP8.95 Form: 100 pages, A4, illustrated, glossy colour cover. ISBN: 095132408X Club swinging seems, like many other skills associated to juggling, to be far more popular in Europe than in the USA. It is, perhaps, no surprise then that the first books to come out on the subject in 80 years should both come from Europe (Ben Richter has also written one). The author of this book, however, acknowledges a debt to Allan Jacobs for his excellent club swinging video and also mentions Michael Moschen's influence. I think that club swinging, like diabolo and devil stick, is poised to take off in this country and all it needs is a little push - a good perfomance at a major convention and the means for people to follow and learn. Anna Jillings has been performing and teaching for about 4 years, both as a juggler and as a swinger. She is especially noted for her fire and UV shows (with Oxford's FireNoise and then with Cosmos in York) and her workshops at London's Circus Space. She has also been writing about the juggling scene for a couple of years and is the British correspondent for Kaskade. This combination of skills is readily apparent in the book which is clearly and logically set out into exercises developing from simple parallel arm swings through several varieties of snake, fountain and waist wrap. A final chapter on some basic pole spinning is almost an afterthought but gives a good taste for the skill. Perhaps more useful are the occasional remarks about similarities between some of the club and pole moves which crop up occasionally. The illustrator, Julie Wilson, has done an excellent job with clear and friendly diagrams where the moves are broken down into parts small enough to understand but long enough to give a sense of the whole movement. Each picture is immediately clear and self-explanatory, a point I consider not only beneficial but really vital for such a dynamic skill. Modern Club Swinging is written as a series of workshops which someone with no club swinging experience at all could follow. For those, like me, who can manage a few moves (mostly learned from Anna as it happens!), we can simply pick it up at a later chapter. There are a number of useful pointers about style and technique along the way and Anna's workshop experience really comes through in the text - she knows in advance what many of the problems will be. There's even a trouble shooting guide at the back, along with basic information on developing a show, mass swinging routines, and use of fire and UV (black) light. The book's overall design - from the glossy airbrushed cover to the bold print summaries of each move - is very attractive. A spiral binding would have made it easier to lay flat and study but it is a much more attractive book perfect bound. A very attractive and useful addition to any juggler's shelf - whether for performance, for exercise or for personal pleasure, club swinging has something for everyone.