Ivo has invested a lot of energy into contact flowerstick play. He has many videos with 3-flowerstick contact staff type moves.
Name: Ivo Alderliesten
Nationality: CZE / NL
Place of living: Czech Republic, Libčice nad Vltavou (It is a small village close to Prague. I'm the only active juggler here which is quite sad.
Job: Employee Services Administrator in a corporate company - basically I need to earn some money to juggle more
How many years have you been juggling with sticks? 8 years. Flowerstick and devilstick have been my first juggling props, nevertheless, I really started to juggle and become skilled 4 years ago when I met the community and visited my first EJC.
The number of devilsticks you have: At the moment I can count 14 + a broken one (RIP) but I probably would find more if I tried to search all closets.
Your juggling achievements (prize / performance / trick that you are proud of / etc.):
Hard to say, I've never really competed that much, just in some jolleystick competitions where I won some flowersticks. I've always dreamed of making a solid act (I'm still working on it!), but I perform very occasionally and I mostly improvise.
I do have a lot of tricks I made up especially with 3 flowersticks (in contact style) because there is just a few people who do this kind of stuff. I don't think I can highlight anything, it is kinda hard to describe these tricks.
Other types of juggling equipment you play with:
Basically everything - balls, clubs, rings, hat, cigar boxes, contact ball, staff, hulahoop, etc. It is easier to say what I do not juggle with: I do not spin poi - even though I have some basics and probably will give it a shot because of swing tricks - and also buugeng is not my cup of tea. My best secondary props are probably the hat and the clubs, and my ball juggling has something specific as well.
Are you a member of any team/group/club/association?
I sometimes spin and even have performed with 'Tribo Fuego' which is a fire group from Prague. At the moment I am about to work on an act with Tereza Picková who does hulahoop. She is also working on a clown project with me and Ricardo Praga - you might have seen some photos/videos of me as a mimo.
Please write some sentences of yourself in general:
"If I liked things simple, I would probably not be a juggler."
Why did you learn to use this juggling tool and where did you first meet with it?
Quite a time before I started to juggle/spin, a friend of mine got a flowerstick and I became quite interested in it. I learned a few tricks but nothing special.
Which trick did you find the most difficult to learn?
It is quite ironic but it was the fishtails. Now it is my main spinning pattern. I was taught them by a guy who was doing balances and showed me a balance trick that involved a single fishtail and at that point I finally got it. Oh, and 3 flowersticks contact cascade with kickups is my big nemesis - still not clean but on the way...
What are you practicing at the moments?
I do train a lot, like really a lot with lots of things. At the moment I am training flats with 3 flowersticks and clubs, I like to make contact combinations with flats as well some fishtail variations.
Do you have tricks that you invented?
Most probably. When you have juggled for 10000+ hours, you must have already invented some stuff. In fact, there is the "Ivo trick" with a hat that I invented when I started to juggle with a hat.
What are your favorite tricks?
Contacts!!! But I am not that picky in general, I am just not that much for spinning.
What are the most difficult tricks you can do?
You can't even imagine (and I even describe). It would probably be some kind of fishtail contact from hand to shoulder to back over the chest to leg contact. Sounds hard, remind me to make a video with this one!
What is the most difficult trick that you would like to learn?
I have a mess with loads of ideas in my head, I am still not skilled enough. The five-devilstick half contact / half thrown cascade - that is probably the dream trick. The 3 fishtail-cascade would be fancy too. But hey, sky is the limit! I will probably never sit down and say, that this is it. That is not my style.
In what style do you play and what other styles do you like?
After 4 years of doing flowersticks my best trick was probably the infinity, but after my first EJC in 2014, I explored contact moves and realized how cool they were. Since that day, I have basically tried contact stuff with all props but especially with flowersticks. I call my style a "Contact-Trap Style". I like adding some juggling and balances as well, but I quite neglect throws of the flowestick (ups with pirouettes ant that kind of stuff) or 2 and 3 flowersticks throwing. Lately, the 3-flowerstick/devilstick contact style became my favorite interpretation of stick juggling.
Do you play with firestick?
Yes, I do but I do not prefer it. There are a lot of tricks that are not possible or way too risky. And it is not visually pleasing to me either.
What do you do on a normal day, how many hours do you practice?
Sleep, eat, juggle. Sleep, eat, juggle. Sleep, eat, ju... no, unfortunately, I have some duties, I need to work as well. 3 hours at least.
How do you practice?
Lately, I have been trying to structurize my training but ideas sometimes come from freestyles.
Where do you practice?
At home, at the gym, on my way to work, at my friends' places, in the train... There is no mean of transport I have not juggled in.
Do you perform with devilsticks?
Time to time, I make a performance at some festivals or when I juggle for kids I mostly show a lots of props, flowersticks included, but I am not that much for performing, and also flowerstick is not the prop I like to perform a skilled performance with because of the lack of audience that would appreciate it.
How do you create your show?
I do not have an exact idea, sometimes I just listen to a song and imagine sequences, if the visualization seems possible I try it.
Do you teach juggling?
Not on regular basis, but I like to teach every time someone is interested, or when I see someone playing with flowersticks I stop by and try to teach something.
Why do you like devilsticks?
It is a universal prop. There are a lot of props in the juggling universe but the flowerstick is probably the most versatile one: you can spin it, balance it, make isolations rolls, contacts, juggling tricks or even some chain tricks. I am a passionate club juggler as well but sometimes having both ends the same size can open some other possibilities, as well it is not as long as a juggling staff so the tricks are more about how agile you are instead of how to have good timing with three 1m-long staffs.
What are your strong/weak points regarding juggling?
Strong point: I am able to contact nearly with everything.
Weak point: throws and catches - quite ironic for a juggler, isn't it?
How is juggling life in the Czech Republic / in the Netherlands? Are devilsticks popular?
This is hard for me but in the Czech Republic there is such a lack of people who are spinning. The people who were good at it, started to juggle other things instead, and do not juggle sticks anymore. I do not live in the Netherlands but I got the impression from the EJCs that it is much better there and I really admire some of them as well.
Tell us a funny story related to devilsticks.
Juggling is way too serious to me, sorry.
What is your goal related to devilsticks? What is a challenge for you?
Having a great act with devilsticks. I would love to be better at performing.
How do you imagine yourself when you are old? Will you still juggle?
Teaching my grandchildren how to juggle - yes, this is the vision.
Can you imagine not juggling devilsticks anymore?
Not really, I am already in such a serious relationship, I grew up with them.
Who do you recommend devilsticks for?
To every single being! Your grandparents do not juggle yet?
What do you advise to beginner/advanced devilstick players?
Take the tricks step by step, sometimes it is not that you have not repeated the trick enough, sometimes you just do it wrong. Every position of your hands, body, prop itself do matter.