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Bendymember
750 posts
Location: Adelaide, SA, Australia


Posted:
Wow - Just saw Alegria tonight - that fire twirler is cool! So very VERY fast!! He only worked with 1 or 2 short staffs (no poi
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) but still!! At one point he was actually letting go of the staff and keeping it spinning - like a throw, but without the staff changing height - like it was suspended mid air.Granted I haven't seen much staff work before - and I don't know if this is a simple trick, but it is impressive nonetheless!Awesome with the throws, and so smooth under the legs & btb. He also started with a single end lit on each staff and ignited the other ends by a)thrusting the staff forward, so the flame carried right down the length of the staff (2-3 feet), and b)by trailing on his leg, then using that flame to start the other. He also balanced the staff on his feet, the burning wicks sitting on his heels - ouch!He used a fuel that seemed to burn forever too - and the flames didn't diminish much even at the high speeds he was reaching. Anyone know what/why that might be??Josh/Katinca - did you two get a chance to meet up with him?? (there are 2 of them, but only 1 performed)------------------Well my thinking is this: if it's empty, fill it with cream

Courage is the man who can stop after only one peanut


Shouden-CrDSILVER Member
Veteran Member
495 posts
Location: Tampa, FL, USA


Posted:
How long did it burn? Sounds like just plain ole kero..CRD

-=razyRaverude=-


nomadBRONZE Member
retired
356 posts
Location: Paris, France


Posted:
I saw their show "Dralion" in August. There was a staff twirler there too and he was quite impressive. He could spin the staff without touching it with his hands. The staff would basically rotate on his back, on his arms, on his wrists, around his neck, but he would not grab it. Amazing!Nomad

Neekomember
68 posts
Location: Seattle, WA, USA


Posted:
Alegria is gonna be on Bravo in November, just so everyone knows (check out the Bravo website for times and dates). Apparently Cirque du Soleil's "O" also features a pretty sick fire show. I've seen pics and the looks like he might have poi, but I'm not sure.

emthrenmember
57 posts
Location: Sydney


Posted:
The fuel wasn't kero (at least, not the hardware-store stuff) since it didn't have that much smell or smoke. Might of been the high-grade aviation stuff though.What really got me wondering was what the wicks were made off... to me, it just looked like foam.Anyone know?

Maelstrommember
135 posts
Location: Akron, Ohio


Posted:
I used to work for Disney in Orlando, as a designer. Which realy has nothing to do with anything other then this...........Cirque du Soleil has a show there and because of this we can assume Disney is also helping fund them. Which is great for them because the creatures of the show get to push their art to it's fullest. However Disney is full of trade secrects they don't want anyone to know.(basturds) They make you sign your life away and swair to secrecy. So the fuel thier useing is more them likely something an Imagineer cooked up. More like a combination of things, including the wicking. Those people are expected to be the image of perfection (rightly so). Hence so are thier tools. Unless you can get the right person to talk we'll never know. I would be suprised to find out that even the people spinning know whats on the end of their equipment. They might know half of the formula but not the whole thing. After all the majic is only fun when you don't know the secret. ------------------Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with "normal" people.[This message has been edited by Maelstrom (edited 24 October 2001).]

Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with normal people.


audaxBRONZE Member
freelance bum
286 posts
Location: Upstairs, Australia


Posted:
Alegria is coming here in December. They do shows for a week here in Perth. Sounds very good, I must go. Gotta start earning some cash!

UYI wink OLDSKOOL


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
Maelstrom, Disney doesn't fund Cirque Du Soliel at all actually. They keep CDS completely seperate for copyright reasons. Disney contracted them in because the shows were so popular, which also explains why the tickets were more expensive there than just about anywhere.Cirque Du Soliel has it's own team of designers. What they do is accept people from auditions world wide for their various shows. They then have their designers redesign your costume, image and performance toys so that it fits into their show. They then hire in specific choreographers to work with you to fit you into the show. Rehearsals are at least 8 hours a day 7 days a week. Contracts are from 2 to 5 years with no vacations. You rehearse on days you don't perform or you travel all night so you can rehearse in your next venue. The people in the Cirque push themselves and are pushed to be the best. They have so much professional conceptual help that with that kind of work any of us would be that stellar.(can you tell I am a bit into the Cirque? And I also know an entertainment director at Disney.)Anyway, the show at Disney, "La Nouba", isn't pulling in as many as it used to and so might be closed or replaced.Touring World Wide currently is "Dralion" (in the style of the old Chinese circuses), "Allegria", "Saltimbanco", "Mystere", and "Quidam" (my favorite). In Disney is "La Nouba" and I believe that "Mystere" is on stage in Las Vegas as is "O" their "water" show.Many of these didn't have fire in them at the shows original inception, but now contain fire performers of all kinds. Yes, poi is in at least one show (he puts them in his mouth).My guess is refined Kerosene too, btw.If not that then high grade lamp oil.Best to all------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...https://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Posted:
I guess I'll have to go see CDS in some other country, the show they put on here in NZ was very dissappointing, just a standard if not substandard circus as far as technical skills and showmanship went. The only thing that saved it was the Asian contortionists and perhaps some of the fancy lights and costumes.That being said, I know of several performers who just rave about CDS, meaning it must have been a low key version that came through,or perhap they were plagued with injuries or something (shrug).Sounds like the fireguy being talked about here has improved or is a different guy, especially with his "Vegas style" staff throws which sounds really cool.(Vegas style is a form of club juggling where they are spun very hard and fast above the hands and seem to float in one place rather than being tossed upwards in the more common manner.)As to the fuel and wicks, If you have a large amount of kevlar (wide along the staff, not just thick) the buirn will last exponentially higher. This is because the larger the wick, the less % of it is exposed to the air and the less % of fuel can burn at any one time.Also, the fact that they were staves (my term for short staffs, like 3 feet or less) means the actual speed of the spins are lessened (like a record, the bigger it is the faster the outside turn during one revolution).I know he spun it very fast, which with big wicks on little staves, means as soon as the fire trails run into each other, any increase in speed is unnoticable to a non-firey.If it seems like I'm putting him down, I'm defititely not, the large wicks on short staves are very dangerous, much easier to hit yourself receive burn damage than a longer staffs and normal sized wicks.I have noticed that shorter staves definitely last much much longer than staffs, even with small wicks and this makes them great for lengthy performances.------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttps://juggling.co.nz

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CantusSILVER Member
Tantamount to fatuity
15,965 posts
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom


Posted:
Staves spin quicker than staffs any way. There's a mathmatical reason for this but don't ask me what it is. I paint pretty pictures. My dad and brother are the scientists.It's like big wheels and little wheels. Big wheels take longer to complete one revolution than little ones. ------------------C@ntus

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean


Posted:
Seisouso.netIts Cirque Du Soleil fan page, also with a message board and a handful of other fun stuff.

Shouden-CrDSILVER Member
Veteran Member
495 posts
Location: Tampa, FL, USA


Posted:
Those wicks could have been these...these wicks are definately on my list of "to buy"....

https://www.bearclawmfg.com/b_poi.html

PLURR
r

-=razyRaverude=-


Axismember
171 posts
Location: Bristol, UK


Posted:
CDS are not everyones favourites.

Here in the UK and abroad CDS 'spies' have been known to video performances (for example at circus schools) and steal original material.

They may be the highest profile circus around but it is circus 'Disneyfied'.

If you want to see circus and theatre blended together seamlessly and performed and produced with heart and passion I would recommend seeing French circuses like Cirque Baroque or Cirque Demain.

The best i ever saw was 'the Junebug Symphony' created by one of C Chaplins sons and recently in london. Passion and magic and originality. Very Highly Recommended (and i have seen a lot of circuses).

Axis.

adamricepoo-bah
1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA


Posted:
I recently saw the part of Alegria with the staff artist (on video). Quite extraordinary. He was able to keep the staff going in a perfect rotor by batting at it with two fingers each time it came around--no other contact. BTB catches on big throws. Smooth. Yeah.

His equipment was interesting. You can get a good look at it in the video, and it is clearly some pretty sophisticated machine-shop engineering. The wicks are shaped like bricks, with (apparently) metal brackets surrounding the wick on two sides plus the ends. The wicks are quite big, and bigger at one end. Despite this, the staves seem to be very light--this is just a guess, but they don't seem to have very much inertia, the way he's handling them.

I doubt they have any kind of amazing super-long burning fuel--I just don't think fuels work that way.

As Charles said, as wicks get bigger they burn disproportionately longer. This is the "square-cube law" in action--if you double the linear dimensions, you square the surface area, and cube the volume. More surface area=bigger fire; more volume=more fuel absorption.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


arashiPooh-Bah
2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx


Posted:
well, i saw alegria on bravo last night too and i have to say i was largely unimpressed. i know PLENTY of folks who are way better than that guy was. actually it was pretty inspiring, to think that most of the folks i spin with are good enough to be in "cirque"... but i already push myself every day, i don't think i want a contract job. plus i think our shows are way better than cirque, not so innocuous and THE MUSIC... i could never dance to that stuff! man, i need to get back on the road! gearin up for burning flipside coming soon! be there or stay bored! also... i saw one quick shot from a different angle/lighting where you could see lot sof smoke... looked like lamp oil to me!

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
arashi

1. All fuels have smoke. In stage lighting, which is drastic, the smoke is actually accentuated. I use lamp oil and can tell you that did not burn as lamp oil does. He produces a blue flame when he spin fast enough, which is indicative of a naphtha or alcohol based fuel. And I happen to like smoke and at some shows have had the smoke patterns also be applauded by people.

2. Do not judge a person by what you see in a video. Karl Sanft has amazing skill. In Cirque they are not encouraged to do absolutely original material, they are encouraged to do what is seemless and what is safe on stage. I have seen video footage of him off the stage, and his repetoire nearly triples some of the best twirlers I know.

axis,

And people have "ripped" off CDS. About that there are two things, the spy game is an old one, and has made many movies, it is no excuse. Two people can do the same thing different ways, as a spinner, you should know that. You learn from one and move on. And two, not everything is a rip off. There is simultaneous bouts of genious where two people who have nothing to do with one another create a same to similarly presentation/art/move at the same time. It happens all the time, and creates many hard feelings but is a truth to the world.
And if you watch Cirque and follow their theory closely, there is ****nothing**** in them, or most circus', that is original, nor do they claim it to be. The themes behind there shows are taken from circus' much older than they are and pushed a different creative end. The arts presented have been around for centuries. Alegria is based on the traditional Victorian Circus. Dralion on the ancient Chinese Circus, for example. CDS are not my absolute favorite, I can't say that I have one, but I admire everything about them greatly from the artistry which is presented to the work put in by everyone to the fact that simple street performers like myself turned things around for themselves and created this vision for more of us to expound upon and push even further.

There are things I do not appreciate or like in many areas of this world, but I recognise the time, skill and talent that goes into the creation and will appreciate that for all that it is worth.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Axismember
171 posts
Location: Bristol, UK


Posted:
Sure i appreciate the skill level and the high production values of CDS, but it simply lack the passion of some other circuses i've seen.

I also think that going in to circus schools and videoing people who are just starting out with the sole purpose of taking their ideas is unjustifiable.

Axis.

Axismember
171 posts
Location: Bristol, UK


Posted:
Sure i appreciate the skill level and the high production values of CDS, but it simply lack the passion of some other circuses i've seen.

I also think that going in to circus schools and videoing people who are just starting out with the sole purpose of taking their ideas is unjustifiable.

Axis.

Neekomember
68 posts
Location: Seattle, WA, USA


Posted:
Hmmm... I am curious to know about how it is known so definitively that there are 'spies' out there for Cirque.
I mean, did somebody go introduce themselves to one and they were like, "It's nice to meet you. I am a spy for Cirque du Soleil. I have come here to videotape and steal ideas from these helpless people. We are many, and you can do nothing about us."
And Pele brings up an excellent point. When it comes to the performing arts, people borrow material all of the time. In fact, one of the creators for Cirque (whose name escapes me) was interviewed concerning other troupes imitating them and taking their ideas. He simply responded by saying it did not bother him, because once an artist has performed their act, it no longer belongs to them. It has been given to the audience.

tim_marstonaddict
614 posts

Posted:
they ponce around to much for my liking i saw alegria at the royla albert hall and watched the crowd watch the show,the skills entertained but all that arm flapping and crap mechanical machine stuff left people talking and disinterested..........

as for the fireknife show compared to the other object manipulation routines they have to offer, it is of a very poor standard,you only have to watch victor kee or the mexican juggler off varekai to realise the fireshow in alegria is VERY average,
i also agree with arashi,i know many people who deliver more skills on stage AND have lots more technical stuff that is even harder that they dont yet perform,,,,

i left alegria feeling ripped off,give me and old bobby may or francis brunn routine over too much make up and far to much dancing anyday................my mum however loved all the arm flapping and dancing stuff and so i geuss they pleased someone

one last point cds performers do get holidays and some train for only a hour or two a day......................many people train equally hard as the cds people so lets not carried away with the publicity drive

FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
Can't match up with these experiences... I saw Allegria and L.O.V.E.D. it. The sounds, the sights - I had no feeling of getting ripped off... and so far I never had, when visiting "Cirque du Soleil"... maybe I'm too easy to be satisfied shrug

Point (to me) someimes is, that I also know people who might be able to deliver a "better" show... but they are far from ever getting professional. Why is that? Because they have zero discipline to train, zero discipline to even show up for a gig (in time) and even if they might be having a great act, they ruin it by trying to do things that are beyond their routine/ capability...

Especially in the fire scene I have met so many wasted talents and doofheads, who are not even able to show up for a photosession shrug

Therefore CdS (to me) is a dream factory that is able to maintain the magic of oldfashioned circus even to Playstation abusers... Yay for CdS (from me)...

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


tim_marstonaddict
614 posts

Posted:
i know many very committed disciplined fire performers both professional,semi-professional and amateur,i have done paid and free shows with many of these people and i believe this site and others are testament to their dedication and self discipline.

a common mistake with many performers of skills is to perform above there abiltity however i dont see this as lack of discipline more a lack of experience,

on top of a full time manual job i train every day in all weathers and spend all my holidays and much of my money on furthering my skills by training with other equally dedicated people,


as for the cds i am a fan of many of their acts and repectful of the huge amount of work put in by individual performers,its just to theatrical for my personal taste,

ado-pGOLD Member
Pirate Ninja
3,882 posts
Location: Galway/Ireland


Posted:
Alegria is easlily one of my favorite shows, along with Quidam. Granted I havent been to any of them. I own about 15 of their shows on dvd though. Granted again I'm sure they record multiple shows and only put in the best bits. They rarley come to ireland though, so thats good enough for me. Who wants to see the bad bits anyway? I think my setting the bar as high as they have, they open themselves up to alot of critisism when people dont get what they 'expect' from a world class professioanl theatrical fantasy circus. Go figure.

Anyone seen 'The Fire Within'? Its a not too bad documentary about a year of rehearsing and trining for a new show. Shows the trials an tribulations big brother style. Damn, they work hard. Very hard. And if they're not good enough, they get cut, just like that.

I wouldnt do it. But i would pay to see it.

As for technical skill and the Fire Dancer in Alegria. I've met alot of fire spinners, and i've yet to see anyone with as much stage presence as he had and I can bet you he was the highlight for many, many of the guys and gals sitting in the audience. Thats why he's in CDS and we're not...

smile

Love is the law.


TeeJaymember
75 posts
Location: Malaeimi, Am. Samoa


Posted:
What he was spinning were not staves - they were fireknives. These knives are made from machetes which have had the tips cut, hooks fashioned from the tip, and welded back on.
The wicks are usually made either of cotton towels or a material from Hawaii called Kanek. Fireknife performers won't use Kevlar because it holds too little fuel for the long burn times they need. My sons will use kevlar on the outside of their Kaneck wicks just for a little added safety in case the wicks break - they perform pretty close to their audience and don't want a piece flying onto someone's lap.
The fuel used by fireknife dancers is Coleman's stove fuel (AKA "White" Gas). All fireknife dancers that is, except for the ones in Western Samoa where they use regular unleaded gasoline as white gas is not available there.
If you want to find out more, and see pictures of the knives, go here: www.sivaafi.org or www.flamingsword.net
I haven't updated in a long time, but will be doing so this week.

Teejay

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