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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I was curious, what/who inspired you guys to get into swinging/fire?Also what inspires you when creating a "show" or routine?------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

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

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Not to brag on my town, but Austin is probably one of the top cities in the USA in terms of the fire-freak population, up there with San Francisco and Denver. So I've had many opportunities to see a lot of twirlers, and what I've learned is that almost all of them bring something interesting to the table. They all project a distinct presence, and ultimately, that's what I want to be able to do: project a certain presence, reveal a state of mind, convey a certain kind of energy. I don't know if I'm succeeding in projecting the presence I have in mind, or any at all, but that's my goal.I have only been freestyling so far, so no set routines.Without going into lots of details, I basically got into this because I used to be married to a firedancer, and one thing led to another.------------------Adam Rice :: www.fire-gear.com[This message has been edited by adamrice (edited 22 February 2001).]

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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bobrob


member
Location: currently in..... Perth WA

Total posts: 61
Posted:my ex girlfriend taught me!! i got the bug straight away, like you do
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as for shows and performances, i do poi purely for pleasure, and my inspiration is either music based or from another person to jam with. (music wise i poi to lots of types of tune, but twirling to the sound of drums is a really powerful catalyst......poi partner-wise, ability is not important, but having fun with it is!)mostly i improvise to suit the music, and i have various "groups" of trick to change mood, as for inspiration, i guess... the joy of it!
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great question, looking forward to reading some more eloquent replies...


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Posted:Good question, Pele! I've had the privelege of seeing some amazing fire performers. There was one in particular that showed me what fire was for me. My regular cafe in my old neighborhood, probably five years ago now, used to employ a couple of fire performers. One night, after a party there I think, they went out to the back alley to spin chains while a friend photographed. Like I said I'd seen a some amazing fire performers before. Maybe because it was closer up than I'd ever been before. Maybe it was the small intimate setting. Maybe it was all the right people at the right time. But one of these guys went from a regular walking around guy into deep meditation in an instant as soon as hit lit up and hit a horse stance. I was flabberghasted. "You can do that?! With that?!" , I thought. That was my inspiration. Creating routines. I struggle so much with that. I'm really given to improv when it comes to my work, so channeling that into a set piece is tough for me. I sometimes start with a feeling, an energy I want to portray. I sometimes start with a charactor. Sometimes it's a move. Sometimes it's a piece of music. It's always based on there's something there that can be explored and elaborated on. Diana

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Simos


enthusiast
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 382
Posted:hey
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...emmm i'll try and keep this short! emmm basically i was trying to invent (!) a new martial art using two thick pieces of wires that worked as whips!!! i made up a few moves that way (my back still hurts!!!
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) and then i saw a proper Poi swinger ( not using fire though) in a nightclub...i found it amazing and went back home trying to copy his moves with my 'whips'
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- two days after that i saw a Madonna video clip and in the background there was a proper fire dancer swinging a beautiful set of fire Poi!!! he was doing a weave - i recorded the clip and played it back 1000 times so that i could figure out how to do the weave...i started looking for more info on the web too and after a lot of searching i found out that it was called Poi and also found out about this site!!! the rest of the story you probably know Pele
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...happy swinging,Simos


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Simos


enthusiast
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 382
Posted:...oh and when i don't usually have a standard routine (although i should have!) - i like going freestyle and be inspired by the music on the spot when i perform (it's more fun that way but takes a bit of practise to be able to do it without messing up! - i am getting there slowly)...happy swinging,Simos

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Maybe it'd be nice if I answered my own questions huh?My love of fire has always been, as has my passion for performing. I used to watch magicians and fire eaters/walkers and be completely taken in. That's what prompted my start. I have been inpired by many though, Mephisto, Zoltan, The Daring Devilini's (Ren performers). Circus performers...especially Cirque du Soliel really inspire me.Swinging has been a solo adventure prompted out of curiousity and originally trying to frighten someone away from me. Then I found this site and my passion was *ahem* ignited. *g*------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

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

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Peregrine


member
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA

Total posts: 428
Posted:I did my bachelors degree in zoology in sydney at UNSW...during my honours year I was doing my field work (bird banding/banksia flower nectar measuring....fun! no really!) in the blue mountains. 1997-98, if you will recall, was a la nina and it RAINED! every single time I would go. so instead of camping at my site all the time i would stay at the YHA hostel in katoomba, where there was this guy jim and a bunch of other people who would do a fire show everyweek. so you can only watch for so long before having to learn...and i just got addicted and it got me through my thesis writing. I would go home to maroubra and spin on the cliffs and the beach and it would be happy. then i graduated and they kicked me out of the country and back to the states where I am the only one around who knows how to twirl, except for my brother who first learned when he came over to visit me in sydney.I guess i mostly get inspired to twirl on really nice nights, clear full moon nights, by cool music that gives you that happy ecstatic damn this would bea cool twirling song feeling. sometimes i can see where in the song i would do a certain thing but i have never really choreographed anything. I dont really perform in public, particularly. we have done it a couple of times here in town for first night and for a little festival the chamber of commerce put on when we were found out about by word-of-mouth. did it at my cousin's wedding which just about gave my mother and grandmother a heart attack... I am not generally a very demonstrative person...I have NEVER! done the belly-dancing thing for anyone but my class so far, because we're all in it for the fun and personal satisfaction of it, which is the same reason i do fire. in fact if i tell people i twirl fire they are usually really surprised because I am just not that extroverted or whatever it is they think a fire dancer should be like.anyway, thats what i do.happy twirlingPeregrine

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psychomonkey


member
Location: Kansas City, MO USA

Total posts: 148
Posted:Several local performers who do fire eating and jusggling(only fire performers in this part of the bi-state area)I wanted to learn fire eating initially, but could not find a willing teacher, and at the time seemed too risky. Looking around the net for info on it, when I ran across the JIS site on fire eating (juggling information services) they had a page of other fire acts, which is how I ran across staff which linked me to incendium, which linked me here. The video on this site, reminded me of some traditional spinners I had seen, inspiring me to go try it on my own (phew...)-PSM

One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.-Alphonse Bertillon

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Posted:The scary thing for me is, that I cant remember the first time I saw Poi in action...I'm guessing it was at a Trance Party, but I cant summon up the memory. I wish I could remember. I wish I could recognise that person and go up to them after all these years (perhaps 6?) say hi, and give em a hug. Tell them what they have done for me. but I can't. All I can remember is my girlfriend and I at the time thinking that Poi would be a cool thing to make / do. So we did.I do however know what got me into Fire Poi (as opposed to the more traditional kind), and that was Rainbow Serpent Festival 2000. I already knew how to twirl at a rudimentary level through my Martial Arts, and I had a fire staff, which I could go ok with...but there was this guy there, he twirled all night 1 staff, 2 staves, Poi - anything. This guy amazed me. I wanted to develop that kinda skill, even tho I didnt know if I could get there. I think I AM there now - but it's been a long year of training
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I was really dissappointed that he wasnt there this year. Oh well. there was one guy there this year however...more inspiration
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)Right now, I have to say that my main inspiration is my girlfriend. The way she twirls inspires me to practice. Not cuz she can pull out the crazyass moves, but because she feels the poi..and it shows. Speaking to you guys on this board also inspires me.In April we are going to Sydney to hook up with the Sydney fire crew who I'm sure are going to prove inspiring...
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After that we are going to Byron to track down the ellusive fire people. The best spinners I've ever seen by a long shot came from around there...After that...Its Burning Man in August. UK / Europe straight after that. Then perhaps New Zealand...the place where it all started.And I'm intending to meet up with as many of you guys as I possibly can too!
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)Well.There you go. A map of my inspiration from the past, to the forseeable future.Josh


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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:I have had a couple of friends (2)that have had staffs for a few years, but never did much with it, i had a play a few times but as they were only beginners couldnt really show me how to do anything and it never caught on in our group.Then last year i trekked up to byron bay for a week and stayed at the arts factory. And if u ever stay there (which i highly recommend) they have a fire show every friday night (which is amazing) and a lot of people there are very into twirling everything....So out of a byron trip i come with some practise poi and stumble across this site and since then my learning curve has been incredible.I get most of my inspiration to learn more and get better from the lovely people that i meet up with every week that are very encouraging and help each other in every way possible.Since i started playing with poi i have now made some great friends and together we're doing bigger and better things
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- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Drake


member
Location: Oakland, CA, USA

Total posts: 72
Posted:i was checking out an animation festival in/at berkeley and at the end this dude came out with green glowsticks and spunum around a bunch. i went home that night and rigged up a pair and have been at it ever since. that was about a year ago. i knew a few months into it that it cold be done with fire but i didnt know how. i had no idea that there were this many people out there who also did it until i did a search for some martial arts equipment (whip chains) and came across ths site and others. so once i learned a whole bunch from this site and others i made my first pair of fire poi and my first fire staff in september.DRAKE

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adrian


member
Location: sydney

Total posts: 58
Posted:wellif its got to do with fire then i do it, have done it or am going to do it. ive been in love with fire as long as i can rememberright back to my toddler years.i got into it fully about 5 years ago when my friend tought me to fire breath and ive been lurning new stuff since then. i used to work out ruteans but i found that the diff kinds of music you dance to determin the rutine, i just let go to the music and go nuts, half the time my eyes are closed so i cant see what im doing i just feel and the linkes between the diff moves come far more easier if your moveing to a beat...i thought i was pritty good till i saw finnon poi last night, my lurning curve went up heeps since i met the same ppl as frenzie last night...

ladies and gentelmen take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice...

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ykaterina
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: east randolph, VT USA

Total posts: 107
Posted:i got started from a co-worker, peregrine's little brother xestrel-the-lurker. he used to do it in the office all the time (unlit, of course) and it just looked soooo smooth.it came just when i'd been looking for something more meaty to replace dancing (which at the time was at various goth clubs - where the good music was - but i was really getting too old for that) and it turned out to be the perfect thing - also for meditation!besides...leave it to any boy to try something around me that i won't pick up and work my ass off till i can do it better...
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[i'm still in the working my ass off stage, in this case!]now we've gotten a group addicted and are planning our first performance for late april! wheee!


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crispyx


member
Location: Denver, Co.

Total posts: 53
Posted:I've been a performer of one sort or another since I was nine. Fire performance has always amazed me but it took a long time to find good teachers. I first saw Poi performed about a year and a half ago. Two guys did a performance at a noise show using poi made with very heavy chains, huge wicks, and metal t-handles. Although it wasn't as graceful as what most people do it was massive and unlike anything I had seen done. I started looking harder for someone to train with and finally ran into a group getting geared up for Burning Man. Through them I finally found out it was called poi and found this site. For performing I generally just go with the music. The only time I plan is when spinning with the fire troupe, we'll do synchronized and mirrored stuff for about half of the routine then just break off and do our own thing.

How is it ever possible to feel safe and secure in a world in which everyone dies?

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Mags The Jedi
GOLD Member since May 2004

Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK

Total posts: 2020
Posted:bounce



Bumpety bump



I started swinging poi and fire poi on the 27th May 2003 at my ex-girlfriends birthday party. The first poi i used were bits of material with lentils in them, tied up with string. I got cuts on my fingers from the string. Heh.



At first, I was so scared with fire that I couldn't even cross my arms!



devil


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Wow..now this is history!

Funnily...my inspiration has still not changed for just the spin, though I find alot of inspiration from my students now as well.



For performance creativity, I never did answer the question.

My inspiration for show creativitycomes from every where...nature, music, art, history, etc. though I must admit I am most inspired by literature for this.



I'd also like to say that sometime inspiration comes from what not to do or be...that is what Zoltan was to me, btw. wink



Cheers!


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

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mtbeer
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

mtbeer

ARRRR!
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Total posts: 529
Posted:Old threads rule.

I've always been partial to fire but what inspired me to start swinging poi was a regional burn here in NC and a remarkable fire artists that goes by the name Riz. Some here know him and there is still bad blood but I hope those past differences can one day be laid to rest.

As far as show creativity, I like to take the road less traveled. Go way over the top and blow peoples minds. Make the conservatives cringe and the free thinkers cry with laughter. Life without fun is like an ocean without water.


"My skin is singed but it heals my heart and with glowing pride I'll wear my scars." -Davey Havok

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