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Forums > Social Chat > Article - Douse It: The exhausted art of fire dancing

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:Ok, did anyone see this one!

Check out this article.

While the author has a point or two (especially about safety), I'd still like to smack her upside the head with a flaming wick (or two) for being such an arse about the way she said it (probably didn't really need to be said anyway).


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:Thanks for posting that, hun

hmmm... I am not sure what to think of it , I mean except that the journalist is arrogant and trying to sound cool and funny, she has more than one valid point.

a) it's Seattle and this article would never happen in Paris, where the fire scene is still so small... I don't know if from the outside it does not get tiring for random people to encounter fire artists all the time (never is for me though )
b) yes ... some shows / performances are a bit ... snobish in an undergroundish way and that can get annoying
c) it is a fad at the mo, can't deny it ...

otehr than that ... *yawns* I'm bored with bored / cynical people

will re-read it and give it a second though in a while. am looking forward to people's input and feedback on that though

shine on
cassandra


"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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pozee
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

old hand
Location: san diego

Total posts: 886
Posted:wow. quite an approach. the author does put it in a blatently rude tone. i think the rudeness is directed at the people who think "i can do the easy stuff now lets go and make some money" they obviously dont understand what it takes to make a true performance which is sometimes overlooked. actually it is very often overlooked.

hmm...

honestly i like it. not that i agree with everything that is said. but i look at it as some good constructive criticism. stepping back and looking in from the outside.

one quote that i payed special attention to which definately rings some truth was

"Sadly, the more experienced performers are drowning in the sea of amateurs."

now yeah i know that is kind of mean and why shoudl anyone think they are better than the next, but something that kind of irks me is this.
some of us spend COUNTLESS hours preparing skits, choreography, costumes, getting good quality props and stage help. we dedicate a lot of our money and time to really put on something that is worth paying for and worth seeing. we do everythign the right way with permits and safety checks. and then we go to an event and someone is getting paid 3 times what we are asking for half the production. they have no experience in the way things are supposed to work (fire codes) and they just do the weave really fast.

well if i came across to be mean please do not take it that way. i wish all the people out there that have jsut started, a long and prosperous road of fire performing...


anyone got a light?

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Thought it was a good article and made some valid points.

Don't think that author was trying to take away from people who genuinely love poi, just yawning at the excess of poor poi performers, especially those who think sexy moves while playing with fire, while not caring about safety and innovation entitles them to earn loads of moula.


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Actually, I like the article too.
I clicked on the link ready to read through and fire off with all guns blazing, but I agree with pozee that the rudeness is directed towards the more unprofessional spinners who want to make some money.

Plus, an article that ends with
quote:If I wanted to watch nipples and open flames, I could have stayed home with a lighter and a mirror and saved myself some moneycan't be all bad


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:i must say that i feel it was a really intelligent and poignant, albeit negative, article. it is the bad side of what is happening to this art; i have had these same feelings, at times of frustration. there are good sides, other ways to see things, as well. fire dancing IS the new yo yo in america, and believe me i've seen the negative effects of the popularity explosion/ego pandemonium- but i feel like it is evolving beyond that too. as more people get better and better i am actulally seeing a lot of beautiful things happen. people are creating gorgeous art, and the older fire dancers are inspiring the newer to greater depths, and vice versa.
austin has a large population of fire dancers as well, per capita rivaling the large cities like seattle or san fransisco. and you wouldn't believe some of the things i've seen beginners do. dumb things. reeeeal dumb . but i also see everyone evolving, and soon there will be entire schools of training and safety, and styles, and guilds, and grandmasters, and everything else that happens when things become culturally popular. and people will know good practiced and skillful art from the thrown together- shirt off- writhing- basic stuff right away, because they have seen it before. hey, we started doing this because we love it, right? it's a real shame when i see talented people stop fire dancing because something becomes popular. okay that's a tangent nevermind .
anyway, i'm going to keep doing this no matter what some random beginner does, or if they get a gig that i wanted and they can only do the forward spider. so i try not to focus on that stuff. besides, if you are good, and spend time doing what you do, then every person who picks some poi or staff up as a hobby will be one of your most avid fans . people who REALLY like kung-fu movies have usually taken kung-fu, even if only for a few classes. so even the amateurs help the elders by increasing awareness of the art form.


-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.

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:ok B-monkey, you made me laugh on that one.

more than anything, the title of the article got my hackles up. Like I said, some good points, but I'm with Cassandra on not liking the attitude the article was written with (along with the blantent name dropping - "see, I know all the cool people!")

I did, however, defend the article to the friend from portland who sent it too me all hacked off about it - so I guess I'm not sure where I sit on the subject really. I guess that is why I posted it here.

What I really I want to know what clubs just let you light up your wicks in the middle of a dance floor! You are lucky if you are allowed to spin glow in a club in Houston!

Where's the fire marshal when you need him?!?


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:it was a good tangent though Arashi. Keep it up.

the talented will survive!


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:okay anybody that actually read that entire novel of a post gets an ice cream cone

-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.

Delete

Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:I'll have a wild strawberry ice cream then, sweetie

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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pozee
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

old hand
Location: san diego

Total posts: 886
Posted:pralines and cream please...

anyone got a light?

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tennis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

confused and abused
Location: bristol

Total posts: 363
Posted:RIGHT there's only one thing for it remember these things:
Who am i dancing for? Hopefully the answers you.
Can i change the fact that poi is getting more popular? No
If others are critising something you love doing then fuck them, give her the poi and say play. As for the fact that poi is becomming mundane and routine i think the writer was correct and the use of space in clubs wasd correct too but i took this in a way i think we should all try to (sounded vain didn't it! )But if we want to perform We NEED to develop our own individual style of dancing. It's true anyone can read a diy manual and learn the fundementals of poi in a week but no-one will ever perfect the art of poi until there is nothing more to learn and tweak.

We should all strive to make our dancing reflect our personality and release it whether it be cocky, poetic, risky or any other mentality.
And if people are getting bored of what they see learn more or go and perform somewhere else.

owee i have blisters on my pinkies from typing soo fast so i'm going to stop now.

x Tennis x

'Don't fuck with me i have the suncream.'


My cat's breath smells like catfood

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:oh, cass, cass, you are SUCH a wild stawberry girl, aren't you?


-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.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I was wondering how long it would take for this to make it's way here.

Anyway, this faddist idea has happened all over the world. Talk to performance groups in Aus, some in England, Texas, California, Florida and you will see this has happened in more places than just Seattle, and it does make it difficult for the die harders as well as the performers.
I think the article was spot on. I think it reported the truth, and in journalism there is no candy coating anything. The author wasn't harsh or rude, just telling what is blatantly obvious to many.
And Cassandra, not to argue but this can happen anywhere, just give it time. One of my friends in Aus never thought it would become faddist in the town his production company is based out of, but it is now on every corner with spinners out there like beggars in a subway. This type of thing is the very reason why safety boards and fire performer groups are being formed around the world. To ensure safe teachings and practices, and to not saturate the market with "will do it for beer" spinners. I think there is a HUGE difference between a performer and a backyard spinner who thinks they can make a buck, and this article brings that into light.

In my opinion, everyone who wants to spin should, just many shouldn't try to make a career out of it. It isn't a fast buck, it's alot of hard work. Stepping out after a month of spinning because a person can do a butterfly and a weave just brings down the quality of artistry and craftsmanship of those who are dedicated to presenting a well crafted, well rounded and thought out presentation.

Unfortunately this has caused some debate amongst the Seattle groups themselves on who really is good and who is faddist. I disagree with some of what the author said about good groups vs. not so good. I hope that peace and understanding can be found in those who took offense to this article.


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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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:arashi, sign me up for a vanilla with rainbow sprinkle and that raspberry dip that gets hard!
<< it's a lick!


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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FireMikeZ


FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US

Total posts: 1438
Posted:This article is a proper challenge we're already facing in the reality of our place in the world:

who's gonna step up to the next level, as public expectation grows in sophistication just like in tunes, tv, xtreme sports & olympic skillz? . . .

while all who are called by the flame should, with our help and love, enjoy fire in whatever simplicity warms them.

and i've been giving props publicly to Seattle for being left coast spin city. it's risen to reach the next wave, who will rise?

thanx for deep thought especially from arashi (orange pineapple, please) & pele on this

and all you rest of my family, yo on your honest reactions!


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:Ok Arashi,

I don't really care about the flavor (buttered pecan is one of my favorties though), but I *am* going to collect! Maybe this weekend at soupthang! if you are back from the West Coast yet. If not, then I'll hound you till Flipside if I have to!

-v-


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:dudes, i heard that someone wanted to be funny and renamed southang to soustock...?!??
dammit u texans get so lucky!
/attempts to pout but only gets as far as cupboard


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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SmallBoy - x


SmallBoy - x

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London

Total posts: 2737
Posted:"Stony faced and serious"???????

Sorry but I like to smile & I enjoy what I do...

FUCK THEM.....FUCK THEM RIGHT IN THE EAR -

OK they suck....and they aren't very good at it, so what's new....."reporter makes dick of him/herself" isn't a new headline.

But serious points made, if you're not that good....don't go performing as a career as it does bring down the artistry a little.
But if you's just having fun.........have fun.

Hugz & Fluff peeps - x


Small Lardy Person In Disguise

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:Are you being facetious or what Bender?

The full title of Soupthang! is something like:

"Soupthang!: the event formerly known as Soupstock"

I wasn't in on the discussion why they changed it, but they did.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Nyx


enthusiast
Location: NorCal

Total posts: 385
Posted:Arashi...you can bring me some Ben & Jerry's Butter Pecan when you come visit!

I also have mixed feelings on the article...the journalist is obviously trying a little too hard to be cutting edge but she makes valid points. At Burning Man i did not spin around the man the night of the burn. Why? Well, as Master Sodium could probably tell you i basically was wishy-washy about the whole thing all week....i was, then i wasn't. The reason being mainly because i was overwhelmed at the sheer number of people doing it! The place was saturated and, not being part of a troupe i thought why one more? Add to that the fact that I did sense quite a bit of snobbery among many of the spinners...i wandered around alone most of the time and let me tell you except when i spun with people i already knew not one spinner attempted to be outgoing...not one "where ya from?". Even when i approached them they were cool at best. So why would i want to spin with 400 of them? I half-heartedly did the desert show-me with Crimson, i got in, i watched instead.
In fact, i didn't spin much at all at Burning Man, guess a part of me felt that some people might be feeling the way the journalist does and with so many people spinning, were sick of it. Maybe if i were with a troupe or had some really sick moves i would feel different ... Bottom line i spin because it makes me happy to do so .... if i'm going to perform i intend to give the audience something worth watching other than nipples.

I have no idea what the real point of this rant was, but i don't usually rant so i guess i'm entitled to one, eh?


"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals"

~Charles Baudelaire

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:I was the same way at Burningman Nyx. I also have to agree that out of all the people I met out there, the only ones I met with a less than good attitude were fire poi or staff performers (same way last year too). Not that they all were that way, I met several that I was quite pleased to hang out with, but several others were just plain pretentious S.O.B.s despite the fact that I could out-spin them with two hands tied behind my back (though I never let on that I was a fire performer myself if I didn't like them).

As I said in another post, I only spun fire twice while I was at BRC, both at the specific request of people who had seen me do it at previous burns and wanted to see it again. The way I do fire at Burningman is as a gift to someone I've met and liked a lot - I keep it personal - not for public consumption.

Besides, it is too difficult to organize a crew to go out and just perform on the playa - too many distractions to get that accomplished! Most other talented spinners that I know were out there didn't do much fire either - it seems only those new to the art are so gung-ho about lighting their wicks all night every night at BRC (and missing all the other fun!). I know fire play too well to want to spend my time at BRC doing it much.

Foretunately it is not the same story at our region Texas burn here in Texas (Flipside, over Memorial day weekend). At that event, the talent literally crawls at of the woodwork and sets itself afire! And basically if you act like an arse, no one will let you spin.

One last thing - I never had any desire to do fire around the man before the burn - no way I am staying sober until the man falls! you got to be kidding me!


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Yeah, well, that's bound to happen.

The author is most likely either an ex-spinner who was an attention hog and decided that having that many spinners around stole his/her thunder OR a non-spinner who is envious of spinners and is trying to compensate.

Honestly, if you don't like to watch fire spinning, more power to ya. Simple solution: when someone lights up, don't watch.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Bram....


member
Location: the arms of the Ganja Goddess

Total posts: 1551
Posted:I am afraid I have to completely agree with the author. Especially when you hear about people doing it with no sfety around. I mean if you are doing it on the beach, ok fine to not have an extinguisher, you have the bloody water a stones throw away. But when you don't have any form of safety around and you are performing on the street, this is how the horror stories of fire performing get started. This is how it could be banned. Think about how people would act towards us if they heard on the news that a performer had set a viewer accidently on fire, couldn't put it out, and the person later died in IC from extensive serious hardcore burns.

Face it, with this big wave of spinners, this will happen. You look at most people on this site, and they waited til they had moves mastered and could transition them perfectly before they light up. Then there are these people who are completely self taught (nothing against that, as I am self taught) who go out and spin fire 1 day after they can do a weave for 2 sec. before it screws up. Sooner or later someone is going to get seriously hurt because of negligence.

It was the same way with skateboarding, in the late 90's, with it being the big craze. Now if you talk to your grandparents, they think that skateboarding is an extremely dangerous sport. Why? Because of all the kids who took it up to be cool that now have massive scars from bailing out and getting hardcore raod rash. Fear these people as they will be our undoing if they are not stopped


You. Its whats for dinner!

As time passes, you realise all the mistakes you amde and the ones you wish you never did make.

The wave crashing on the beach

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Kabukiman


member
Location: Washington, USA

Total posts: 42
Posted:I kind of feel a little bit trashed by the article. I first saw poi being performed at a mass rave and was completelly awe-struck by it's beauty. As one could imagine I was ecstatic when my friend told me he was learning how to do it and would show me how to get started. I suppose this article touches me close to home because I am self taught and still a newbie (only spinning for about four months ). I do like the part about the toplessness. I strongly believe that to correctly perform fire, one should be able to impress the audience with their finess and skill rather than their flesh (there are clubs designed for dancing naked that don't require that you put your skin ot risk of burning and dancing naked should be perfomed there). I take offense that the author is talking to everyone who has picked up a pair of poi and decided to swing them within the past year. I believe I shall grock this concept when I arrive at my place of residence, but I will never put my poi down for anyone other than myself. I love it way too much.

I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.

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Nyx


enthusiast
Location: NorCal

Total posts: 385
Posted:quote:As I said in another post, I only spun fire twice while I was at BRC, both at the specific request of people who had seen me do it at previous burns and wanted to see it again. The way I do fire at Burningman is as a gift to someone I've met and liked a lot - I keep it personal - not for public consumption.Yes, that's perfect! I really relate to that concept. You do realize next year we have to hang at Burning Man!
I have to say that i've noticed (no offense to anyone living anywhere else!) that the Texas people on this site are universally friendly and cool! I have a fire spinning friend here in CT who moved here from Austin a year ago and both he and his wife are real sweethearts also. Hmmmm, maybe when i'm done with California i'll head to Texas for a while! Any of you Texans hear of Gathering of the Tribes?
Yeeeeehaaa!
(sorry, couldn't resist)


"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals"

~Charles Baudelaire

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flash fire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2758
Posted:THis article is also indicative of what's happening in Australia.... Our audiences have been saturated with B and C grade "fire arts" and the magic has been altogether lost.

The Wick Effect decided about a year ago to be extremely picky about who we perform to, and as a result have virtually removed ourselves from every market other than fetish/BDSM stuff. Everyone else has seen it, experienced it and I personally have to much pride in myself and my art to be heaped into a basket with every other fire performer in this city. (how arrogant does that sound!?)

Our immediate peers (psytrancers and hippies) have well and truly had enough of the standard and we felt a long time ago that promoters needed to get inline with what psy parties wanted in terms of entertainment: unless its WAAAY special and never been done before, your standard (even above standard) performance just won't cut it.

Anyway, this has been a long time coming and as the fad continues to (unfortunately) develop the care factor of our audiences will continue to decline.


HoP Posting Guidelines
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Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
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dulce flames


member
Location: Oceanside, California USA

Total posts: 234
Posted:Lots of good points in response to this article.. I say it's to be taken as constructive criticism... I feel anyone who is going to do a performance should take the safety measures needed and respect those around them... And of course, have something practiced or prepared.. The idea of someone lighting up inside of a club in the middle of the dance floor seems both dangerous and annoying.. Especially turning it in to a strip show idea! I personally like to spin in my own space and at the last indoor party I went to, I felt it would be too intrusive even to spin soft poi- it was too crowded... There was a rude tone to the article, but it kind of made me think of people throwing people up in the air at rock concerts and not taking the caution to protect innocent bystanders from having their necks broken or nose kicked in... People have the right to dance on a dance floor and shouldn't have their space invaded by someone wanting to look sexy and spin some fire.... I like people's reaction to this article has been really cool and I think anyone who appreciates fire art should apprectiate the direction of this article...
Also wanted to say Hi Nyx!!! Those people at burning man really missed out by not being nice to you!!! That's too bad there had to be such a negative vibe. I hope you enjoyed yourself anyway as I imagine you did by mentioning next year! I myself look forward to spinning with you again in the future!!

Arashi- I'll just get myself an ice cream in your honor... There's a little place right down the street and it's probably a lot easier that way!!! Thanks for the suggestion!


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dulce flames


member
Location: Oceanside, California USA

Total posts: 234
Posted:Sheesh, looks like I'll be owing some ice creams as well!!!

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vaperloc...the mighty


vaperloc...the mighty

look @my member
Location: Ft worth Texas

Total posts: 466
Posted:Hmm no reason to knock topless poi.screw her anyways of she dont like it nobody is making her watch.just my .02

There are no obstacles only challenges.
Very funny scotty now beam down my pants.
[colour."green"}What would willie do?

AHH theres too many wee leprechauns i cannae squash them all

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Kabukiman


member
Location: Washington, USA

Total posts: 42
Posted:The most important part of this should be that we who care will overcome the fad and continue to create beauty in the world long after it is no longer popular. Just because it isn't as special as it was doesn't make it any less magnificent.

I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.

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