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Posted:Now to meet others in Goa, or elsewhere in India - one needs to either know the locations, have existing contacts or simply "luck".
The Goan spinning-scene is mainly sprinkled around Anjuna, Morjim, Ashwem, Arambol - so basically around the North of Goa.
Many regulars have their own houses - so it's basically not SO easy to get in touch with them. But there are a few, who sell Poi on the local markets, like - Ute (Ingos Saturday Night Bazaar, opposite the main food stalls - selling (practice) Poi and Fire Staff, Globalls) and - Danny (Ingos and Anjuna Fleamarket - selling (practice) Poi, Fire-Fans, -Candles, -Staff, regular Hoops and beautiful mossie-nets (with holographics)
Some do spin in South Anjuna (for sunset on the beach) at Curlies, some do spin in Arambol (close to the Pyramids).
The "Gerome's" do have regular workshops, ranging from a days training to entire weekly programmes. Right now they are residing in Morjim/ Ashwem.
As to the party-scene, there have been a number of complaints been issued, that "there are none in Goa to be found and ppl should go to Thailand if they want to spin or party"... Now, the party scene was admittedly better in the motherland of all Goa-Parties, with a significant number of cutdowns.
This was due to a few reasons, one was that the Goa government was approached by the Israeli government (whose soldiers seem to have gotten too pacified on Goa raves), another was the US government in it's fight against (unprescribed) drugs - and latest it has been the Goa/ Indian government itself, four reasons for that - one is the consumption of illicit drugs - second is the noise pollution after ten o clock - third are the owners of nightclubs, like Club Cubana, Paradisco etc. who like the crowds fill their venues and pockets - fourth (but maybe not last) are the recent bomb threats issued.
How serious any of these reasons might ever be, fact is that there still ARE parties in Goa - but not as frequent and excessive as in the past.
Within last week alone there were - 2 beachparties in South Anjuna (from noon till 10 and 11pm) - every day "Nine-Bar" (from sunset till ten), - last night was a MAJOR dayparty at HillTop (from 4 till 11pm - and I couldn't go, even though it was in my backyard) and this was - followed by a party in Club West End (which still goes on as I write this and will continue until 10pm tonight)
Now I dunno about you guys, but if one is carefully dosing her/ his intake of recreational substances, I guess there is enough happening to play fire, or shake that booty.
Next year (around x-mas and new years) there will be even more coming into Goa and on the turn of late Jan/ Feb, there will be a (Fire)Convention in either Anjuna, or Morjim.
Anyone on the move now, or next season, in need of accommodation, tuition, (fire)toys, maybe even a (paid) gig or wanting to volunteer at the convention, is highly welcomed to either PM, or eMail me (sunafiurATyahooDOTcom), or call +91 9922 468 101 (SMS doesn't work from outside the state of Goa)...
Locations for spinners OUTSIDE of Goa:
Sheer luck along the beaten track of backpackers. There will definitely be some spinning in Manali-valley and Bhagsu, but nothing really established (yet)... Maybe go there and start something?
However: India IS magic, if asked for Thailand OR India - I couldn't make that definite decision. There are pro's and con's for both, whereas to me there are more pro's in India...
Hope to have been of assistance
More infos and details of events and contact numbers to come, after I have reconfirmed with the ppl.
Posted:Thanks for the update. For Goan standards, the season appears to be much lower in numbers. I agree with your reasoning for the low turnout, and offer another - the gentrification of Goa. Seems the govt is trying to discourage the party goers, who may not be big on green, in favor of more upscale vacationers - which is unfortunate. And as you say, the recent bomb threats. My wife and I were there during end of December, there were tons of last minute cancellations due to the reports and at one Hilltop party, the Israeli DJ was wearing a flack jacket during his set.
I have heard mention of a fire convention next Feb 1 - 7, which is great bc this coincides with the Chinese New Year and means we can take time off, and I believe about the 7th is a full moon. Do you know who is organizing and is it a solid go?
The experience and atmosphere of an outdoor Goan rave is truly spiritual and there are not words to convey the feelings. There were quite a few flaming pois, staff and even a guy doing flaming Chinese swordplay at the parties at Hilltop, West End and Dolce Vita??. Paradiso dusted off, painted, oiled up and moved up their big Nataraj (dancing shiva) statue, moved it outside to the far end of the terrace, under the stars and a green light - it looked great and he loved the move and the attention.
Remember - keep it all in perpective and dont dance too close to the fire....
Posted:Firedog - Did we have an encounter on the HillTop-x-mas party? I've been the guy with the firesword
Indian Fire-Convention is definite - just the community has to take a solid decision about the date. Some favour January, others February... Personally I favour the latter, as for said reasons (Chinese New Year, Full Moon, Mayan Astrology... University holidays)
Will keep you posted.
Yesterday Curlies dayparty and Panjim boat party - there really is enough to shake that booty and twirl that staff...
Posted:Funny, for some reason I had sense that might have been you, so I emphasized the "guy with the Chinese swordplay" bit to test. Yes, my wife danced with you and your flaming sword - and we talked after - you had just been back from BKK, had a pair of new fans, new sword and you had some pretty red hands from the heat with the sword. That was a great night (actually lots of parts of that trip were interesting on several levels) - I was inspired when I came back home to search and find HOP and even ordered some fire pois and staff - (which I just received a msg this afternoon arrived today). Time will tell whether we will be motivated to branch out from our dancing and keep the fire lit. (Weila thnks I 'm little loopy right now, but I got her a pr too and have a feeling once she tries it she will be hooked).
BTW, Shanghai is great, lots of DJs (Paul Van Dyk was here last weekend, Pete Tong plays this weekend).
Posted:Well last night I got screwed by the 10pm shutdown thing... So maybe that is part of the reason it's quieted down around here (although I never been here before, I'm just going on what others say).
I was headed to Hilltop but bumped into Giovan on the way who said it had just shut down due to the 10pm thing and I wasn't in the mood to motorbike out to westside which is where he said the festivities were moving towards...
I'm liking Goa though at least the quiet Ashvem part of it we've been in lately...
I remember that night well and the traces were found on my hands for a few weeks
Ha! Another one found his way (to) Home of Poi, I should start asking Malcolm for a few membership awards after those ten years of undemanded soliciting
Your sweetheart will do great with candles and fire fingers, too - I bet!
Will be lovely to see you guys back next year!
Now announcing Jay's workshop, taking place in Morjim and Ashwem. Amazing firedancer, immense inspiration and a great teacher who puts his heart in the art - if you're in Goa, give him a call and book yourself in for a day, a week or a month. Workshops are reasonably priced at about .... well ask for yourself
You should at least get the referral fee for all the toys I bought from HOP. Very nice to link up with you again - good the way coincidences work in life sometimes. You were very impressive with fire sword (notwithstanding you had only taken martial arts once when you were 14 yrs old). Yourself, the Russian poi girls and others were quite an attraction. Weila and my first love is dancing but the fire toys are intriguing - we'll see if we actually follow through - we both lead very busy lives in the big city of Shanghai.
Say, I believe you may have had someone filming or taking photos, if so, could you send through to me?
Posted:Hey, i wanted to mention a few things,one about the Parties and lack there of. A lot of people think the govn't is prudish, trying to gentrify the situation etc. This isn't it. The reason is that local people don't want their children to be exposed to party and drug culture. Poor people can't afford drug habits. Poverty and addiction = death. Get the idea? The local villages and beach in Goa are just the villages. The village people of course enjoy the influx of money in the winter but are ready to sell their soles for it. Young people in the west have many advantages, education, opportuites etc. If they want to party a bit, it may be just an experience, life will go one when they return home. Young Goans however come to the parties and are amazed at what they see. There is a natural tendancy to look up foreigners. Which means imitating them. Drugs like alchohol and grass can be fine for some but can ruin others. I don't need to mention the others types. So, if your going to India please remember to respect the local culture. Think of it like you'll be staying in a family home the entire time. If you partake do it discretely. I might mention that there are no shortage of westerners in jail in n. Goa too! One of the main things is noise after 10:00pm at night. Local families need to sleep and so do their kids. They need to get up and work or go to school. In a village everyone shares, if there's a party everyone goes. You can't be seperate in India. Already a backlash is started against foreigners in goa and India. This is part of the reason.
Other than that, if your looking to Poi try Dharamasala, there are sometime great full moon parties there, way up in the mountains. Also Pokhara across the lake. Actually all over India you will run into Poi twirlers. The great thing is that most of the roofs are flat and you can use them at night etc. So check your guesthouse if they offer a open space on the roof or not(no resturant!) Hope that the info is helpful for someone. If you need info on traveling in India feel free to contact me.
Posted:I dont think the 'issue' with Parties in Goa is as 'Black and White' as you make out FPguy. Alot of why theres a crackdown is to do with corruption and criminality. Not primarily amongst drug taking party goers but between party organisers, police, local and national govt. and Russian mafia amongst others. Of course people should be respectfull of the local culture, but the kid gloves attitude you adhere to I dont 100% believe in. There are many different levels of 'culture' and acceptance In regards spinning: Goa - Hit pretty much any beach and you'll see soemone doing something - finding someone to actually teach you something is slighly more problematic (depending on your level!!) So I would also as Tom has fully recomend Fire Fantasy's workshops (Jay and Steph?) - those guys will blow your mind Pushka is another one - Sunset by the lake you'll see people spinning and Sunny does workshops. Good teacher of basics, not sure what he charges, but it maybe different for men than women!! As people say Thailand is certainly more of a 'party' place and more in the way of spinning amonst the locals of course. Koh Phan Ghan, Phi Phi etc... If were talking about gerneral Pro's and Con's dont think theres another country in the world as vibrant, culturally secure, spiritually all-pervading and pulsatingly extreme as India in many wonderfully postive and disgustingly pungently negative ways. Thailans easier and has its own charms. But Mother India will change your life if you let her. I lived and worked there doing Fireshows for 2 years and Love her Peas out