Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dance musings: fun with fire

I had an absolutely fantastic time on Sunday at the Fire in the Belly workshops. I was a bit nervous the evening before as I wasn't sure I'd have the stamina for 5 hours of dance. However, the pace was really nice and I was pleasantly tired at the end of it, but not exhausted.

After an introductory talk on fire safety and considerations when using fire props, we started the first workshop playing with matches. I think a lot of us felt a little naughty after many years of being told not to do any such thing! It was actually a really good way to learn how even a small flame can enhance a performance. We then moved onto tapers and finally, dinner candles. It gave me loads of ideas about how fire can be used in a subtle way, without resorting to fire poi or fans quite yet!

The second workshop was more focused on ATS and dancing with small candle holders. The teacher had taken a number of ATS moves and adapted them for dancing with fire. We worked on learning the moves and practising them in duets. After that, we learned some combos and did some more improvisation. It was fantastic fun and I thoroughly enjoyed dancing with one of the ladies from my ATS class, as I think we tuned into each other quite nicely!

The final workshop was nothing to do with fire at all. Instead, it was centred on using a fan veil. As much as they look amazing, they are actually more difficult than you'd expect to work with. We explored lots of Chinese/Japanese inspired moves and worked up to a small choreography. The teacher, Mihramah, was amazing and so filled with passion and energy. Much more practise required with this though!

The Fire in the Belly show in the evening was fantastic. It was great to see our teachers in action, and I also got to see my ATS teachers and their troupe dance. There were some real novel acts including an amazing juggling/tap-dance/drumming fusion and a trapeze artist. I would find it really difficult to pick a favourite though, as they were all excellent in their own way.

I can't wait until the next event!

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Blogger Heather said...

If ever a blog post cried out for an accompanying video clip... ;)

11:13 pm  

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