Fire Performance | Trilling and Exciting Dancing with Fire

Fire performance is one of the most exciting and extraordinary arts and skills that involves manipulating fire, and despite being very ancient and somewhat old-fashioned, due to the element of fire and it's very dangerous appearance, as well as the various initiatives of performers in Spectacular manners still attract a lot of attention, and especially the overwhelming response to performances by professional groups of fire dancers remains strong. Fire performance usually means using equipment or other objects made with one or more wicks which are designed in a way to sustain a big noticeable flame to shape different visual effects to entertain the spectators and create a sense of fear and at the same time a pleasant excitement in them. Juggling, baton twirling, poi spinning, and handling other forms of objects are skills that fire performers usually possess, and mastery in skillful abilities such as “fire breathing”, “fire-eating”, and “body burning” also called “fakir skills” are very necessary in today's competitive world of fire performance with all the different creative artists trying to show off their magnificent and indescribable skills every day.

History of Fire Performance

The Aztecs were the first people to perform the fire dance for the Xiuhtecuhtli (god of fire), a kind of fire dance that today is being performed for tourists in Mexico. The same is in Bali, Island in Indonesia, and fire Performances there are usually performed for tourists called “angel dance” and “fire dance” which are also originated from ancient rituals. Both of these dances are derived from an ancient traditional ritual called Sanghyang and people used to believe they can wear off terrible diseases and exorcise witches in times of epidemics by these moves. A famous type of fire dance belongs to the Polynesian people, the Maori people of New Zealand who used balls, which was attached to a string soaked in fuel and after lighting the fire they performed interesting dances with it. Other places where fire dances are performed for tourists are Polynesia, Saint Lucia Antigua, and Cuba. The Siddha Jats in the Tar desert of India also participate in special traditional fire dances as part of the spring festival. Their fire dance is held with music and drums and there are many types. In these performances, men usually walk on coals, in a way that first the flames are lit and the fire is allowed to burn hot and furious, and then glowing embers remains, the performers then jump up and down it to create marvelous images from sparks of fire in the air and delight the audience. In the meantime, women move their bodies rhythmically wearing traditional clothes, while balancing flaming tin pots on their heads. Today, such ceremonies are still performed especially for tourists. This prolific history of ritualists fire acts shows the interest of people of different ethnicities and races in the fire, just the same as it was considered sacred in ancient Persia. Many of them were amazed by the fire, and the charm of it overcame their beliefs, convictions, and emotions. From the mid-1990s, however, fire performances took a different shape and became an exceptional and popular risky, and exciting job for many prominent professional artists and even amateurs. Fire shows at street festivals, celebration events, raves, nightclubs, beach parties, and music festivals became a normal tradition. Many found it fun and entertaining and others like is as if it was a serious and exciting display.

Fire Performances Categories:

Modern fire performance commonly consists of different displays, in three categories ofdancing,theatrics, andtech.

Dancing: various dances such as hip hop or belly dancing can be seen in these performances, but what makes these shows different is the addition of bright flames and spinning fires to the already beautiful routines of the dancers. The golden and passionate glow of the fire, especially in the dark of night, gives a special effect to the rhythm of the dancers' bodies. Such movements can be seen in traditional Polynesian dances (Hula or Hawaiian dance), exotic dancing, and music videos.

Theatrics: The fiery and beautiful flames of fire add an element of danger to the dramatic scenes, and nothing like fire can illuminate human emotions, and be satisfying to watch as if you are standing in a theatre face to face with the thrill of the scenes of a live frightening performance of fire play.

Tech: This part of the fire performance has developed more than any other parts today and the tasteful performers, mastering technical competency with their chosen fire tools and many new techniques, which are becoming more innovative every day, look more bold and Adventurous, so new technical plays are making their way into dance performances and theatrical scenes more often now.

The practice of fire performances from the earliest years of humanity on Earth and the discovery of this unique creation has been more spiritual and ritualistic, and many tribes have used it to strengthen the mystical powers of the inhabitants and create a sense of solidarity and empathy. Meanwhile, after thousands of years, in the modern era, humans, using advanced technologies and modern tools, have been able to create another manifestation of this glamorous act in the direction of fun and entertainment, creating excitement and the illusion of power and danger.

Fire Props and Tools

Fire performance is usually performed by props and equipment that are specifically designed to create the most beautiful scenes possible and at the same time ensure the safety of the performers. There are all kinds of different apparatus in this art, which we mention a few here:

Poi, a pair of arm-length chains with handles attached to one end, and a bundle of wicking material on the other like a ball.

Staff, a metal or wooden long tube 1–2 m with wicking material applied to one or both ends which are usually used individually or in pairs. juggling three or more is also possible.

ADragonstaffalmost looks the same with three or more wicks arranged in a wheel on every end. Dragonstaffs are more often rolled on the body rather than spun.

AFire hoop, as the name implies is a hoop with spokes and wicking material attached.

Fan, fire umbrella, fire meteor, Nunchaku, fire stick, fire knife, fire rope dart, and torch are other famous props being used in regular Fire performances.

Fire Safety

Fire dancers consider the importance of fire safety very seriously because they are in daily contact with predatory flames and are very well aware of the dangers of this venturous game. Those who are willing to take a step in this direction, it is always best to find someone in the area who can give them hands-on experience with fire safety in every aspect like fuel, props, and tools, plus venue. There are several fire safety measures to be aware of especially in case of fuel, for example, to always store fuel in the original container, or remember not to put fuel in a glass or a plastic container, or not leave extra fuel on wicks. Also fueling area needs to be separate from the performance venue, and in a secure area that is free from fire hazards.

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