Dancing with the Fire Staff
Vertical: Chapters 1 – 7
- 1: Forwards Figure 8
- 2: Backwards Figure 8
- 3: Half Turns
- 4: Full Turns
- 5: Buzzsaw
- 6: Clock
- 7: Behind the Back Patterns
In this introductory chapter, Srikanta teaches the basic pattern for spinning the staff forwards in addition to a 3-beat pattern for exchanging the staff between the two hands.
In this chapter, Srikanta teaches the basic pattern for spinning the staff backwards in addition to a 3-beat pattern for exchanging the staff between the two hands.
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the patterns for transitioning between the forwards & backwards figure 8′s as well as Warrior 1- one of the 4 Warrior patterns.
*Prerequisite: Ch 1 & 2 (Forwards & Backwards Figure 8’s)
Upon completion of Chapter 3, students are prepared to learn the Ch 1-3 Choreography.
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the patterns for making full turns and provides a helpful sequence for practicing. Once you’ve mastered chapter 4, check out his free tutorial on barrel jumps which takes the technical knowledge contained in the chapter into the air!
*Prerequisite: Chapter 3 (Half Turns)
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the “buzzsaw”- a pattern for spinning the staff in front of the body in the wall plane & offers tips on maintaining a centered grip on the staff during the pattern.
TIP: Upon completion of this chapter, Students are prepared for Chapter 8; the first chapter in the Horizontal Section. Making simultaneous progress in both Vertical & Horizontal Sections from this point forward is recommended.
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the “clock”- a pattern for spinning the staff behind the body in the wall plane and a useful reference for learning the behind-the-back patterns (contained in chapter 7). In addition, he focuses on the transitions involved in connecting the clock to the vertical patterns previously covered.
Upon completion of Chapter 6, students are prepared to learn the Ch 4-6 Choreography.
In this Chapter, Srikanta uses the “clock” as a reference for teaching 4 behind-the-back patterns. These symmetrical patterns, in which the staff is spun vertically behind the body, are:
F@12 – spinning in the FORWARDS direction, exchanging at 12 o’clock
B@12 – spinning in the BACKWARDS direction, exchanging at 12 o’clock
F@6 – spinning in the FORWARDS direction, exchanging at 6 o’clock
B@6 – spinning in the FORWARDS direction, exchanging at 6 o’clock
*Prerequisite: Chapter 6 (Clock)
Horizontal: Chapters 8 – 13
- 8: Helicopter
- 9: Around the Waist
- 10: Horizontal Clock
- 11: Horizontal Clock Turning
- 12: Slices
- 13: Slice Turning
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the basic pattern of exchange for spinning the staff in the horizontal plane and provides exercises to assist in learning and practicing. In addition, he shares tips on using the momentum of the pattern to lift the body up & into the air.
*Prerequisite: Chapter 5 (Buzzsaw)
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches a pattern for exchanging the staff behind the back while spinning in the horizontal plane. In addition to offering tips on how to make this exchange seamless, he suggests further practices for absorbing the staff’s momentum & switching the direction of rotation.
*Prerequisite: Chapter 8 (Helicopter)
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the Horizontal Clock and focuses on maintaining streamlined body positions throughout the pattern in preparation for adding steps & turns.
*Prerequisites: Chapter 6 (Clock) & Chapter 8 (Helicopter)
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches the steps & transitions involved in turning with the Horizontal Clock. In addition, he introduces the concept of transferring the point of rotation from the staff into the body’s core & provides exercises to assist students in making this connection.
*Prerequisite: Chapter 10 (Horizontal Clock)
In this Chapter, Srikanta teaches “Slices”- simple patterns with infinite implications for jumping, turning & harnessing the staff’s momentum in the horizontal plane.
*Prerequisite: Chapter 8 (Helicopter)
In this Chapter, Srikanta focuses on the staff as a momentum generator and offers instruction on harnessing the centrifugal force to lift the body up & bring it around.
In addition to teaching half and full turns while slicing, he uses slice turning as a reference point for connecting the staff to the body as one fluid entity and provides exercises to assist students in feeling this connection. The sky is the limit in this chapter- be prepared to experiment & move!
*Prerequisite: Chapter 12 (Slices)
Upon completion of Chapter 13, students are prepared to learn the Ch 8-13 Choreography.
Contact: Chapters 14-16
In this chapter, Srikanta gives a brief introduction to contact staff manipulation & teaches the vertical & horizontal hand wrap as well as the palm spin. The handwrap is a very useful pattern to know & can be applied to both the vertical and horizontal patterns previously covered. By either adding extra rotations to those patterns, eliminating the necessity for constant exchanges or less streamlined body positions, the hand wrap will assist students in gaining speed and fluidity in their movement.
*Prerequisite: Chapter 5 (Buzzsaw) & Chapter 8 (Helicopter)
In this chapter, Srikanta teaches a pattern for wrapping the staff continuously around one hand & offers helpful tips on how to employ gravity & the centrifugal force. The pattern can be done both vertically & horizontally & is useful in many ways, not the least of which is allowing the hand without the staff to be completely free.
*Prerequisite: Chapter 14 (Hand Wraps)
In this chapter, Srikanta teaches the neck wrap- a basic contact movement & a doorway through which to discover other contact moves. In addition to this detailed instruction, he provides exercises for further developing the movement & examples of other contact movements which can be learned from the neck wrap.
The first of a four-part choreography, the Chapter 1-3 Choreography builds upon the technical elements taught in Chapters 1-3.
*Prerequisite: Chapters 1-3 (Forwards & Backwards Figure 8′s & Half Turns)
The 2nd of a 4-part choreography, the Chapter 4-6 Choreography builds upon the technical elements taught in Chapters 4-6.
*Prerequisite: Chapters 4-6 (Full Turns, Buzzsaw, Clock)
The 3rd of a 4-part choreography, the Chapter 8-13 Choreography builds upon the technical elements taught in Chapters 8-13.
*Prerequisite: Chapters 8-13 (Horizontal Section)
The final part of a 4-part choreography, the Full Choreography combines the previous 3 choreo’s to make one long piece. In addition, there is a new section linking the chapter 4-6 Choreo with the Chapter 8-13 Choreo. The segment is finished with a presentation of the FULL Choreography on fire.
At this point, students will take all of the technical knowledge they’ve gained: movements, patterns, transitions and sequences & begin to bring that knowledge into the realm of performance. Students are encouraged to experiment with their own stylized elements & make their performance their own.
*Prerequisite: The first 3 Choreographies (ch 1-3, ch 4-6, ch 8-13)
Inspirational Artists’ Profiles
Finnish Fire Artist Antti Suniala shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to both training footage & lit performances. With more than one string to his bow, from martial arts to tango, Antti will amaze you with his presentation of contact staff, double staff, multi-staff juggling & dragon staff!
Fire Artist & Yoga Instructor, Banyan shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff. In addition to lit performances with the single & double staffs Banyan presents his unique performance with “S” staffs as well as crystal ball manipulation.
As THE yoga instructor for the fire & flow community, Banyan speaks of the revelations he’s encountered in navigating these two interconnected spheres & uses the metaphor of poetry to impart his balanced wisdom about fire dance & performance art.
Ex Cirque du Soleil Fire Artist & Coach, Dan Miethke shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to training footage & lit performances with poi, staff, double staffs & double swords. Dan is recognized internationally for his unique talent with fire & brings a high level of skill & energy to the artform. With years of experience in offering fire shows around the world, Dan offers a wealth of information & inspiration for aspiring fire artists.
Los Angeles-based Fire Artist, Heather Morales shares her experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to lit performances. As a member of Zen Arts, Heather brings a sexy flare to her play with the staff influenced by yoga & multiple dance forms including tribal belly dance.
Paris-based Fire Artist, Ima Kokode shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to both training footage & lit stage performances. As a founding member & performer in Manda Lights, Ima reflects on his years of exploration with the staff(s) & on providing stage shows throughout Europe with his troupe. With a background in Martial Arts & Juggling, Ima brings unique insight & flare to the artform.
Fire Groove Fire Artist & Instructor, Lester shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff. His lit performances with the single & double staffs pay tribute to the role of “flow” within the fire arts. Speaking from years of experience in performing & instructing on the front-lines of fire dance’s most active hubs, Lester’s insights are essential & should be heard by any aspiring fire artist.
As a founding member & performer of the Los Angeles- based group Fire Groove, Lester & his sister’s Kamala & Hannah have transformed the landscape of fire dance on the West Coast USA. Having taught thousands of students over the past 10 years in Fire Groove’s ongoing group classes, they have played a primary role in bringing fire dance to the mainstream & securing the West Coast as the global leader in the evolution of modern day fire dance.
Berlin-based Fire Duo, Solstix share their experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to both training footage & lit stage performances. Truly raising the bar for fire performance, this multi-talented duo has mastered many unique tricks including manipulating the staff with their feet! The choreographed, lit, stage-performances in this inspirational segment include contact staff, single & double staff-dancing, staff juggling (plus foot juggling), poi & dragon staff.
Solstix artists Josh & Valerie are at the forefront of partner staff manipulation & have studied modern dance, classical dance, pantomime, partner acrobatics, feicha (contact staff), antipode (foot juggling) & Chinese meteor.
Ex Cirque du Soleil Fire Artist & Coach, Srikanta Barefoot shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to both training footage & lit performances with poi, staff(s) & sword(s). With a background in theater, yoga, dance & martial arts, Srikanta is known for his full-bodied, dance-based approach to fire dance as well as his character play onstage.
Srikanta goes beyond offering tips for aspiring fire dancers & shares his discoveries in exploring a number of art-forms, including capoeira & cyr wheel. In reflecting upon his journey as a performing artist, he takes us around the world; from California to the Cirque du Soleil in Macua, from Paris to teaching staff to Orphans in India, from Las Vegas to the stone temple ruins of Cambodia.
American Fire Artist Zan Moore shares his experience & insight into the art-form of fire staff in addition to both training footage & lit performances. Zan is an inspiration in himself & generously shares many helpful tips for fire dancers.
As an experienced Fire Performer & Teacher, Zan is widely known for his considerable contribution to the world of poi, namely via the creation of two ground-breaking instructional DVD’s: “The Encyclopoidia 1 & 2″. He continues to teach and perform as part of “Instruments of the Now”.
Below is the link to downloadable files of the Dancing with the Fire Staff Video Series. You must contact us via the Fusion Arts Contact Page with ALL of your purchase info (see list below) in order for us to allow you access. Requests are generally fulfilled within 2 business days. Requests for access submitted from Google Drive will be ignored.
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