Join a fun and diverse group for daily staff classes, theatrical games, fire jams and more with Jen & ex Cirque du Soleil Fire Dancer & Coach, Srikanta Barefoot. This Summer’s week-long Retreat in Sommières combines a full immersion in dance-based fire dance with natural and cultural expeditions.


Discover Sommières!

Sommières is a commune in the Gard department in southern France, located at the border with the Hérault department It lies 22 km from Nîmes, 28 km from Montpellier. Wikipedia

“It was great fun.  Best holiday ever!”
Matt (Stromboli – 2015)

“Thank you for a great event and all your energy you spent in my improving.  I enjoyed every single minute and wish I could stay much longer.”
Suzanna (Stromboli – 2015)

“I went last year and this was such an amazing time! Be prepared to work hard and learn tons! Srikanta is a fantastic teacher!”
Jennifer  (Costa Rica – 2012)

About the Instructors

Srikanta was the first Contemporary Fire Dancer featured by the Cirque du Soleil (2007-2010), performing over 700 shows using fire poi, fire staff, double fire staff & double fire swords. He has 15+ years of experience fire dancing including his position of Fire Dancing Coach and Lead Fire Dancer for Cirque Du Soleil

He combines staff technique with stage presence, martial arts, acrobatics & dance, teaching his students to do the same.

Srikanta has taught poi & staff workshops at locations worldwide since 2003 and has created an Instructional Video Series called Dancing with the Fire Staff.  Click here for more info & to purchase.

Who is welcome to attend?

Instruction is open to anyone who wants to do more than stand still and spin!

In addition to learning patterns in which the body is static (fire spinning), students will learn the patterns and techniques for turning, jumping, kicking, etc, in which the body is as implicated as the object (fire dancing).

The retreat is open to hobbyists as well as aspiring & semi-professionals.  This year we’ll be offering intermediate and advanced instruction.  There is info below regarding workshop content & pre-requisites.

Instruction is given in English.  Translation in French is available.



The accommodation which is provided as part of the retreat package is on the Kedez compound. The rooms are on the first story with the dance studios and kitchen below. There are even a couple of trailers outside which can sleep a few people. Its a great communal space and a fun creative atmosphere.

All participants will be required to share a room with 2-4 people per room (we’ll place you with someone of the same sex, if you prefer or with your friends or partner).   Alternatively, you may choose to find your own accommodation elsewhere.

The retreat includes:

6 nights of accommodation at a Artistic Retreat Space. The week will consist of a 90 minute staff workshop + 90 minutes open studio space every morning and a 2 hour assisted play/ experiment/ jam time every evening, M-F. The evening playtime will consist of different activities from guided individual play & experimentation to group games and activities. Focus will be on incorporating the mornings’ technical knowledge into play & performance, experimenting with movement elements, theatrical presentation & stage presence. The second hour of the evening session falls at dusk and flows into an impromptu glow & fire jam. Students can continue experimenting & playing on their own with unlit props or try out their new moves on fire!

Also included is a trip to the temple-ruin-like Carrier du Bon Temps to explore and jam, plus some built in down time to hit the river and to explore the village of Sommieres. Organic vegetarian meals can be booked (lunch and/or dinner) at 9eu per meal.

Instructional classes are held within 2 spacious studios on the Kedez compound. The studios are available almost around the clock for those who want to continue training or creating their acts.

Workshop Content & Prerequisites

We’re really excited about teaching this 2 level staff retreat for the second time as it allows us to place Students in whichever workshop is best fit to their level.  Please do your best to understand the pre-requisites and to enrol in the level which best suits you.   If in the run up to the workshops you were unable to complete the pre-requisites or if your level changes, don’t worry!  Simply notify us and we’ll place you in the right group.  We are two instructors and keep the groups small enough to adjust the level of challenge individually.  


  • Combination & linking movements
  • Transitioning smoothly between patterns
  • Fluidity/ Grace/ Levels/ Rhythm/ Isolation
  • Contrast: Changing Rhythm & Speed
  • Stage Presence: Embodiment/ Owning & Filling the Space
  • Improvisation- Freedom of Movement/ Expression
  • Being grounded & carrying your weight
  • Momentum & using the force
  • Dynamic Fire Dance Choreography
  • Effective Implementation of Movement
  • Elements in Choreography & Performance
  • How to break things down/ teach yourself
  • Optimizing your practice

Need Help Planning?

Once we’ve received your registration form and payment, we’ll be sending you a Student Orientation Guide with a ton of practical information to help you plan well and get the most out of your experience.  There is a lot of essential info in this guide including tips on getting to and from Sommières, what to pack, etc.

Private Instruction

Srikanta offers a special discounted rate for workshop participants interested in booking private one-on-one sessions. If you are interested in learning double staffs, swords, double swords, poi or delving deeper into any aspect of the week’s staff instruction, please contact Srikanta in advance to book your private session. It’s best to schedule these sessions in advance to guarantee availability.


Registration is not yet open for this event BUT we’d like to hear from you if you’re interested.  Please contact us and let us know about your preferred dates in August.



The Retreat is tentatively scheduled for August 19-25, but we are waiting to hear from YOU before confirming this.  Please contact us and tell us which dates you’d prefer:

July 29- August 4
August 12-18
August 19-25


Sunday August 19
6:30-7:30pm Student Orientation & Welcome!

8pm Dinner (Organic vegetarian meals are available for 9eu/ meal)

Monday – Friday
8:30-10:00 am: Level 1 or Level 2 (alternating)
10:15 am-11:45 am: Level 1 or Level 2 (alternating)

12pm Lunch (Organic vegetarian meals are available for 9eu/ meal)
11:45 am – 6:30 pm: Free Time + Open Studio Space
6:30-8:30 pm: Assisted play & experimentation time; impromptu glow/ fire jam.

8:30pm Dinner (Organic vegetarian meals are available for 9eu/ meal)
*In addition to this action-packed daily routine, the group sets out to explore the village, the river and the temple-ruin-like Carrier.

Friday August 24

7:30pm Group Show (Optional Presentation of student choreography/ acts)

Saturday August 25
12pm Farewell Lunch (Organic vegetarian meals are available for 9eu/ meal)

Program Start & End Times

The 2018 Staff Retreat runs from 6:30pm on Sunday August 19th to 13pm on Saturday August 25th. The farewell lunch on Saturday is optional and just for fun. There are no activities planned on this day except packing up and saying goodbye.


Early Bird: Register before May 15
600eu/ Staff 1 & 2
54eu/ lunches Monday-Saturday (9eu per meal)
54eu/ dinners Sunday- Friday (9eu per meal)

Register After May 15:
700eu/ Staff 1 & 2
54eu/ lunches Monday-Saturday (9eu per meal)
54eu/ dinners Sunday- Friday (9eu per meal)

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