Poi fire dancing is such a spectacular site that when people think of poi, they often remember it as fire poi. Spinning fire is absolutely great -- a bit of danger, a bit of spectacle, a bit of skill and a whole lot of fun!
But spinning fire isn't always as accessible for artists who live in colder areas with few indoor venues or, for that matter, anytime the weather makes it challenging to do a performance (for the artist and especially for the audience). So what to do when you're not able to do perform with fire?
In recent years, one choice, has been to spin with LED based poi. These days, I've been enjoying a wonderful set of poi from my friends at FlowToys.
You can see these in action in this short performance clip from Prepare for the Playa in August of 2008.
LED poi are a great performance alternative -- especially when the lighting at the venue accommodates your performance.
But what do you do when you have a day time performance? Or what if you want to dance at a party but don't have enough room to safely swing the lights around without risking hitting someone?
My favorite way to handle these sorts of situations is to use dyed flag poi.
While the tools have some limitations, you can see from this performance that they are pretty versatile and offer a stunning impact -- even in daylight! Even more fun, these flags are blacklight reactive so you can take them to the park and the night club and have them look like different tools.
People often ask if they are a lot more restrictive than regular poi because there is so much fabric spinning around. My experience is that other than short movements, some of which you can do as demonstrated in the video above, they are well suited for poi spinning of all styles and really do flow 80% (or more) like regular poi, at least if you construct them using our method, outlined in this picture filed, step-by-step PDF file. If you're wondering where to get your silk poi flags, check out these flags currently in stock at Temple of Poi.
Photo Credit: Philip "FlaggerBoy" Bryan