Call for Artists: Temple of Poi 5th Annual Fire Dancing Expo in Union Square, San Francisco


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Please apply only if this vision calls to you.

Temple of Poi is hosting the 5th annual Temple of Poi Fire Dancing Expo in San Francisco, California, USA’s Union Square on the main stage. This event is free to the public and is open to audiences of all ages. Events over the past years have had an estimated 1000+ people in attendance. This year’s show is April 24 at 7:50 pm. Call time for dancers is 6:30 pm.

The purpose of this show is multifold:

  • to expand awareness of the art form
  • so that fire dancing artists can be taken seriously in the world through performance on credible stages in gorgeous venues rather than be looked at as fringe or parking lot art
  • to share our art with the community and world
  • to celebrate National Dance Week (April 23 – May 2)
  • to offer artists from around the world an opportunity to perform for a very grateful and more attuned than average audience
  • to allow artists the opportunity to be on a top notch stage which is huge (70ft wide by 30 feet deep), elevated and inspiring
  • community service
  • as a spiritual practice of giving from a place of non attachment to results

While we had intended, in part, for this to be a marketing event when the first show was produced — as a renegade in 2004 — the reality is, it hasn’t work out that way. Despite any rumors to the contrary, Temple of Poi has never made a single penny off this show and has never gotten a single client because of the show alone. Not once. We know this because we ask client’s how they find us and never has this show been credited as the reason.

In order to maintain the integrity of the vision of the show, we do not pay any performers. Period. No exceptions. MCP, Icon, Yuta, Banyan, Dai, Manda Lights, Thomas, Alien Jon, Vatra and all the rest of the artists who have graced our stage have not gotten paid. They have gifted themselves and their art to the show and community.

To be clear, the 2008 show (the biggest one so far) cost about $6000 to put on. These days getting up on the stage costs nearly $2000 alone. In 2008, we gave about $1200 in travel stipends on top of that. That doesn’t include any marketing, sound systems, hiring for assistance in organizing the show, etc. required to create a show of this magnitude. In 2009, we gave $1000 in travel stipends, all of which was raised through the generous donations of friends and members of the Temple of Poi Community. We will again be offering travel stipends in 2010.

We do this as a gift to the community. And every artist who gets up on the stage does it as a gift to the community as well.

All of that said,  we do have a limited number of travel stipends for artists. All travel stipends go to artists outside of California and states bordering California. This year, we hope to have 10 $100 travel stipends and will be awarded at our discretion.

Guidelines for Applicants

  • Interested applicants must submit their application via email to GlitterGirl at: 2010expo (at) templeofpoi daht com by noon pacific time, February 5, 2010 in order to be considered.
  • All applicants must submit four things:
    • A completed information sheet – only one per group
    • A signed agreement sheet for each person in the group to be included in the fire permit application – please print, sign, scan and email it back
    • a URL with a link to a video submission of the proposed piece or similar piece (or something representative of your work), ideally using fire
    • a signed  video release form for each person performing as part of your group – please print, sign, scan and email it back
  • Restrictions/Agreements:
    • Call time: For tool and costume inspection will be 6:30 PM. You must be there with your tools in working order by that time.
    • No tosses! Tosses were not allowed in 2009 and will not be allowed in 2010 — there was a $300 fine per toss implemented last year, so write your act without tosses. This is a restriction imposed by the fire department, not by Temple of Poi.
    • Stage Time: Solo acts are limited to 4 minutes; Group acts are limited to 6 minutes
    • Spin off: Artists agree to spin off their tools before taking the stage.
    • This is a white gas only show! Because the stage is very slick already, we do not allow the use of lamp oil since it does not evaporate and creates a safety danger for performance acts following your group. Artists must have prior experience spinning with white gas only.
    • Prohibited tools/acts: Fire spitting, fire works, propane tanks (or any fuel under pressure), steel wool or anything else that will leave residue on the stage are all prohibited for fire permit reasons.
    • Costumed requirements: For permit and safety reasons, all artists must wear natural fiber.
    • Soloists: Solo acts must have a separate application, even if you are part of a group.
    • Groups: Each group must apply with one application and a designated contact person. All members of the group must be listed on that application. All members of the group must complete sign a video release form.
  • In an effort to support a diverse show, priority will be given to artists more than 150 miles from San Francisco. After all, they are coming quite a long way to donate their time, energy and brilliance to a Bay Area fire show!
  • We are pleased to announce that there will be a limited number of stipends made available to out-of-town performers. They will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please note on your application if you would like to be considered for a stipend. All travel stipends go to artists outside of California and states bordering California. In 2010, we hope to have 10 $100 travel stipends which will be awarded 1 per act.
  • This is a non-profit event; therefore, performers will not be compensated monetarily in 2010.
  • Artists must have prior experience extinguishing burning tools.
  • Artists must agree to abide by the Flowology Mindset® as related to the event:
    http://templeofpoi.com/flowology/mindset.php