Temple of Poi is pleased to produce the 7th annual 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. Past events had an estimated 3000 people in attendance. This year’s show is April 21 at 7:45 pm. Call time for artists is 6:15 pm for tool and costume check with the fire marshal.
- 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 20 – April 29)
- 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
- a gift to the community
- as a spiritual practice of giving from a place of non attachment to results
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 with cash though the artists have added a rich quantity of quality photos to their portfolio as part of their compensation. They have gifted themselves and their art to the show and community.
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. Last year, because of the amazing backers who assisted us with this Kickstarter Project, the event is funded and has over $1800 in travel stipends to help offset some of the outrageous costs of traveling to the show. We hope to repeat that again for the 2012 show. All travel stipends will be given out at the show after you check in with GlitterGirl showing her your performance costume which will meet the guidelines herein.
Interested applicants must submit their completed application via email to GlitterGirl at: 2012expo (at) templeofpoi (daht) com by noon pacific time, January 18, 2012 in order to be considered. That is just over 2 weeks time to get everything together. All applications we receive will get a response confirming the application was complete or rejecting the application if it was incomplete, explaining what’s missing. Rejected applications may be fixed and resubmitted.
- Soloists: Solo acts must have a separate application, even if you are part of a group. Please note, soloist spots are the most sought after of all spots for the show and therefore are the least available.
- 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 a signed video release form.
- All acts must submit five things, which, if not submitted properly, will be rejected. Please note this information is aggregated and distributed to multiple organizations in different ways. To give you a sense of the work we do to support this event, we’ve included this photo of the SF Fire Department Permit Application. The coin in this photo is a dollar coin, so slightly larger than a US Quarter. The 5 required items are:
- a single email sent to the above email address – not cc’d to any other address going to Temple of Poi or GlitterGirl — including all the instructions and attachments required in this blog post — ONE email is really much easier to manage. Please note the email must contain the details of your video audition, including the category you are applying for.
- A completed information sheet (available in pdf if you can’t read a doc file) - only one per act
- A signed agreement sheet for each person in the group to be included in the fire permit application – please print, sign, scan OR photograph it in a well lit place (and send a copy so that when the image prints it will print full size (8.5×11)) and email it back. This form includes a video URL and these videos must have you spinning fire for the permit and is required by the fire department.
- a URL or series of URL’s with a link to your video audition of the proposed piece or similar piece (or something representative of your work that meets the criteria below).
- a signed video release form for each person performing as part of your group – please print, sign, scan OR photograph them all in a well lit place (and send a copy so that when the image prints it will print full size (8.5×11)) and email them back in a single email for your act
What Email Address to use: Please address all email correspondence related to the expo to: 2012expo (at) templeofpoi (daught) com
- Video Audition: Video’s should be submitted through a specific URL or series of URL’s that are listed in the email when you submit your application. Please note, these URL’s are for auditioning purposes and may or may not be the URL you use for the Fire Department form. Videos should be on YouTube or Vimeo and we should not be required to download the video to view it. Video submissions are designed to assist us in understanding what the piece is or will be, what level of skill artists are at, and how the diversity of the show will be created by looking at all submissions from a holistic perspective, not just the perspective of the individual acts. The show is intended to show a variety of levels of skill so that the new can be appreciated and the masterful can be understood.
- All artists who are accepted into the show will need to submit a newly recorded video of the piece as it is this spring so we can create the best flow in the show order. We need this video by noon pacific time on April 14, 2012 and this video is listed in the deadlines table below as the Final Video Due line item. The video doesn’t have to be high def or something you would put publicly on YouTube. We do, however, need to see where you’re at and want said video to be a dress rehearsal of your performance including the entrance onto the stage, starting of edited music, execution of set, end of piece and exit from stage. You should be in full costume using all props exactly as you would on stage. This means that while an audition video might have a toss in it, this version would not since tosses are not allowed.
- All artists will need to submit an audition video as part of their application. Videos can be comprised of any of the these three categories which you will need to indicate in your application information in the email body:
- Actual work: This applies to groups and solotists. The Actual Work category would be a video of a piece that is already completed and performed in full on a video. Ideally it would be one take and unedited to get a true sense of what the piece will look like on stage rather than an artistic video rendition. The camera position should be from downstage center so as to assess all pieces from the same camera angle. Artists submitting an actual work video will not need to submit video #2 in March. Audition videos may include tosses or other ground scores though these things are not allowed in the final performance so please indicate what you will do to substitute for any of these things in the video in the email body. If you anticipate you will update the piece, please also indicate that as well in the email body.
- Work in Progress, existing act: those auditioning in this category will submit a video meeting the Actual Work criteria so we can understand what you consider a completed work. In addition, groups (2 or more) will need to submit a concept video with a written description and explanation of what will happen at the various time codes in the video. The concept video can be very rough though the rougher the video, the more extensive the email explanation will need to be. Solo artists doing a work in progress that already have an existing act will not need to submit a concept video. Therefore, groups will need two videos — one of a completed actual work, and one of a concept video — and soloists will need one one video of a completed actual work. Both solotists and groups will need to submit in the email a description of the concept you have in mind. Please explain what will be choreographed and what will be free style, if anything. Please also indicate if you want feedback from the selection panel or you prefer not to receive feedback. We intend the feedback to help you create a show that works on this stage with this size crowd and the limitations that come with that.
- Work in Progress, new acts: those auditioning in this category will submit a video of each artist in the group spinning the tool that will be used in the show as well as a concept video with a written description and explanation of what will happen at the various time codes in the video. The concept video can be very rough though the rougher the video, the more extensive the email explanation will need to be. Therefore, groups will need one solo video per artist (60 seconds is fine) and a group concept video. Soloists will need to submit a solo video. Both solotists and groups will need to submit in the email a description of the concept you have in mind. Please explain what will be choreographed and what will be free style, if anything. Please also indicate if you want feedback from the selection panel or you prefer not to receive feedback. We intend the feedback to help you create a show that works on this stage with this size crowd and the limitations that come with that.
- Artists submitting the Work in Progress category will need to submit a second video, listed in the deadline table as Video #2 Due, showing the progress of your piece by March 1, 2012, noon. This means artists in the Work in Progress category must meet a total of three video deadlines while artists in the Actual Work category must meet a total of two deadlines between now and April 14, 2012.
- Stage Time: This year’s show is planned to have 30-36 acts and must be completed by 10 pm to accommodate our sound permit limitations. Stage time per act includes
- opening intro and applause for the act
- getting on the stage
- performance set to music
- applause and thank you announcement for the act
- getting off the stage
Set times below are from the time you’re in place after the opening announcement of the act till the end of your piece before final applause — 2& 3 listed above. For ease of calculation, the total time for each act is rounded up to the nearest minute to accommodate the rest of the time between the acts for items 1, 4 & 5.
- Application Categories: Artists may apply for one or more of the following slots for acts (please note the hard limits on the music below in order to meet our sound permit deadline):
- Solo acts: The set must be no longer than 3:36 seconds (8 spots, 32 min)
- Group acts: The set must be no longer than 4:06 seconds (12 spots, 66 min)
- Amateur: The set must be no longer than 0:96 seconds (2 spots, 4 min)
- Under 20: 50% or more of the artists must be under the age of 20 at the time of the performance; the set must be no longer than :96 seconds (1 spot, 2 min)
- 50 and over: 50% or more of the artists must 50 or older; the set must be no longer than :96 seconds (1 spot, 2 min)
- Temple of Poi Student Group & Temple of Poi Alumni: these spots are filled (20 min including GlitterGirl and Zihni)
Restrictions & Agreements
- Call time: For tool and costume inspection will be 6:15 PM on April 21, 2012, in Union Square near the elevators. You must be there with your tools in working order with your fire safe costume in hand or on your body by that time. Artists who fail to get their tools checked in time and/or are whose costumes are constructed from synthetic clothing will result in their expulsion from the event (and, where applicable, your travel stipend given to someone else).
- No tosses! Tosses have not been allowed since 2009 and will not be allowed in 2012 — there was a $300 fine per toss implemented in 2009, so create your act without tosses. This is a restriction imposed by the San Francisco Fire Department, not by Temple of Poi.
- Spin off: Artists agree to spin off their tools before taking the stage. We retain our regular dry wall spin off for 2012. Tossing of staves (fireballs) and/or leaving trails on the stage to spin off is prohibited!
- This is a white gas only show! Because the stage is very slick stone 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. Therefore, artists must have prior experience spinning with white gas only. International artists, please make arrangements to try white gas here in the states prior to the show. Contact GlitterGirl for assistance if needed.
- 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. Fire is also not allowed directly on the stage for more than 3 seconds. Therefore, if you have special tool needs, you will need to inform out safety team prior to the event meeting the Safety Team deadline.
- Costume requirements: No synthetics, no exceptions. For permit and safety reasons, all artists must wear natural fiber. This is a very important point since the longevity of this event is on the line with the San Francisco Fire Department. Also, I do not care who you are, what country you came from, and what skills you have: if you show up for your tool check and performance with a non natural fiber costume, I will not let you perform so as to not risk the show being banned by the fire department in future years (a threat they have made). This is not negotiable. If you are wearing synthetics on the day of the show, it will result in your expulsion from the event (and, where applicable, your travel stipend given to someone else).
- Deadlines: After you have been accepted into the show, there will be additional deadlines for those who are in the show. The schedule of events and deadlines follows. All deadlines below for items due are at noon pacific time on the date listed.
Date - Event/Deadline 2012.01.15 - Kickstarter Opens 2012.01.18 - Artist application Due 2012.02.05 - Kickstarter Ends 2012.02.10 - Artists Announced to artists 2012.02.24 - Marketing materials due 2012.03.01 - Artists Announced to public 2012.03.01 - Video #2 due 2012.04.01 - Badge Information Due 2012.04.10 - Music for the Show due 2012.04.14 - Final video due 2012.04.15 - Cue card and safety team information and lighting cue due 2012.04.17 - Show order announced 2012.04.20 - Kickoff event for National Dance Week, day 2012.04.20 - Union Square walk through for performers, night 2012.04.21 - Expo 2012.04.22 - Performers only photo shoot
- Rules: Follow them. Really. I did not make up all these rules (many of which are annoying by my own standards!) simply because I want to be an annoying event organizer. These rules are in place because this show is legally permitted and I’m coordinating with and juggling the requirements of multiple organizations.
- Exceptions: There are none. Really. International acts: please make sure you have worked with white gas — it burns hotter and brighter than some fuels out there and this was an issue for some artists a few years ago. Please do not think that because you’re traveling thousands of miles the rules changed. We use white gas because it burns cleaner, smells less, and most importantly, when we tried to use lamp oil in the past, it created a safety hazard on the already-slick made-of-stone stage where excess fuel splattered during the performances. Falling artists == bad.
- Extinguishing: Artists must have prior experience extinguishing burning tools.
- Mindset: Artists must agree to abide by the Flowology Mindset® as related to the event (http://templeofpoi.com/flowology/mindset.php)
- Compensation: 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. In keeping with the tradition of this not-for-profit show comprised of artists doing it because of their love of sharing their art, there will be no monetary compensation. However, all performers in the show will get to participate in a performers only photo shoot and will gain access to photos and videos made available to the public after the event. While there is no fiscal compensation for the show, the addition to the portfolio is, in many cases, worth over a thousand dollars.
- Backstage: Please do not invite your friends, family, fans and guests back stage. It is chaotic and small back there. Please, also, do not stand on the potted plants or in the dirt where they are — Union Square gets very upset about this. That said, if you act requires support staff, you will need to get that information to GlitterGirl in advance of the show as part of the Badge Information Deadline.
- Fire on the stage: If your act uses more than one tool and one will be burning for a period of time after you are done using it, please contact our stage manager and fire safety team in advance of the show to make arrangements to move the tool off stage when you are done with it. While fire can touch the stage, burning tools may not be left on the stage to meet the San Francisco Fire Department requirements.
- Props: If you have any additional props as part of your act (i.e., something to hold your fire tools or a chair and table) please include this information in your application email and also provide this information to the fire safety team.
- Cauldrons and Tool Lighting for the show: there will be 4 cauldrons on the stage — three downstage (one left, one center, one right) and one upstage center. For your convenience, we have a map where you can view the layout of the stage as well as other Union Square information.
In 2012, selection will be done by a group of people who all give their input on which acts to select. In an effort to support a diverse, entertaining and impressive show, acts are selected using the following criteria:
- priority will be given to quality artists with a quality demo video on fire who hail from a location more than 300 miles from San Francisco. After all, they are coming to donate their time, energy and brilliance to a Bay Area fire show!
- a quality video, which we view, for the purposes of this show, as:
- described in the video audition section of this document
- on fire (Please note, a fire video is a requirement for the fire department and subsequently, for your application)
- in costume (if we want to be respected artists, let’s dress the part!)
- with good lighting where the artist(s) can be seen
- with the fire and the artist in frame
- with no obvious show stopping mistakes (i.e., tangles that stop the flow are no good but a slick recovery from an unexpected hyperloop gone wrong is okay)
- the artist is not setting themselves on fire
- includes a solid opening, middle and end to the performance
- ideally showcasing fire dancing, not just tech spinning with the combined showcasing of tech fire dancing given highest priority
- when choosing acts, innovative group choreography will be selected over solo spots
- we are looking to balance the gender of the show so it is neither disproportionately filled with male or female performers
- similarly, we are looking to balance the tools being used to perform — 2010 was a disproportionately high percentage of fan acts and 2011 it was poi, so please bring your unique tools.
- while we want a high quality show featuring some performing legends from around the globe, we also want to showcase the diversity of this art form and will have a few amateur spots available specifically for newer artists — these artists will still need to meet the application requirements, even if they are amateurs
- diversity and innovation of performance and dance expression with the tools being showcased
- since this show celebrates National Dance Week, performances which show off dance will be given higher priority than mostly tech performances
- in an effort to encourage both the young and aged (like a fine wine!) to apply, we will have one spot for “Under 20″ and one spot for “50 and over” set aside which are different than the amateur spots.
- artists applying to be in more than one act: please be aware preference is given to having as many different artists as possible in the show
- Housing: we will do our best to find places artists can stay in the bay area for the weekend of the expo. We were able to put up a few artists for a few nights in 2011 which really helped them out and helps offset some of the costs.
- Performers Only Photo Shoot: This event has grown in stature over the past 7 years and has become a place where dozens of photographers gather to capture amazing photographs. In addition to the photographs and footage obtained the night of the expo, the following evening we will have a photo shoot for performers only. To get a sense of what this means for your portfolio, please take a look at the list of photos from the 2011 Fire Dancing Expo. While there is no fiscal compensation for the show, the addition to the portfolio is, in many cases, worth over a thousand dollars.
- How to find photos and video after the show: GlitterGirl has personal relationships with many of the artists who generously take photos at the expo. As a result, she will gather all the details of photos and videos and post this information through the Union Square Expo Announce group on FaceBook.
- Marketing Materials: each artist must submit the following marketing materials by the deadline listed in the table above for inclusion on our web site and in the program. Please view the 2011 Expo Lineup Announcement page for a sense of how this information will be used. Please email with the subject line of ArtistName’s Marketing Materials. Please email us the following:
- Photo of your group for inclusion on the web site
- The Name of Your Act as you wish it to appear on all future announcements related to the expo
- A relevant promotional URL link we will use to promote your work. If you do not have a website, your YouTube channel will work. If you do not have a YouTube Channel, your Facebook fan page would work or even your personal page on Facebook.
- A bio describing your group/act that is no more than a single paragraph (approximately 5 sentences)
- A video link of your work which will be included in the promotional blurb about your group/act
- Badge Information: In order to maintain safety and security at the event, all artists will wear badges. Solo acts will submit the information for their act and group acts will submit one email from the group leader with the information for all members in the group. For each badge we will need the following information sent in an email with the subject line of Badge Information:
- Artists name, in full
- Group name, if part of a group or the word “Soloist” if a solo act
- Role which will be either “Performer”, “Safety” or “Crew” – please note all “crew” members must be pre-approved by GlitterGirl.
- Music for the Show: All acts must provide a fully edited, cut-to-the-correct-time (we do not fade music!) single track for their act(s). Please note, each act can use one and only one track, so edit your music to one track that is the exact length you want. Music not sent on time and/or not edited to a single track cut to the proper length will result in your expulsion from the event (and, where applicable, your travel stipend given to someone else). Please send the music with a subject line of Artistname’s Music in mp3 or mp4 format ONLY!
- Cue Card Information: Each act will need to provide a cue card with a 10-40 word introduction you wish spoken for your act. This should be typed out and emailed in with explanations of pronunciations in the text. For example, to be clear that “Isa” is pronounced properly, I might write: Isa (with an “E” sound, as in “Lisa” without an “L” or “Isabel”) to make it clear to the show emcees. Please send the email with a subject line of ArtistName’s Cue Card Info.
- Safety Team Information: Each act will need to send an email describing their safety needs for their act. This should include any tool changes, how many artists will be exiting the stage and what tools they will be using. The minimum information will be something like: “I will spin my tool out and will not need any safety assistance” Please send the music with a subject line of ArtistName’s Safety Info.
- Walk through: Friday night before the show, GlitterGirl will do a walk through with the artists who are interested. This will happen at Union Square. This walk through will explain the information about who is where, how artists enter the stage and we will do a quick visualization of the space so artists can appreciate the proximity of the audience to the stage in various places around the stage.
- Union Square information: For details about the stage, fueling area, spin out area, stage layout and the general view of the space overall, we have created these maps of Union Square for the expo.
- Music cue: Each artist will need to submit the details of their music cue. This should explain where you will be located on the stage and what position you will be in when the music should start as well as indicating if the tool(s) will be lit. This information is imperative to ensure the clean start of your act.