The Fire Conclave is a select group who work significant hours before arriving in Black Rock City to create fire art performances as their gift and their service in dedication to, and in honor of, The Man. The Fire Conclave performance creates a temporary community under the night sky prior to the release of The Man in pyrotechnic delight, and is the largest gathering of fire performers in the world.
The Soul Of The Flame Burns To Be Expressed In New Ways, But Fire Is Always The Same Heat.
In 2006, 41 fire groups communicated intention to join, but only 32 were compelling enough to be accepted into the Fire Conclave. New to the Fire Conclave in 2006 were representative groups from Australia, Hawaii (two islands), Massachusetts, and North Carolina. This year also brought further clarification of Fire Conclave standards.
One of the biggest challenges of Fire Conclave management is to ensure that the hundreds of fire performers and support staff that participate on the night of the Burn are effectively managed, safe within the “Great Circle,” and compelling to watch.
Each year new groups communicate their intention to join the Fire Conclave. Any group of people can come together and jam with fire; however, it takes dedicated work to create varied, choreographed fire dance with multiple tools that successfully integrates diverse personalities, performance styles, and techniques, with intention that expresses meaning rather than random movement. Fire Dance is as diverse and wide ranging as the imagination of the dancer that lights up. These are the elements that make the best contribution to the Fire Conclave.
To manage and organize a fire group the leader, also known as a Shin, must have the ability to rally a group of free-spirited individuals, lead with a firm but flexible and patient hand, have an understanding of fire safety protocols, be willing to take responsibility for the actions of all members of the group and recognize spinning in the Great Circle is an honor and a gift. Being responsible for a group of fire dancers in a choreographed fire dance and communicating all necessary information is a tall order. Some groups continue for several years as new leaders take over established groups, while others drop out after one year. Some fire groups are able to excel year after year while others do not meet the requirements.
An effort to cultivate a high level of skill and performance artistry is the continued goal of the Fire Conclave as more fire performers arrive in Black Rock City each year and a growing number of inquiries and requests from performers to participate in Fire Conclave pour in from all regions of the world. 2006 brought further clarification of Fire Conclave standards to equalize the opportunity for new and established artists in the evolving fire arts community with special consideration of limited space and safety concerns.
It is in human nature to evolve and with human nature at the heart of fire dance, fire dance is evolving. Fire performers are meeting and embracing the challenge. The drive to excel and evolve fire dance is exemplified by new and different moves that propel a flaming tool through the air as it takes on new life.
PROCESSION TO THE MAN:
LUMINFEROUS AND THE TRANSFERANCE OF THE ONE FLAME
The Ceremonial Fire – On Saturday night, the fire that burned all week long in the Center Camp Cauldron was transferred to the Luminferous, which in turn was carried by The Lamplighters and along with One Peoples Voice and Lloyd Family Players processed from Center Camp to the Great Circle to begin the festivities for Burn night – the first time this has happened. The same fire that was extracted from the sun during the Opening Ceremony and burned all week long was brought to the fire groups that started their fire dance before the Man was released in Pyrotechnic delight.
The Luminferous, forged and fabricated out of steel with a copper roof by Iron Gypsy through Iron Daisy Forge & Black Smith based in Seattle, WA., was commissioned to create a beautiful vessel that would reinstate a simple ceremony The Procession To The Man. Indeed, this beautiful simple act brought magic back to Burn night.
Arriving at the Great Circle, the Procession with the Luminiferous traversed the inner edge of L3K, warming up the crowd. Once the Luminferous had made a full circle back to the original spot, 16 fire runners with hand torches transferred the fire to specially designed Fire Pots that each of the 31 Fire Conclave groups will utilize to light their fire.
There were 34 different groups that comprised the 2006 Fire Conclave numbering 975 that came from all walks of life. From small towns or big cities, all share the passion, love and respect of the flame. Membership is comprised of Shins (group leaders), Shins Assist, Fire Watch, Drummers and Helmsmen (radio operators).
- Perth Fire Group – Perth
- Primal Fire – Victoria, B.C.
- Radiant Heat – Vancouver, B.C.
- Bom Tribe – San Francisco
- Burning Otter – San Francisco Bay Area plus
- Drummers Collective – San Francisco Bay Area plus
- Fire Arts Collective – San Francisco Bay Area
- Fire Conclave Jugglers – Sacramento & beyond
- Future Tribe – San Francisco Bay Area
- Garnish – Los Angeles area
- InterKonnected – San Francisco
- Lloyd Family Players – Bay Area
- Los Angeles Fire Conclave – Los Angeles Area
- Los Suenos del Fuego – San Francisco Bay Area
- One Peoples Voice – Gamelon X – Oakland
- Phoenix Projekt – Los Angeles Area
- Pois In The Hood – Los Angeles Area
- Santa Cruz Fire Conclave – Santa Cruz
- Sa Da Fuego – Davis
- Temple of Poi – San Francisco
- Colorado Fire Tribe
- Fire On Springs
- Transfire – Islands of O’ahu & Hawaii
- Boston Fire Geek – Boston
- Controlled Burn – Reno
- NYC – New York City
- Raks Noir
- Oregon Fire Tribe – Portland
- Incendiary Circus – Salt Lake City
Washington DC / Baltimore
- Playa Del Fuego
- Infinite Carnival Allure – Bellingham
- Kaos Kids – Seattle
- Northwest Fire Conclave – Seattle & Washington State area
- Pyronauts – 13 US States and 7 countries