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AFTERBURN REPORT 2001

Fire Conclave

This year on the night when flames finally released the Man, the 300+ members of the Fire Conclave danced to form a protective presence around the pyre. In its third year, this collective of dancers and performers is devoted to celebrating fire, and their love of this medium extends far beyond spinning, twirling, spitting, and eating fire. Their mindful use of flame imparts a special knowledge: fire comes from within.


Photo: Jonzo

Before the night of the burn, the Fire Conclave participates in other activities, including the Opening Fire Ceremony. Using a lens, heat is extracted from the sun and captured, in turn, to ignite the Center Camp Cauldron. Throughout the week of the event, this flame is kept alive by stoking and disturbing it day and night. Each evening, as the sun disappears, the Fire Conclave gathers to dance and drum.

Fire Arts Outreach

In 2001, 15 different groups from cities across the United States, each organized by a team leader, were given the responsibility to choreograph a dance for the night of the burn. The invitation to join in creation with other fire performers from the same locality encouraged interactions among like-minded souls not yet known to one another, creating a community founded on the love of fire.

Earlier in the year, Crimson Rose had traveled to Los Angeles and Seattle, creating Show Me Salons to establish ties between performers. The cities represented this year were:

  • New York ("FlambeVolupte")
  • Reno ("Controlled Burn")
  • Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Sacramento ("Jugglers")
  • San Francisco ("Seeds of Fire," "Promethean's Revenge," and "Goddess of Fire")
  • Santa Cruz ("Nocturnal Sunshine")
  • Oakland ("Burn Unit")
  • Seattle "Cirque de Flambe", "Pyrosutra", and "Magma Vox"

Several independent fire performers joined these groups; as always, all fire performers are welcome. For further information, e-mail or visit the fire conclave section of this website.


Interest in the fire art of Burning Man continued to spread through the public awareness in 2001. Crimson Rose was invited to lecture on Burning Man at three events, and she served as a fire judge at an art competition. At the New Prometheans International Fire Arts Festival held at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, she lectured and participated in a panel discussion, "Woman and the phenomena of fire, fire art, and fire in performance."

In June 2001, Crimson also lectured at the zum us-festival at Tiroler Kunstpavillion in Innsbruck Austria & Visitors Center, Ischgl, Austria, and she participated as one of the fire judges at the Ischgl Mountain Ghost-2nd International Contest of Fire Sculpture. Gebhard Schatz, the organizer of this event, is also a fire artist. He was invited to attend Burning Man in 2001 and received a grant from the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

Our ongoing outreach efforts have confirmed what we already knew: the primal nature of fire is a compelling force. Burning Man continues to evolve into one of the largest venues for fire arts in the world.