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AFTERBURN REPORT 2011

FIRE CONCLAVE

Even before the 2010 Man was burned, changes were afloat with the management of the Fire Conclave. A Council was created and activated this year taking the work that one person was shouldering and spreading it between three. The voice of the Fire Conclave was also shared between the Bay Area, Seattle and Portland, which means conference calls took the place of face-to-face meetings.

FIRE CONCLAVE COUNCIL MISSION
Organize and manage the yearly gathering of the fire groups that would become the present-year members of the Fire Conclave groups in Black Rock City.

GOALS OF THE FIRE CONCLAVE COUNCIL

  • Evaluate the intention of each fire group as related through their communications, commitment and video submission for acceptance into the present year's Fire Conclave.
  • Contribute to the Fire Conclave Announce List.
  • Set safety standards for all fire performers at Burning Man.
  • Stay in communications with all members of the Fire Conclave Council.

FIRE CONCLAVE COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

  • Knowledge and experience of fire art and all aspects of safety.
  • Past History with managing a fire group.
  • No longer connected to any one group to create an air of impartiality.

Challenges from 2010 instigated Creative Solutions in 2011
The Fire Conclave Council had challenges ahead and met the two most important ones ...

  • Safety Within the Great Circle - 2010's invitation of 33 groups meant too many fire groups were in the Great Circle and when fire performers are squeezed into a small amount of real estate this meant that safety was an issue.

For 2011, 50 different fire groups communicated intention to join the Fire Conclave, 38 groups submitted an audition video for review, and 28 were "invited" to dance in the Great Circle, a reduction made necessary for the safety of all involved. This year's Fire Conclave membership, totaling 1,240, which was made up of more than just fire performers (694), fire safeties (187), Helmsmen (28 radio communicators), musical accompaniment (94) and documentation (16). There were also the Ambient Drummers (38), Procession, which included the Lamplighters (87) and the new position Sentinels (96). 23 fire groups returned to the Fire Conclave, while five groups were brand new to the ranks.

  • Demarcation of Performance Space - Limiting the numbers of fire groups within the Great Circle was one necessary aspect of safety; demarcation between the groups was the other.

In the past each fire group in the Great Circle has had trouble knowing exactly where their performance area starts and stops, and the difficulty is that there cannot be any visible barrier that would create a safety hazard to participants rushing in to get close to the Man's fire once the perimeter is released.

So a new position was created, the Sentinels. Between each fire group stood two to three Sentinels, one a torch bearer and the other(s) safety. Numbering 96 they stood between each fire groups and at the safety entrances to the Great Circle (12, 3, 6, 9). This added 32 large points of light around the circle and gave each fire group a marker of the edge of their performance space.

From the 10 groups that did not make the cut for the Fire Conclave, five fire groups were invited to take on these positions: Church of Flaming Funk, Fire Arts Collective, Hawaii, Spark! Circus Conclave Collective, and Utah Fire Conclave. This position is almost as important as the Fire Conclave; it is part of the safety infrastructure that most people will not see except for the torch they were holding. This was so successful that it will be continued into the future.

  • Refining the Process of Collecting Information - With the Fire Conclave Council living in three different locations, we collected online submissions of intention and audition videos through a web page, which was a helpful solution.
  • Grading System - All groups were judged on the following aspects:

Written Scenario: Written text that reflects the choreography.

Choreography - Does the dance follow the scenario? Is there actual thought put into the dance or is it just fire jamming?

Fire Dance / Technical - Does the dance run smoothly or is it rough. Does it mean they need to iron out the rough spots or will it take more work than there is time?

Tools – Proficient with the new tools or do they need more work? Are there surprises with LARGE fire props item that have not been communicated?

Video / Technical Aspects - Video in focus? Good sound? Multiple edits? Playing with Fire? The media should show as much of the dance that is possible with full body footage.

  • Organizer for the Ambient Drummers was passed on to a new lead.

2011 FIRE CONCLAVE MEMBERSHIP
The following groups work long hours to stand in the Great Circle and show off their fiery magic in dances dedicated to the Man before he is released in pyrotechnic delight:
Aish Tamid ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Philadelphia, PA

Burning Sensation ~ Long Beach, CA ~ New Group
Location In The World:

Chicago Fire Tribe ~ New Group

Cider Circus ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Eugene, OR

Controlled Burn (www.controlledburnreno.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Reno, NV

Dreamtime Circus (www.dreamtimecircus.org) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Bay Area, CA

Fire Euphoria ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Santa Cruz, CA

Flameology (www.flameology.com) ~ New Group
Location In The World: Las Vegas, NV

Garnish (www.kampsuckiefuckaye.com) ~ Returning Group / New Shin
Location In The World: Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Montreal, Sebastopol

Hot Coco (www.cocohot.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Colorado

Los Angles Fire Brigade ~ Returning Group

Minneapolis Fire Collective ~ Returning Group / New Shin

Nocturnal Sunshine (www.nocturnal-sunshine.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Santa Cruz, CA

NW Fire Conclave ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Seattle, WA

NYC Sparkworks (www.nycsparkwroks.org) ~ Returning Group

Oregon Fire Conclave ~ Returning Group

Petals Of Pele - New Group
Location In The World: Brooklyn, NY

Playa Del Fuego Fire Conclave ~ Returning Group / New Shin
Location In The World: Washington DC Metro area

Pois In The Hood ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Hollywood, CA

Pyroklectic (www.pyroklectic.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Prescott, AZ, Venice, CA - other cities in AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL

San Diego Fire Conclave ~ Returning Group

Santa Barbara Fire Conclave (formally Pyrospin) ~ Returning Group / New Shin

Sekhmets Tribe (http://www.sekhmetstibe.com) ~ New Group
Location In The World: San Francisco, CA

Solar Flare ~ Returning Group / New Shin
Location In The World: San Francisco, CA

The Burn Academy (www.burnacademy.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Los Angeles, CA

The Fireworks Collective ~ Returning Group / New Shin
Location In The World: United Kingdom

Vulcan (http://www.vulcancrew.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Oakland, CA

Womanipura & Friends (http://womanipura.com) ~ Returning Group
Location In The World: Seattle, WA

Submitted by,
The Fire Conclave Council: Tabasco, Q and Crimson RoseEnd of page

Click here to read the 2010 Fire Conclave report