If you weren’t aware, my other big passion aside from nerdery and writing is FIRE. Specifically, fire spinning – I perform in the Chicago and Great Lakes region any chance I get. And if there’s an opportunity to cross being a nerd with being a fire spinner? All the better. Resonate is an annual fundraiser/art festival/dance party thrown by the Chicago Burning Man community, bringing together performers and artists from multiple disciplines, including bellydance, aerial silks, contortion, burlesque, circus arts and of course, fire performance. I’ve been lucky enough to perform at Resonate for the last three years in the company of amazing and diverse talent.
With the exception of the fact that the temperature was just barely above freezing, I could have stayed outside the Metro on that makeshift stage spinning fire all night. Fire stage wrangler and fire momma Liz Campanella (manager/founder of Pyrotechniq) had thrown out the suggestion of doing 80s & 90s dance music, a fun switch from the usual techno/dubstep. As an 80s kid, I wasn’t about to turn down this opportunity.
So for my fire fan set, I went with an old favorite: Bananarama’s “Venus.” (Thanks to Devin Breen of Pyrotechniq for getting footage of this set with his super ninja camera skills.)
It’s my fire poi set, though, where I brought the 80s nerd to the Burner party.
I’ve been wanting to spin fire to Stan Bush’s “The Touch” for ages and I had one hell of a time finally getting to do so at Resonate 8. My only regret is that I didn’t have the time to go out and find a t-shirt with any Transformers logos to shred, 80s style, as part of a performance costume. (Thanks to my nerdy partner for life, Jesse Lex, for getting this footage.)
And if you’re wondering how many people got the nerdy reference of my music choice? My dear nerds, you should know – there are a lot of us in the Burning Man community as well. If you’ve never been to Burning Man or seen any videos of the art installations, I offer up this:
If the image of a Dalek art car being checked out by a Stormtrooper before speeding across the playa doesn’t convince you that nerds are everywhere, even at Burning Man, I don’t know what will.