Friday, December 12, 2014

The Hunt Evolution

The fire video I just posted today was recorded at a live performance at the 2014 Kansas City Renaissance Festival. It's of our "Fight/Hunt" choreography...or, should I say, the most recently evolved version of that choreography. One of the fun things about working together for so many years, and working with the some of the same pieces for so many years, is that we get to keep refining those pieces and exploring the possibilities of how they can evolve. This is our most perfect example.

Back when I was in art school, in 2009, I conceptualized this piece for my Fiber Art class. I was to be the Prey, and Cyricx was to be the Predator.  I designed costumes of linen, leather, wood, stone, and bone (actually the inspiration for the title of this blog). 

Me in the Prey outfit
Photo by Pseudography Image Forge
Cyricx in the "Predator" outfit
Photo by Pseudography Image Forge

We went out to a remote campground with plenty of trails and clearings in the woods, and recorded the first version of "The Hunt."

I danced around lightly, blithely unaware of the predator stalking my every move, until his first attack reveals him! It then becomes a chase - a Hunt - until he captures me at last. Clearly there wasn't much choreographed here - we had a couple of joint moves planned to points in the music (E Muzeki's "MacSuibhene's Trill"), and everything in between was freestyle.

Funny thing was, it was in mid-November, and it was below freezing outside. In these outfits, well, there's no way to wear anything underneath them...ahem...ANYTHING. Cyricx and I had only been dating for a couple months at this point, and maybe it was his willingness to go through this cold hell for my wacky project idea that proved to me that he loved me! (It truly was miserable.)

Then, we wanted to take this piece to the stage at KCRF, with the Sonic Sidhe Tribe. At first, it was only a little more developed than that night in the woods. Performance with the Sonic Sidhe Tribe at KCRF 2009:

And then we structured it more, and explored a more sensual side. Performance with the Sonic Sidhe Tribe, at KCRF 2010 Pubsing:


 In 2012, as we were developing Tricks of the Light to be its own stage show, we were exploring using this choreography as part of a dramatic storytelling set. For the story, we needed to have a fight before the Hunt portion, which introduced the section in the beginning before Viollca pulls out the fire fans. The story set was a flop out at the RenFest, but we immediately adjusted our entire show and turned it into a comedy. During the rest of the RenFest season, as improv onstage and interaction with the audience happened, the latest version of "The Hunt" was developed. Performance as Tricks of the Light, at KCRF 2014:

From the beginning, "The Hunt" has transitioned from being an artistic 'interpretive dance' style piece, to a non-interactive showcase piece, to a sexy and sensual "seduction", to a dramatic fight scene, and lastly to playful comedy. We have had a lot of fun with it, and it's still one of our favorite pieces to perform! I hope you like it as much as we do. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I feel like the process of editing goes something like, "cut this, cut that, cut some more...and just when you think you're done, cut it in half."

With that as my mantra, I shouldn't ever pursue a career as a hairdresser.

But the good news is, out of something like 10 hours of footage from our 2014 KCRF show, I managed to make a 2 minute Tricks of the Light promo video for RenFests:

Now to work on making each individual piece its own video!

Inspired by the footage from the last couple of years, I've also gotten my new lotus fire fans out, and am working on getting as good with those as I was with my super-old lotus fans (that bit the dust this last season).  These things are massive, heavy, and awkward! It's not like the tricks are unfeasible or anything, just...difficult. Part of the practice is to get good at switching back and forth from my Khaos fans to the Lotus fans, since the size, shape, weight, and balance are so different for each of them.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fire Hurricane/Tri-Staff video

I have been a video editing MACHINE! This video is from the 2013 Kansas City Renaissance Festival. The fire tools are called Hurricanes, or Tri-Staves. Our friend Goliath developed them, and they were a lot of fun. They can be used much like contact staves - Cyricx has pulled off steve rolls, conveyor belts, and even a Matrix. They also have an added quality of being able to "break" planes in unexpected ways; you can grab any two spokes and twist the third, and it goes in a completely different direction. Unfortunately we don't use them much anymore due to some durability issues, but that's an even better reason to get this video out there. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Fire Performance Videos up!

Tricks of the Light recently got a spiffy new video editor, so I've been spending most of my time recently going through hours and hours of video that we've been holding onto for the last couple of years. The result? Kicking our YouTube channel back into gear, with a mixture of Fire and LED/Glow spinning videos, as well as some behind-the-scenes fun.

A three-person fire staff dance, for the Kansas City Renaissance Festival closing gate.

And our first Blooper Reel...that's right, we have been filming our practices, which means you get to see our major fails, our falls, and our not-stage-appropriate banter... :D

Want to see more? Subscribe to the Tricks of the Light YouTube Channel to get the latest performance and behind the scenes videos!