Fire performer, Lorin Basché (Photo: Shaw)
By Bridget Shaw
It is a unique contrast … fire AND ice coexisting during a Mammoth winter. The Events Plaza at the Village at Mammoth was aglow last Saturday night, Jan. 28 beneath the flames of new fire performer, Lorin Basché.
His debut performance, which unleashed deftly-executed patterns of fire poi spinning and fire breathing into the sky, mesmerized anyone lucky enough to catch it.
Ashley Brussel, Event Coordinator for The Village at Mammoth, was excited to gain a new regular artist. “I love supporting and showcasing local talent, so I am thrilled to have [him] in our lineup.”
Moving from L.A. just three months ago, Lorin has already established himself as a key player in a renaissance of the ‘Flow Arts’ scene in Mammoth, one that brings a small but devout group together to learn, practice and share creative art forms.
For the uninitiated, Flow Arts, or ‘Flow’ as it is affectionately known, can encompass any creative or self-expressive/ healing art form.
Literally, anything goes: dance, circus tricks, poi spinning, music, tai chi, hula and everything in between.
Poi spinning, the art and skill of swinging tethered weights around the body in rhythmical patterns, originated from the use of poi in traditional singing and dancing group performances of the New Zealand Maori people.
Modern poi has grown rapidly in its popularity over recent years, spurred on by the exposure it gains as fire spinning at huge festivals such as Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, Nev.), and via the Internet, which has allowed people from all over the world to teach themselves by following free tutorials.
Before graduating to fire, Basché started out learning by watching online tutorials at home using (less dangerous!) tube socks and tennis balls, however he said it eventually became monotonous.
“I felt like my skill level had reached a plateau and I needed some inspiration to improve. The best way to challenge myself was to join a real-life community, a place where there are more experienced people to learn from.”
Maarten Harris, former coordinator of poi classes and spin jams at the Mammoth Healing Arts Centre in 2011, says that he originally started up to inspire people and build a community here.
Though relinquishing his role this season due to a punishing work schedule, Harris is still very passionate about his craft. “I love sharing my skills with other people, I love the mental processes you go through during training and of course the community.”
This strong sense of community is the very thread that holds everyone together and keeps members inspired. For some it can become a way of life, a form of meditation and even a place to make deeper spiritual connections. If this sounds appealing to you then a Flow or jam session is where you need to be. Local Flow enthusiast, ‘Dingo’ explains:
“Flow can be anything, it brings people of all types together and creates a really high energy. There are no expectations, no rules and no limitations. Flowing together expands consciousness, aids in self-discovery and let’s you express who you really are. It’s also about bringing that child back in you. Play is something that many people stop doing once they become an adult, but Flow sessions encourage it, and give you a chance to have fun.”
Curious to learn more? Contact Basché directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. He performs next at the Village over President’s weekend from 4-6 daily