A true olympic experience in Kendal

The opening night of Mintfest – Kendal’s International festival of street arts – literally set the streets alight with fire. If you were not in love with street arts before seeing Salamandre and Carabosse you will be now.

Summer 2009 249A troupe of fire artists (Salamandre) weaved their way through the high street of Kendal with their bodies and sticks, in tribal dance, generating beauty in the motion of their wanderings. The crowd of families lined the high street, watching in awe and wonder as Salamandre embraced and evoked magic with their dance theatre and play  with fire. A powerful public peformance and perfect opening spectacle for Mintfest with a delicious twist – Salamandre literally threw fire down the street, again and again, to the amazement of the audience. I heard ‘How did they get away with that?’ I am so glad that they did. Salamadre remind us of the primeval force of fire in our soul, our connection to our ancestory, and sadly, how safe public life has become. Lets not let it.Carabosse - fire garden

Not being able to get enough and wanting to continue my evening on the fire theme, i went to see Carabosse who had installed their fire garden project in Noble’s Rest Park . The fire garden was a magical, sensory experience – beautiful in the extreme, and so simple in its construction. Fire sculptures from the small to large scale, the static to the moving were placed all around the park, in trees and along pathways and enveloped in haunting and seductive live music.  I am not sure i have ever seen something quite so evocative of our heritage in such a simple way. Emphemeral, transient and beautiful. I could live for ever in this world of fire and peace. I wished to go to Burning Man Festival in Black Rock USA.

As I walked around, mostly alone as this was how I needed to experience it,  i imagined the opportunity of commissioning the development of this project as a community initiative involving the creation of  204 fire sculptures by and to represent the 204 olympic nations as an Olympic Truce Project for 2012. Using the methology for the Welcoming the World Flags project with Carabosse as the artistic leaders, this could be a proposal for London 2012 and the Olympic Park. The French are so good at alchemy – i wonder what other nations are like?Carobosse - fire garden

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~ by Debbi Lander on August 29, 2009.

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