The average person would not think that New York City has anything to do with Burning Man–the famous week-long party held in the middle of the Nevada desert every year–but they would be wrong. The city actually hosts a very large and vibrant “burner” scene that is constantly throwing amazing parties. Established burner camps like Kostume Kult and Disorient have long held regular events here that attract New Yorkers and tourists from all walks of life. Another group, Gratitude NYC, is a collective known for transporting the Burning Man experience to the Big Apple with their huge and elaborate events. In the past they have thrown parties anywhere from large warehouses in the industrial sections of Brooklyn to the beaches of the Jersey Shore.
Now, they are at it again with their newest party, “Hearts of Fire.” Produced in collaboration with Flameaux Fire, at the House of Yes in Brooklyn, it all goes down Friday, January 15th.
Hearts of Fire is billed as an “immersive experience like nothing you’ve ever seen, featuring: interactive environments, fire rituals, visionary artists, and spectacular performances throughout the night.” Think interactive fire rituals by groups of sexy fire-artists, intricate projection mapping, body and canvas painter’s, fire pits, dance cages, fortune tellers, aerial performers, full bar and food from Queen of Felafel, a “Secret Shrine” by Cuddle Puddle NYC (shhhhh…don’t tell anyone), and of course an amazing DJ line-up including David Starfire (headlining), Kai Altair, the Beat Kitty, Illexxandra, Milk, and Christian A a.k.a. Peakkontrol.
I talked with Cinder Petrichor, a fire-artist with Flameaux Fire and one of the producers of Hearts of Fire, about the history of these events and what people can expect Friday night.
Jonathan Denby: How did you get started doing all of this?
Cinder Petrichor: I used to be a public school teacher, but I fell in love with the flames. I saw the work that Flambeaux was doing and thought, “If only one day I could be a background dancer on one of his shows, I’d be happy. So I started working with him on The Calling, which is an immersive musical theatre production that takes place in a fantasy fire world. The fire world quickly became my home, and I found a resonance with Flambeaux’s particular style of fire performance. I was particularly drawn to the theatrical base and opportunity to design and build new and innovative fire effects. Gratitude helped produce the last two Calling shows, providing an after-party in the same space.”
JD: How was the idea for Hearts of Fire conceived?
CP: At the last Calling, there was a sort of after-show when other performers were allowed to take the stage and do their thing, independent of the plot and show. This turned out to be a hugely positive experience for everyone. Hearts of Fire is a space for fire artists to bring their art and share it with others who will appreciate it. It’s a stage and a gallery. It’s a party and an experience. We want to bring the fire world to life for a night, so everyone can experience it.
JD: What kind of performances will unfold during the night?
CP: There’s a wide range of performances happening throughout the night, including large group choreographed pieces, individual solos and ambient pieces, improvised fire, installation pieces like our dripping wax sculptures, live and interactive performances like the Wax Goddesses or one on one interactions with characters, and more. There’s live painting and amazing music all night, as well as a few more surprises.
JD: What do you want people to know about Friday’s event that isn’t already written on the event ads and flyers?
CP: This event is a celebration of a long road of hard work to make fire performance a legal and safe art in NYC. Other cities are already looking at our model and looking to do the same. This event is the first of its kind and raises the bar in many ways, particularly in its ability to lead people inexperienced with fire through a transformational journey.
JD: What’s in store for the future regarding Flameaux Fire and Gratitude NYC events?
CP: This is only the beginning. We all feel it: like a volcano ready to explode, fire art is the next big thing and we’re ready to take it big places. We’re already planning the next one, and the one after that…
I’ve been to a few of Gratitude’s other parties, and if this one is like the others, then I’m in for a big treat. In fact, it might end up being even more amazing than past Gratitude events because fire, being the predominant theme, will assuredly add a hypnotic and dazzling element to the already hedonistic atmosphere Gratitude parties are well known for.
I can’t wait!
Hearts of Fire is taking place Friday, January 15th, at the House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237). Directions: L Train to Jefferson St.
Ticket Sales: Google “Gratitude NYC”