Fire Pixie

Tissu at the lake

July 15, 2009

I've been up at the lake the last couple of days and it's been lovely. We strung the tissu between two trees and did lots of photographing.. it's a lovely place to hang out. I haven't been motivated to actually practice any choreography, which is becoming a more pressing problem as faerieworlds is in 2 weeks and I've only got the first 1/5 of the dance choreographed. The bugs, the sun, the breeze, the beauty, the big box of gingersnaps, all seem to distract me though. Also, the lack of music.. and the lack of mirrors. I'm pretty spoiled by my living room performance space I guess.
There was much adventure in rigging. Darrell was the mastermind and had a whole bunch of tools and confusing-looking gear.. several tree-scrapes, rope burns, failed attempts, near-death frights, trips to the hardware store, and hours of precarious ladder-balancing later we managed to string a cable between two trees and hang the tissu from it. It works really, really well! I'm very impressed with Darrell. We were describing the idea to lots of folks before we tried it, and got lots of skepticism and nay-sayers, but the amount of tension on the cable is just perfect - a little bouncy but that actually makes it more comfortable to bounce and drop and stuff, and it feels super safe.

Originally we wanted to hang it at 30 feet but we had only a 16 foot ladder. The first time we tried rigging I climbed all the way up the rope to a 30 foot tree branch and then freaked out and my body seized up and brain stopped working, and I had to BREATHE and slide back down the rope and shake for a while (got a nice rope burn on my shin from that one) and we decided rigging lower down, from the ladder, was the way to go this time. We've got ideas for setting up a belay so we can rig from higher heights but this time it just wasn't gonna happen. Plenty of height for close-up shots though.. the far-away silhouettes will just have to be next time.
We did 2 shoots on Monday - a sunny one and a dusk one. Then Tuesday we did an early morning shoot and a late-night, after dark shoot (at which the swarming bugs were the main event, oh MY), and then one more early morning
on Wednesday. Tissu dancing is one thing.. tissu hanging-and-posing is a bit different, and pretty tough on the ol' arm muscles - most especially at 6:00 am! (try to squeeze your fists hard enough to support your body weight right after you wake up.. combined with morning stiffness and chilliness.. that photo shoot was TOUGH!) The light was just beautiful though, with some mist on the lake and everything really still.. I think we got some really beautiful photos.
It's funny.. I remember going through this phase with fire dancing, when I'd been doing it for just a year or so. All I wanted to do was dress up, experiment with the techie stuff, and take pictures.. fun locations, crazy costumes, interesting lighting, colored flame.. no
w that bit of fancy has been transferred to tissu. I really hope tissu follows the same path as fire dancing, where I've gotten to perform so many amazing places that I don't feel the need to bother with photos anymore. :)

In the meantime.. my next wacky idea is to rig from the Donner Lake Rainbow Bridge. Let me know if you want to be involved! We'll need photographers, grips, and someone to stand there and spin me around so I'm facing the right direction.. ;)

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