KINGS BEACH, Calif. — In running, it’s often called a “high.” Basketball players may know it as “the zone.”
There’s a state of such complete involvement in an activity that a beautiful meditative focus comes to play. In the rapidly growing modern circus arts movement, this revered state is called Flow. Specifically, “flow artists” are those who do mind-blowing work with hula hoops, poi, staffs, fans and other juggling-style props.
On Sept. 3-5, the third annual Lake Tahoe Flow Arts Festival (LTFAF) will unite a dream team of these “flow artists” — jugglers, hula hoopers and prop spinners, not to mention aerial artists, yogis and paddle boarders — from all around the globe. The festival features two days of workshops from international talent, and three nights of events, including a public Gala Cirque and Fire Show at North Tahoe Events Center on Thursday, Sept. 5 free for the community.
With its gorgeous waterfront location and early-September timing, It’s no wonder LTFAF has become a Mecca for the world’s leading flow artists as they exit the annual Burning Man Festival.
“This began three years ago as a way to set up local workshops for international artists who had traveled to the States to attend Burning Man, and also to treat our community to a world class show they wouldn’t normally get to see,” says LTFAF organizer and Jai Yen shop owner Christy Lee Smith. “The first year, I thought it was a one-off, but it was such a hit — among the instructors, the students, and the community — that it has become a much-loved annual event.”
Who can festival attendees expect to see?
This year, instructors and performers include international “Male Hooper of the Year” Steve Bags (England), poi artist Ronan McLaughlin (Ireland), poi master Shin, as seen on Korea’s Got Talent (South Korea), award-winning hula hooper Kenna (England), as well as leading national talent Ben Drexler (Washington, D.C.), Marvin and Jennifer Ong (Los Angeles), Aileen Lawlor (Oakland), Valentina (San Diego), Revolva (Oakland), Jenn Rauscher (Columbia, Mo.), Bliss (Oakland), Thom Thumb (Austin, Texas), Noel Yee (Oakland) — and Lake Tahoe’s own aerial artist Alison Victoria, fire artist Andrea Creo, and stand-up paddleboard legend David Defoe.
What will attendees experience?
Workshops on super-fun art forms such as hula hooping, poi, staff spinning, aerial arts and yoga will be offered at the Lake Tahoe Events Center on Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Thursday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Between classes, participants can also enjoy the water with paddleboarding or swimming. Spin jams and fire shows will also take place nightly.
The Gala Cirque & Fire Show is the culmination of the festival, and that big show will take place on at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5 at the North Lake Tahoe Events Center, featuring the artists mentioned above doing a jaw-dropping sunset spectacular, with fire and glow props, as well as aerial arts.
“I’ve performed and taught all over the world, and I can honestly say Lake Tahoe Flow Festival has become one of my favorite gatherings,” said international hula hoop artist Revolva, who will teach at this year’s fest and co-emcee the Gala Show. “The workshops available from so many international instructors are a unique opportunity. There are also attendees — not even the teachers, but just the students — from so many different countries, because they all come here after Burning Man. It’s just a great chance to meet interesting people, learn, share, play and be totally inspired.”
For more information visit www.flowartistry.com for full event details and ticket info.