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Poi in the Park

By johnboy - 5 May 2010 23

Fire twirling

A lot of Canberra’s more interesting young women are getting into fire twirling right now (possibly the ones who can’t rollerskate).

Glebe Park in turn is fast becoming the mecca for fringe sports to meet and train (more on some of the others another day).

So it should come as little surprise that if you want to get into fire twirling Glebe Park is the place to go.

Facebook alerts us to an opportunity tomorrow night:

Poi in the park is a friendly group of fire twirling enthusiasts getting together and having a great night, sharing skills and ideas, meeting new people and having a fantastic time!!

Bring your friends along and learn something new: twirling, poi, staff, juggling, hula hooping, learn to construct your own unique toy or just come watch the show and have fun… everyone is welcome!! =)

If you have an ipod we have speakers so feel free to bring whatever music you like =D

***With increasing numbers every week we urge that if you wish to play with fire to either chip in or bring some kero with you, running out isnt fun!***

Alcohol: It is legal to drink alcohol in Glebe Park (if you’re over 18). Having said that, Poi in the Park is NOT a party, it is an event for everyone to learn and share their talents. Please do not attend or invite people to this event if you plan to get drunk and disorderly. It is not about that and we find it very disrespectful.

Any further information or enquiries feel free to contact the Canberra Fire Twirlers http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=165535498376&ref=ts

Plenty of links, videos and photos on that page also.

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Poi in the Park
Kuku 2:21 pm 06 May 10

p1 said :

BTW, I am not trying to equate the cultures of many island nations, developed over untold generations, with the traditions of a small entertainment industry. That would be both impossible and silly.

I am saying however that just because you might be right, doesn’t mean that the other person is wrong.

And I agree. I’d just like you guys to know where it comes from!
Oh yeah and take my advice about the wrist leading the direction, not the pivot. You’ll find it really controls the poi. And then you can shorten them too ( not when they’re alight okay).

p1 2:08 pm 06 May 10

BTW, I am not trying to equate the cultures of many island nations, developed over untold generations, with the traditions of a small entertainment industry. That would be both impossible and silly.

I am saying however that just because you might be right, doesn’t mean that the other person is wrong.

p1 2:02 pm 06 May 10

Because our culture is STILL alive and this is still taught to our children. And I don’t appreciate a fire twirler at the NFF telling my 11 year old daughter that it’s a circus trick and she shouldn’t be doing it.

You are right, to tell your daughter such a thing would be very dismissive of another persons culture and right to self expression.

Or course, were circus performer who was taught the tradition from a parent or other respected elder, I would feel the same about your attitude.

Just sayin’

Kuku 1:41 pm 06 May 10

Sure, it’s nice to know, but criticising fire twirlers for not respecting Polynesian culture enough is a truly bizarre standpoint. It’s like getting angry at people making spag bol at home from a jar because it shows utter disrespect to all of Italian culture. Really … who cares?

Because our culture is STILL alive and this is still taught to our children. And I don’t appreciate a fire twirler at the NFF telling my 11 year old daughter that it’s a circus trick and she shouldn’t be doing it.

If you don’t understand that about First Nations people, enough said.

Jim Jones 1:24 pm 06 May 10

Kuku said :

If you were to do ballet, painting, singing, you would be taught the history, where it comes from and the tradition around it. Why should ours be any different?

Not always, no.

I agree that it’s nice to know the social, cultural and historical background of artistic practices, but it’s by no means essential.

I very strongly doubt if most modern dancers know of the origin and evolution of dance throughout civilization, ditto with musicians – how many amateur performers do you think have a firm grasp of the development of music (let alone the origins of their instrument)?

Sure, it’s nice to know, but criticising fire twirlers for not respecting Polynesian culture enough is a truly bizarre standpoint. It’s like getting angry at people making spag bol at home from a jar because it shows utter disrespect to all of Italian culture. Really … who cares?

Kuku 12:45 pm 06 May 10

p1 said :

I have had fire twirlers tell me I don’t what what I’m talking about and it’s a circus thing. And, in Hawaii, poi is a type of food.

Naming aside, if those people were taught to twirl fire by people in a circus, then they were correct. And Hawaii apparently has it’s own traditions of spinning burning things.

But at least this must give you all something to chat about while watching the beginners get in a tangle.

Yes all of Polynesia has it. And they all have their own versions but they all have their origins in warfare/weaponry and survival.

And if they were taught by a circus performer, kei te pai. But it’s still not a circus thing.

If you were to do ballet, painting, singing, you would be taught the history, where it comes from and the tradition around it. Why should ours be any different?

p1 12:20 pm 06 May 10

I have had fire twirlers tell me I don’t what what I’m talking about and it’s a circus thing. And, in Hawaii, poi is a type of food.

Naming aside, if those people were taught to twirl fire by people in a circus, then they were correct. And Hawaii apparently has it’s own traditions of spinning burning things.

But at least this must give you all something to chat about while watching the beginners get in a tangle.

Kuku 12:03 pm 06 May 10

Unfortunately I think you’ll be sad since the term “poi” seems to have become a term a common usage for any burning spinney thing.

Personally, I like playing with burning things, and have since I was a kid, but have never engaged in it while I was off my face at (insert what ever hippie/faux earth gathering/rave thing you attended here) nor did I know the origins of the term Poi until just then when I read about it on wikipedia.

I’m not denying your right to fire twirl, what I am questioning is doing something when you don’t know where it comes from. I have had fire twirlers tell me I don’t what what I’m talking about and it’s a circus thing. And, in Hawaii, poi is a type of food.

I’m glad you’ve checked out what poi is and it’s history.

Whilst it’s now primarily a ‘woman’s’ thing it was about teaching dexterity in the wrist movements for warfare. Many of the songs surrounding poi refer to birds, the sun etc. That’s what I mean when I say they’re an aide to telling a story.

” (Unless it’s a pair of poi to the crotch. That tends to hurt)”

And that shouldn’t happen either. Don’t use the end as a pivot. Use your wrists – believe me you have more control over what you are doing and you’ll end up with awesome biceps.

p1 11:20 am 06 May 10

Sure, I have no problem if you’re going to do that call it “I’m twirling kero soaked burning things that I learned to do while I was off my face at (insert what ever hippie/faux earth gathering/rave thing you attended here).” Just don’t insult us and call it poi without knowing what you are doing or where it came from.

Fair enough I guess, if that is your position. I imagine that Catholics would be similarly upset if lots of people co-opted parts of there ritual and language while totally disregarding the dogma surrounding it. Unfortunately I think you’ll be sad since the term “poi” seems to have become a term a common usage for any burning spinney thing.

Personally, I like playing with burning things, and have since I was a kid, but have never engaged in it while I was off my face at (insert what ever hippie/faux earth gathering/rave thing you attended here) nor did I know the origins of the term Poi until just then when I read about it on wikipedia.

Lardman 11:09 am 06 May 10

Kuku said :

It would be great, however, if some of those who claim to ‘fire twirl’ actually learn where this came from and to be a bit respectful of the kaupapa and kawa (custom) of the poi. It’s not something that’s ‘circus trick’ or something to do when you’re drugged out or to help whatever ‘trip’ you’re on.

The poi tells and illustrates a story – an aide. It’s not something that you bring your own music to and somehow feel that it’s something to bang a beat to. There are ways of holding yourself, telling the story and being respectful to the culture you are appropriating.

Not everybody there is doing it for a drug-fueled trip, for one.

I would agree not everyone does it for the spiritual bit of it either. I for one don’t.
Most of us just find it a good bit of fun that looks quite nice.

And it’s fairly safe. We usually have the police come by every now and again, and for the 2 months I’ve been there I haven’t seen anything that would harm another.. (Unless it’s a pair of poi to the crotch. That tends to hurt)

Kuku 10:16 am 06 May 10

p1 said :

It would be great, however, if some of those who claim to ‘fire twirl’ actually learn where this came from….

Mmm… So there was a first and only culture to swing around kero soaked burning things and that have a unique right to be recognised?

Sure, I have no problem if you’re going to do that call it “I’m twirling kero soaked burning things that I learned to do while I was off my face at (insert what ever hippie/faux earth gathering/rave thing you attended here).” Just don’t insult us and call it poi without knowing what you are doing or where it came from.

p1 9:39 am 06 May 10

It would be great, however, if some of those who claim to ‘fire twirl’ actually learn where this came from….

Mmm… So there was a first and only culture to swing around kero soaked burning things and that have a unique right to be recognised?

mutley 8:36 am 06 May 10

Fire-twirlers are the new mimes.

Kuku 10:19 pm 05 May 10

Great to see the dexterity and appreciation of the poi in popular culture.

It would be great, however, if some of those who claim to ‘fire twirl’ actually learn where this came from and to be a bit respectful of the kaupapa and kawa (custom) of the poi. It’s not something that’s ‘circus trick’ or something to do when you’re drugged out or to help whatever ‘trip’ you’re on.

The poi tells and illustrates a story – an aide. It’s not something that you bring your own music to and somehow feel that it’s something to bang a beat to. There are ways of holding yourself, telling the story and being respectful to the culture you are appropriating.

gospeedygo 6:56 pm 05 May 10

I sure wouldn’t like to hang out there after hours thats for sure.

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