September Performances

It’s a good thing I got some relaxation in over Labor Day weekend, because it looks like September’s going to be busy! I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve got three, possibly four, gigs already lined up for this month – and that’s in addition to the September Full Moon Jam.

Coming up tomorrow night at 8pm, I’ll be spinning LED poi and flags to the exotic folk & jazz stylings of the lovely Dawn Xiana Moon and her trio at the Abbey Pub in Irving Park. Tickets are $8 pre-show, $10 at the door. It’s drummer Joe Chellman’s last gig with the Trio, so if you haven’t seen them perform, don’t miss this! He’s an amazing drummer and we’re going to send him off with a bang. Oh yes – you might get on TV if you come, too!

In two weeks, on Saturday, September 18, I’ll be performing at the Grand Opening celebration of my favorite local cafe, Senem’s Coffee and Tea House (you can even check out my review of Senem’s on my personal blog, Magpie’s Marbles). There will be a whole line up of entertainment for the day. Senem is a lovely woman and her cafe is a hidden gem in East Lakeview/Wrigleyville, so come on by, support a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, and enjoy some of the best Turkish coffee and mint lemonade in the city.

Finally, I’m thrilled to have been invited to perform at il Carnivale e Stage Left – the Fall Season kick-off event for the Stage Left Theater – on Friday, September 24, at the Mars Gallery. Stage Left is a fantastic Chicago company with a focus on producing political and social theater and providing a supportive venue for new visions. Like all small theater companies, they depend heavily on public support, so join us for an evening of frivolity, celebration and unique entertainment. Advance tickets are $50 and $60 at the door.

The month is still young, so hopefully there’s more to come!


The big finale at the Denton-Smith wedding

Filed under: LED poi,non-burning performance,performance,poi,wedding — Tags: , , , , , , — WildfireWeaver @ 8:42 am  

Mike Denton (left) and Lee Smith (right) tie the knot on the beach.

When my husband and I got married back in 2007, our friends Mike and Lee caught the garter and bouquet at our reception. A few short months later, Mike proposed to Lee and as of June 12, 2010, they tied the knot on a beach at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown, MA. Without a doubt, this was one of the most artistic weddings I have ever been to – the ceremony featured performances by two of their friends playing guitar and singing (they also performed at the reception), Mike and his a cappella group did a few fantastic numbers, and yours truly was asked to close out the night with an LED poi performance. The grooms had originally hoped for a fire performance, but regulations at the reception site nixed that idea, which ultimately wasn’t a bad thing because in typical New England fashion, there was rain – and lots of it (thankfully the downpour held off until just after the wedding party was done with post-ceremony photos!).

Now, I love spinning fire, but LED does have some distinct advantages – mainly that you can wear whatever you want and do whatever you want with your hair (and in this case I didn’t have to take time out from enjoying the reception for a costume change) and there are no smoke/ventilation issues that can come up when spinning fire indoors. Plus, that seven-color fade/change does look pretty damn cool creating shifting streams of color in a darkened room.

Mike and Lee have diverse tastes in music, which made selecting performance pieces rather fun. The grooms told me I could do a set up to 15 minutes long (about 3-4 songs) and while I’m in good shape, I’m not THAT good, so we took it down to 2 pieces that combined their preference for Celtic music and my weakness for 80s hairbands: Loreena McKennitt’s “Mummer’s Dance” (4:01) and Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” (5:42). Yes, it’s an odd combination, but the slower rhythms of McKennitt’s haunting music made for a good build up to the explosive guitar riffs of what is my favorite song by the Crue. I think it’s safe to say that is the single longest continuous set of spinning poi that I have ever done, but even though by the end my arms were about ready to fall off, the clapping and cheering of the guests and wedding party – and the big “thank you” hugs from Mike & Lee – made it all worth it.

The wedding photographer, Zachary Stephens, got some fantastic shots of my performance, including an extremely cool black and white photo (I honestly didn’t know it was possible to get a shot like that of LED poi turn out that well in B&W). Zachary has been kind enough to let me post those photos here. So for those of you in the New England area looking for a fabulous event/wedding photographer, be sure to check this guy out!

Congratulations, Mike & Lee, and thank you so much for letting me share in your celebration like this! May you enjoy a long and happy marriage. I love you both.