Since 1994, Flam Chen has been perfecting the art of circus fire performance in Arizona and around the Southwest. It's one of the country's premier circus arts and fire performance troupes, best known for its participation in the Tucson All Souls Procession, the city's annual public ceremony for which a Flam Chen show serves as the grand finale.
There aren't many places that can accommodate the troupe's unique needs -- places that won't catch on fire and are also spacious enough for aerial performers -- but, thankfully, the vaults at Arcosanti can. And on Saturday, July 13, Flam Chen will perform a new show that will incorporate "stilt, samba, fire and original Caribbean-infused electronica."
Caribbean Technology will set to live music a show of fire, stilt, aerial and dance performers. It will showcase the talents of about 14 performers, including musicians, and the dance elements will be rooted in Brazilian samba and African styles. But unlike samba in the style of Rio de Janerio, Flam Chen's performance will lean toward a more elemental style of dance that combines capoeira with samba.
The music will comes from Caribbean drummer Richard Noel and his group, Sticks & Fingers. Noel, originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, specializes in vibrant steel drums and world percussion that blends the spirit of the Caribbean with the sounds of western culture.
Paul Weir, the troupe's technical director, describes the show as an "epic, legendary" and "high-energy" experience that will bridge the gaps between dance, theater, and circus.
For those who haven't seen the Arcosanti vaults before, Weir describes them as "Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine meets Italian renaissance." The grand space will allow the group to incorporate fire, smoke, and aerial rigging to the show.
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"It's a perfect venue for our work," Weir says, explaining that the vaults allow them to put on extravagant shows like Caribbean Technology without having to construct a theater of their own or work around the constraints of traditional settings.
The evening's events will being with African drumming group Planet Djembe and the dancers of Mamaxe' Dance Collective in the Colly Soleri Amphitheater at 8 pm. Flam Chen's Carribean Technology will start at 9 p.m. in the vaults and will be followed by a dance party with DJ FIX.
Tickets to Caribbean Technology at Arcosanti on Saturday, July 13, cost $20 a person or $40 for the show and a Caribbean-themed dinner that will be served at 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the Flam Chen website.