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Unexpected attraction draws crowds to Fire Dancers

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Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 2:27 pm | Updated: 2:45 pm, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - The Tanana Valley State Fair gets under way this week, but a few miles down the road it’s carnival time.

Fire Dancers and Stilt Walkers, a troupe of Seattle-based acrobats and fire dancers from Flamebuoyant Productions, is performing at The Blue Loon.

The troupe performs traditional circus acts, such as fire eating and stilt walking, but ratchets up the action with Polynesian-inspired movements, acrobatics, juggling and staff-fighting. Highlights are an act done with a flaming hula-hoop and poi spinning, a traditional Maori art in which balls are spun on strings to create patterns. Expect lots of flames.

Performer Leslie Rosen had been a dancer for years when she heard the call of the fire.

“When people see fire, they’re called to it or they’re repelled by it,” Rosen said. “When you see it, and it calls to you, it’s a pretty loud call.”

Rosen is also an instructor at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle.

The group played at the Southeast Alaska State Fair in rainy Haines in late July, packing the house with every show.

“Vendors told us they would just shut down and come watch the show because the rest of the fair was a ghost town when we were on,” Rosen said.

This will be Rosen’s third trip to Fairbanks. She most recently performed at a Mardi Gras-themed event at The Blue Loon, where the winter chill was in decided contrast to her performance. But any season is good, she said.

“I’ll come back to Alaska any time,” she said.

Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.

IF YOU GO

What: Fire Dancers and Stilt Walkers

Where: The Blue Loon

When: Saturday, Aug. 6, 10 p.m.

Cost: $5

Info: www.flamebuoyant.com

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