Dubai-based Jason Pierre Renaud is a fire dancer. Founder of entertainment business Firestorm, the 36-year-old has been 'playing with fire' since 2005. From fire breathing to body burning (where he can draw a stick of fire along his arm with a completely poker face) and even fire eating ("it tastes like burnt marshmallows"), Jason is an entertainer with several fiery tricks up his sleeve. There is no fear in his performance, but don't mistake that for nonchalance - he is constantly alert for anything that could go wrong. "Fire is one of those elements you'll never be able to control," he says. "You can never get to that point where you think you're in control because that's when your hair goes up or you could lose an eyebrow - or a beard."
Despite the dangers of the craft, one senses an undertone of deep appreciation for the art form every time he speaks of it. It is this desire for self-expression that pushes him to keep exploring how he can better his performances, without getting burnt. Currently, he and his wife (they run the business together) are figuring out how to safely dance with large steel wings that have fire on the ends. "There's a lot of heat involved, so that's still a work in progress; we'd never introduce it at a show before we knew it was 100 per cent safe."
Jason's commitment to safety is evident in that he makes it very clear to clients that while he is deeply devoted to promoting the art, he would not hesitate to cancel a show in the event of a change in circumstances (like the weather) that might lead to compromising the team's safety. "We're not huge fans of risks," he says. "We've done a lot of shows that are high impact - but that's after days of preparation and practice, so that when we actually do the show, we know (in the case of indoor shows) just how high the ceiling is, where the exits are, where the A/C vents are, etc. It's the reason we're safe today and able to continue doing what we love."
Fire safety is of utmost importance for both the audience and performers. We at FireStorm take a number of precautions at each performance to ensure that the event runs smoothly. This includes the provision of a Fire Safety individual to assist the group with the equipment and any other precautionary measures during every fire performance. The Fire Safety is familiar with FireStorm and with all of our equipment, and is typically a member of our group. Because of the emphasis we place on safety during the performance, the Fire Safety individual is provided free of charge. Additional fire safety measures we adhere to including the following:
Firestorm is fully certified by Santis UAE in the use of Fire Safety
All of our fire performers are appropriately trained in the art of fire dancing and understand the risks involved in fire dancing and fire breathing.
Prior to the performance, we view the location and assess whether the amount of space, weather conditions and overall performance area is appropriate for fire dancing. If deemed unsafe, we either liaise with the event organisers to establish a more secure location, offer an LED performance as an alternative to fire or cancel our performance at the event. (Cancellation applies only if the weather conditions are unsafe and in consultation with the client).
We work with the event organisers to establish a location for our equipment and fuel; this location is well away from the crowd, with adequate distance from the stage.
In this area, we prepare our equipment by giving it a thorough check to ensure all parts are locked in and secure and that we have all of the necessary fire safety items (fire extinguisher, wet towels, fire blanket and first aid kit including burn spray) on hand in case of an incident.
We fuel our equipment by soaking the fire toys in the paraffin and ‘spinning off’ the excess fuel to ensure that little or no excess fuel comes off during the performance. By doing this, and by ensuring our performance space is adequate, the crowd is not affected.
At the end of the performance and depending on the length of the set, the fire dancers will either ‘spin out’ or put out the flame with the wet towel that is on hand. All equipment is re-checked for the next fire set, or if the performance is finished, the equipment is left to cool off and then packed up. Fuel is put back into the original storage units using a funnel and all equipment is accounted for.
Fire & Flow Artist
Cape Town, South Africa
Buugeng, Contact Staff, Cube, Dragon Staff, Fans, Fire, Fire Acts, Fire Breathing, Fire Dance, Fire Dress, Fire Eating, Fire Play, Hand Candles, Jump Rope, LED Play, Pixel Poi, Poi, Pyrotechnics, Sparkle, S-Staff, Staffs, Stilt Walking, Twirling, UV
Corporate Event, Cruise Ship, Wedding, Bachelor Party, Hotels & Restaurants, Clubs & Pubs, Public Event, Exhibition, Festival, Private Party, Children Birthday
Awards and Recognition
Khaleej Times - Wknd Magazine
- Fire Safety
Spectale La Feur
4 Performers 1 Fire Safety Transport Fuel
No of sets:
Sound Equipment DTCM Permissions (performers permission)
Dubai Fire Show - Single Performer
Transport Fuel Fire Performance Fire Safety Person
No of sets:
Sound Equipment DTCM Permit