Modern Fire Dancing began as an underground Art Form and has since transformed into a worldwide phenomenon. This film chronicles the lives of Fire Artists in the resort town of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, where the tourist industry’s insatiable need for entertainment has spawned a growing number companies specializing in the Fire Arts. These Companies attract young Fire Dancers from all over Mexico and the world with dreams of working in the entertainment industry or maybe even the Cirque Soleil. These young artists are incredibly determined but struggle with the negative perception that Fire Dancers are just homeless street hustlers that appear around the city and at stoplights. This Documentary focuses on one such company and the people who are dedicated to changing the perception of the Fire Arts by developing their technique and skills to the highest level.
The film opens as the main character, Raul Gonzales and his group, Los Itzaes, appear on the popular talent show “Quien Tiene Estrella”, the Mexican version of American Idol. One of the judge’s informs them that their “skill” is not really a talent but something only drunk tourists in a bar would enjoy. The group is obviously distraught by this evaluation and Raul aggressively defends his art as we see a glimpse of his determination setting the tone for the rest of the film.
We catch up with Raul 3 years later and we learn more about his family, his fellow fire dancers and his dream of creating the ultimate fire show. The film’s narrative unfolds through a series of intimate portraits that focus on the lives of these young artists. We hear characters share their personal stories, speaking passionately about their philosophies, the hard work, danger, and the rewards of their chosen profession.
The fire dancers are so inspired to develop their skills they decide to stage the first International Fire Dance Festival in Mexico. Bringing the best Fire Artists from all over the world to Playa Del Carmen to share knowledge with one another.
Fire Dance with Me is beautifully photographed, integrating slow motion, stylized set-ups, cinema verite, archival film, photographs, and behind the scenes footage to capture the incredibly dangerous world of Fire Dancing. The Fire transformed these characters and it may just transform you.
Come Fire Dance with Me.