refers to the fruit not the flames, but it
just as well could for this hip, funky, artsy
cafe is the home of modern Taiwanese fire dancing.
What exactly is that? It is not swinging pots
to bongo drums and ukuleles on the beaches
of Tahiti; it's in your face performance art
timed to the dubbed out, chilled out, head
nodding music typically played at the caf?
If you heard it on the radio or seen it at
a ClubMed luau then you're not going to find
makes this show special is the intimacy of the
performance. The small audience--usually 20 to
25 people--is only a meter or two away at all
times. At several points in the show an unsuspecting
participant gets a thrill as the fire is swung,
on coiled up long chains (poi), within inches
of their heads.
Hsieh, one of the three sisters who own and run
the Orange Cafe and self-taught guru of the dance,
headlines the show with a near flawless and totally
seductive performance: twisting, spinning, and
flipping her body in perfect balance with the
swinging poi. Jackie Chan would be impressed!
or seven amateur dancers perform in all, both
local and foreign, many of them customers taught
by Paula, and all for the love of the dance.
The performers create their own interpretive
dances with poi, flaming staffs, and burning
Ryder ("da-zhu-tou" to his friends)
is one of those performers, and the only one
in Taiwan to perform with flaming devil sticks.
He learned the art in New Zealand while a teenager,
practicing on mountain tops and performing at
raves and private parties. Mike and the other
dancers--Kevin, Charlie, Ivy, Yilin, and Mouse--have
performed for President Chen Shui-bian and other
show has also inspired many copycats around Taiwan--so
much so that Paula Hsieh is considering opening
a fire-dancing school.
troupe is available for private performances,
and can be seen every Friday night from 10 pm
to 11 pm on the small, triangle shaped, rooftop
at Orange. Admission is NT$80.