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CoVen Lets Dancers Play With Fire

Bonsall’s Fire Garden Serves Up A Fire, Circus, Dance Show

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando gets a preview of CoVen, a fire, circus dance show at The Fire Garden in Bonsall. It features Anna Yanushkevich.


On Saturday, the Fire Garden in Bonsall hosts CoVen, a fire, circus, dance show featuring the multi-talented Anna Yanushkevich.

At last summer’s San Diego Fringe Festival Anna Yanushkevich presented Nocturnicon, a dance show that tapped into the medical arts and employed props such as a straightjacket, an I.V., and crutches. For CoVen, she turns to her love of the occult and setting things on fire.

"We have an aerial hoop act with wicks on it so it’s on fire," Yanushkevich said as she gracefully draped herself in one of the hanging hoops. "We have fire fans, fire fingers, fire feet with contortion, something called a fire bug, which looks like a levitating fireball. We have palm torches. Basically a whole lot of fire."

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Anna Yanushkevich

Anna Yanushkevich choreographs and performs in CoVen, a fire, circus, dance show at The Fire Garden on Jan. 24.

Which is appropriate for a venue called the Fire Garden. Yanushkevich described the venue as a bit like Burning Man but smaller. Artist and event producer Tony D'Aula has filled his Fire Garden with all sorts of things that burn with what he calls "benevolent fires" so when he asked Yanushkevich to stage a show, she had to deliver it with fire.

"At first I wanted to do a thing that had to do with the Salem Witch trials because they were obviously completely unfair," Yanushkevich said. "But then I couldn’t really put a storyline together for it so I decided it would be one giant circle casting [ritual] because one, people are afraid of it and they shouldn’t be because it’s like being afraid to go to church, which we have all probably been forced to go to church, so it’s kind of like you are coming to my church."

CoVen won’t preach fire and brimstone but you will find contortionists, snake charmers, and aerial acrobats all set on fire.


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