More often than not we hear people say, they don’t have a creative bone in their body. When we break it down, what is creativity? Who decides what being creative is? What remains constant is that my creativity is different to your creativity and that is okay.
As humans, we tend to look at what other people are doing and compare our skills to that. Creativity is not about comparison, it’s about doing something because you love it, the passion, the wonder and amazement. It’s about the pleasure of it and defining yourself through the act of creating and ultimately, happiness.
Bella Fuego, which means ‘beautiful fire’ in Spanish, has a huge passion for fire and entertaining people. Bella is a fire dancer and prop manipulator and performs as part of the Flamewater Circus. Her calling came about when she started to explore the idea of spirituality.
‘There is a beauty about fire, it’s captivating to the eye. Any kind of natural light, like the sun, I think it’s just automatic, the eye is just attracted to it,’ Bella said.
Bella started learning at workshops hosted by Flamewater Circus in Newtown. For two months, she attended these workshops and a month later she asked to join the circus and they took her on. She developed faster than she expected and is now teaching the very workshops where she learned.
‘The first time I lit my staffs, it was so overwhelming, so foreign and quite confronting. I almost couldn’t look at the fire,’ Bella said.
‘I couldn’t really see it and connect with it because I was so distracted by trying not to hit myself. But I also wanted to do something beautiful with it, and explore what my body could do with it.’
Bella found her passion and her creativity with fire and she became unstoppable. When she got past the fear, she noticed that she could feel the fire more, and she embraced the live element in a way she didn’t think possible.
‘It feels like a sense of familiarity, something so inherit to my nature now. It’s so exciting and it always feels like home, even when it’s been a while,’ Bella said.
Bella started performing with Flamewater Circus which pushed her development faster and further than she could have hoped for. She quickly learnt about being an entertainer, learning from clients, and reading the atmosphere.
Bella practiced using props like the double staff. But found her vessel from the very moment she picked up the dragonstaff. A long staff with four prongs on each end and it’s based a lot around momentum.
‘It’s a very masculine apparatus, however, the movement in which to manipulate it is quite feminine. It’s a big prop and it demands attention. It has a presence, it’s a big thing with lots of fire and it calls to you,’ Bella said.
‘Without that fluidity, you can’t play with the dragon, you can’t tame it. It’s a funny thing, you wonder if you direct it or it directs you. Sometimes, I get into a dance with it and a moment occurs, neither is in control and neither is deciding what the other will then do.’
Bella believes that collaboration within the creative community is important for growth as an individual and a community. With growth comes strength, cementing fire arts as a reputable creative expression and with that generating more jobs.
‘I feel there is perhaps a stigma in the way people see fire arts and circus performances and performers. Perhaps because of the connotations. I just want to show everyone the beauty in it,’ Bella said.
‘When you are in public and you are alight, people can’t help but look. They are beckoned by that demand of the fire and they might see something they haven’t seen before. Fire and prop manipulation in general is such a curiosity and wonder, people are intrigued by it.’
Bella believes it is important to find inspiration in everyone. Why should inspiration be limited to just one thing? As creatives, we know how important inspiration is and being able to see the beauty in all things.
‘A lot of what inspires me is having a live element to work with. Fire, the sun, the heat, anything warm inspires me. But also friends who do it with me, always inspire me to try different things,’ Bella said.
‘My mum is the biggest inspiration to me. She is quite intellectual, strong and extraordinarily warm. She inspires a lot of my curiosity in the world and made it evident that anything I put my mind to, I can do.’
Bella gets nervous before each performance, but has found fire to give her the confidence that she needs. There is a great excitement in performing and showing people what she loves and spends every moment exploring and training for.
‘It’s a moment of meditation, where you release your mind and let everything go and stop thinking about what you are doing. I don’t need to consciously think of it, I just feel it and the body does it, the body knows,’ Bella said.
‘It’s this moment of excitement of all the fear and worry and then you’re alight and there’s a moment of hesitation, of letting go of all thoughts and feelings, and you reach a point where you forget that people are watching you. I think the audience appreciate that. To see the spirit in the performer.’
Through Bella’s work with fire she has got to understand herself on a deeper level, a spiritual and physical level. She has gotten in touch with her body and things her body can do.
‘The vessel, the apparatus, allows you to contemplate and think about doing something that is so foreign to the body,’ Bella said.
‘This vessel gives you a point of focus to explore your body. It gives you a reason and an intention of doing a movement, intention is really important. I find movement to be a beautiful way to connect, it’s in our make-up.’
Bella Fuego has a creative year ahead of her. She is adding to her repertoire by learning a few more apparatuses to incorporate into her performances. Including the Buugeng, also called an S-staff. When they are spun, they are very illusory.
‘It’s like an optical illusion, it’s so bizarre but so beautiful. I want to explore the manipulation without fire and how I can entertain people that way,’ Bella said.
Bella has also used her love of heights into learning the Lyra. A big hoop that is suspended into the air, that rotates and you perform around it.
‘I like to fly, to be high. It’s that defying of gravity and that freedom and liberation that comes from being suspended away from the earth, that’s so appealing to me,’ Bella said.
‘It’s so interrelated, sometimes you move around it and it moves around you and you control the way it moves, it’s really beautiful.’
Bella has started to focus on refining her acts, to see how she could offer the audience something distinctive. She has been exploring specific themes and ideas and working on the theatrical side of her performance.
‘I want to offer something special that people haven’t seen yet. Develop myself and offer something with a lot of spirit and magic and intention and perhaps symbology,’ Bella said.
You can see the ‘beautiful fire’, Bella, perform at Art Party and also at festivals all over the state. Catch her performing at festivals like PSYFARI, Dragon Dreaming and Earthcore.
If you want to find out more about Bella Fuego, you can find her on Facebook and she also has a YouTube Channel. You can also find her on the Flamewater Circus website www.flamewatercircus.com and on the Flamewater Circus Facebook page.
Watch Bella perform at the next Art Party and around Sydney and tap into a collective consciousness that would definitely leave an impression from the very moment she is alight.
‘I access these moments where I lose that sense of control and something overcomes me and I feel as though something uses me as a vessel. I can feel it, it’s something very personal and very dear to me,’ Bella said.