KINGS BEACH, Calif. — For some of us, it happens while carving powder turns down a steep bowl. Others experience it spontaneously while mountain biking through the forest or while paddleboarding effortlessly on a perfectly still lake.
“Flow” is that sought after, fleeting experience of total immersion in a skillful activity. Similar to being “in the zone,” flow experiences are at the same time meditative and dynamic, commanding all of the participant’s focus and attention.
When we are immersed in the flow, both mind and body become so actively focused on the present moment that time appears to slow down. Incessant thoughts of past and future melt away, leaving the flow participant in a peaceful, harmonious state. The flow arts offer a range of movement meditation practices, including the skillful art of object manipulation, that will help get you “into the flow,” bringing balance to your mind and body.
The Lake Tahoe Flow Arts Festival, coming to Kings Beach Sept. 4-6, features three nights and two days of workshops and performances in a wide variety of flow arts. Workshops cater to both beginners and experts and include the art of hooping, poi, staff, fans, juggling, aerial silks, dance, yoga, and many more. Many of the flow arts involve spinning objects around the body in a graceful and coordinated fashion. As an added bonus, many flow toys can also be dipped into fuel and then lit on fire, bringing an element of danger and excitement to the performance art. Fire art performances are visually impressive. Just as impressive is the roaring sound of fire balls slicing rhythmically through the air. If you have yet to witness this unique art form firsthand, now is your chance.
Due to the fact the festival takes place immediately after Burning Man, Tahoe is fortunate to be hosting some of the world’s top flow artists. Last year, the festival boasted teachers and participants from 15 different countries. “The flow arts and the fire arts are really emerging on the international scene at the moment,” said Christy Smith, founder and organizer of the festival. “I feel so blessed to present such a high caliber of artists from all over the world.” The festival will also feature music, DJ’s, and high-energy fire performances complete with costumes and theatrics, helping to bring the spirit of Burning Man into our own backyards.
Workshops will take place at the North Tahoe Beach in Kings Beach. An opening sunset spin jam takes place Sept. 4 and a community benefit fire show will take place at the North Tahoe Event Center on Sept. 6 at sunset. Aerial silk workshops and performances will be hosted by the Lake Tahoe Wellness Center, also located in Kings Beach. In addition, there will be an after-school program from 3-6 p.m. for junior spinners aged 13-18. Tickets for the festival are available online at www.flowartisrty.com. All event passes are $77, day pass $45, junior pass $20, for the Lake Tahoe Flow Arts Festival, Sept. 4-6, North Tahoe Event Center, Kings Beach.