Flow arts have been around for quite some time, but the contemporary circus movement has grown popular with the surge of dance music festivals in recent years. That being said, the world of flow arts is so vast that each art truly has its own story and cannot be categorized into one style or craft.
You may have heard of hooping or juggling, but the arts extend to poi, staff, batons, fans, and much more. Beyond each art lies even more variations, like fire hooping, club juggling, contact poi, wands, etc. There are really no limits when it comes to flow arts, and the arts are constantly evolving with the influx of more avid participants, bearing fresh ideas and tricks. Most of all, no two flows are the same. Flow artists dance to the beat of their own drum.
With a growing scene, there are now more outlets to learn, improve, and master your flow. Master Ong's Prop Shop (MOPS) is an organization that presents Manipulation 2016, a flow festival happening this April 14-17 in Idyllwild, California. The 4-day event held at this beautiful location is a camping / lodging festival that offers workshops with experienced teachers from all over the country, as well as fun activities and games, and a Gala Night. DJs have not been announced yet but the event will be accompanied with music all weekend.
MOPS and Manipulation 2016 are unique as they are a community effort, and thus, the vibes are incredible. A few examples of the community atmosphere: to get the lowest price ticket, you must volunteer for 3 hours. There are carpool sheets set up on the Facebook event, as well as a very responsive and helpful group of people ready to answer your questions. Master Ong himself is very involved in every aspect of the event and talks to the community intimately and informally, happy to explain how the festival is planned or where the ticket prices go, for example.
Speaking of ticket prices, MOPS may offer the lowest priced festival ticket out there. GA Tickets for 4 days started at $110, but there are even better packages. You can get fed all weekend for $72 (8 meals with real, healthy food!). You can stay in a cabin with your own bed and bathroom for 3 nights for a total of $88 (if you don't want to camp). Or, you can get your ticket, lodging, and meal plan for as low as $205. Wow, what a humble offer, that includes all the weekend's activities and plans as well. At the time of publishing, these prices may have gone up a tier, but I assure you they are still exceptionally low for the common festival-goer like myself.
Manipulation 2016 is sure to be a gathering of connections. Not only connections with fellow flow artists and friends from all over, but connections within yourself. Mind, body, and spirit must truly be aligned together to progress your flow, and every time you pick up the tools, no matter what your skill level, you are strengthening this unparalleled connection. There is no final destination when it comes to flow arts, but you will discover hidden realizations, challenges, and rejuvenation along the journey.
"The master in each of us lays within us... We have the power and the strength to summon as long as we know it exists within us," Master Ong writes on his website. "I think now is the time you take the first step on this road to experience flow."
Whether you are an expert, an amateur, or barely beginning, Master Ong is right - there is no better time to start than now.
Manipulation 2016 April Edition is an all ages event, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The festival will take place April 14-17 in Idyllwild, California.
Thursday - Gates open at 1PM
Friday - Workshops / Open Stage
Saturday - Workshops / Gala
Sunday - Renegade / Games
This is a non alcohol, non drug event.
This is a leave no trace event. Pack in your trash, pack it out.