Madison Young dances with the flames, whipping her head and body in perfect unison with the sparks. Her costume matches the primal, earthy push and pull of the blaze. Her partner Kris Thiesfield joins her, throwing heat across the stage, and they move as one as they play together in the fire.
It is quite a sight to see – bodies and fire moving in unison, and this Sunshine Coast pair do it so well. Madison, 25, and Kris, 31, have been revelling in flow art as a duo for more than two years, but have been playing with fire for a lot longer than that.
“I have been in fire and flow arts for about seven years and Kris for 12,” Madison says. “And we have been doing it together about two and a half, pretty much from the time we got together.”
The pair met through social media when Kris reached out, looking for someone to join him in a fire art video shoot.
“I had just moved to the Gold Coast at the time from Sydney, he reached out on Instagram to see if I wanted to be part of this video and… voilà, the rest is history as they say,” Madison laughs. “It was love at first sight.”
The pair moved to the Sunshine Coast not long after and have gone through what Kris describes as an intense amount of growth since meeting.
“We wouldn’t be doing as well without each other that’s for sure,” he laughs. “We actually love working together because we push each other, we don’t clash, we are on the same page with our goals and vision.
“We understand each other and the art form and we both have big dreams and want to work to bring them to life. This passion was how Flux Entertainment came to be born in 2020.
“We created our company and we offer solo and duo fire shows, choreographed shows, angle grinding, and in the last 12 months we have started doing specialty pyrotechnic shows too with hand-held fireworks,” Kris says.
“We are the only people in Australia to offer this so it is pretty special and it has been amazing.
“There is a huge amount of work that goes into the pyro shows, even though they are only five to 10 minutes long,” Kris adds. “They are so different to the flow arts we were used to so it has been a big learning opportunity for us both.
“There is a lot of focus on object manipulation and the overall performance itself, whereas the fire shows are about the tricks, the movement and the show. Pyro is figuring out transitions and timing and we are pretty much putting on a full-scale production every time, so it’s a whole new world.”
The duo has been booked for shows across the country and performed at numerous festivals. They have also recently secured a contract for the 2023 Ekka and auditioned for Australia’s Got Talent.
“It has been such an exciting journey and it just keeps getting better,” Madison says. “Getting to audition, and be part of the commercial for AGT was insane,” she says.
“We are loving the learning that goes into the pyro shows too, plus they have a huge impact when people watch us perform. It is so much fun to share that kind of expression with an audience, because it’s so unusual to most people too.
“You see the faces, the smiles, the gasps,” she says. “For me personally, pyro and fire feel totally different too. Our fire shows feel more primal and are all about the connection to fire as an element and dancing with it, and the fireworks is just a big, crazy, chaotic show and so much fun!”
According to Kris, this is all just the beginning.
“Eventually we want to start introducing more people into the shows too like aerialists, pole dancers, and more angle grinders and fire art,” he says.
“Basically, we just love to do things big and push the boundaries of what’s possible to create a really unique style of performance and show off our creativity.”