Ehrlich Marz Ocampo - Manilla, Phillipines
Ehrlich “Firechill” Ocampo is a unique performer who dances with various props of fire and light such as poi, staff, baton, hoop and his specialty – the “levitation wand”. The levitation wand is magical prop wherein the performer seems to dance with a floating stick. It is magical, mesmerizing and totally captivating – never before seen and an exciting addition to any show!
He has been dancing since 2005 and spinning poi since 2010, continuously exploring the fusion of flow circles and dance lines. Early 2013, he discovered the magical art of levitation wand. He has since been exploring a flowful style of spinning the wand which enables a freer expression with the body thru dance and performance.
Ehrlich “Firechill” Ocampo has traveled and been invited to numerous events in Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, USA and France – where he recently represented his art and his country in the 37th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. He is also included in Cirque du Soleil’s database of talent as a Fire Performer and Levitation Wand Dancer.
q & a
My main props are poi, hoop and the levitation wand. I probably spent around 3 years with only poi, spent more than 3 years with the leviwand and just more than a year with the hoop. My strongest would be the leviwand because even though I spent the same years as with the poi, I concentrated on training it and spent more hours with it.
I’d like to practice most in a dance studio with mirrors and proper flooring for floor works, turns, and acrobatics. But personally, I like practicing in nature – forest, mountain, beach, etc.
I started dancing when I was about 15 years old in high school. I was a cheerleader *gasp* oh yes I was. It really helped me become athletic and got me started into acrobatics, gymnastics and dance.
Then I got into poi around 2010 when I saw fire dancers in the beaches of the Philippines. I looked for classes in Manila and also watched tutorials online.
The wand showed itself to me when I was shopping and I saw Prisna’s video and my mind was just blown away! I simply wanted to try it. I actually tried the wand around 2011 but it wasn’t until 2013 when I learned the long-string technique from Iain Culp during Philippine Flow Festival that I really got into it and my exploration exploded into what it is today.
There were a lot of hoopers in Manila, so I also tried it around 2013. I never realized that it was as fun as they say it was. I hooped for fun but it wasn’t until 2015 that I said I would train with it seriously.
It really helped me find my people and my place, specially when I was just starting out with the wand (and nobody else seemed to do it much here in the Philippines). Our levistick group is a great place to share your progress, collaborate with ideas, gain encouragement and exchange knowledge (either you receive or give advice).
In general, I’ve seen how the flow arts has changed so many individual lives. I can say that the flow community makes an impact by changing one life at a time. By just continue doing it, being myself and allowing people to see how much I enjoy doing it, I believe they will be enamored to try flow arts and see how it feels. As a community leader in Manila, we try to spread flow arts by practicing it, organizing free events and shows and generally just making it more accessible to the general public.