Everyone knows that it is not advisable to play with fire. Yet, Tamas proves that there’s nothing better than fire to defeat ‘Tamas’ (darkness), which prevented the rays of light from entering his life since birth.
The ease with which the 33-year-old visually-impaired Hungarian twirls the strings with fireballs attached would leave anyone spell-bound.
From the age of 19, Tamas Barko has been doing fire juggling, which he learned from his sister Sophie, who is two years older. “I learned the movements initially. My sister stood behind me while I was whirling the chains during practice sessions. To learn juggling, I used a twine with soft balls at the end,” says Tamas. Before starting public performances, he learned the act for a year.
A graduate in English, Tamas has visited many countries, including Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Austria and Croatia. After having mastered fire juggling, Tamas is now dreaming big - of making blind people dance. “In 2002, I attended a session on contact improvisation. Thus, by touching objects, I learned to dance. I don’t claim to be a master in this art yet, as I am still learning it,” he says.
Tamas promises that any object can thus inspire him to dance, be it a pen, a chair or a medal.
Tamas did not stop by learning the dance and he wants to be a leading light for people like him, to make them tap their feet in accordance with rhythms. “I want to make blind people dance and start an institution for them, preferably in Hungary. Or, I would like to take it take across the world and propagate it,” he says.
Now Tamas is at Kanthari, the social enterprise at Vellayani, where he will spend seven months learning the skills to start a non-profitable organisation for realising his ‘dream project.’