Meet Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Fire-Spinnin' Brother, Dan
By Maggie Coughlan Posted Aug 11th 2010 03:47PM
Let us introduce you to "Burning Dan" -- sometimes known as Dan Gordon-Levitt, Joseph's older brother -- a fire-spinning flow artist. Yes, this brother of a box office sensation professionally teaches people how to dance with fire.
PopEater spoke to Dan about dancing with fire, what he thought of 'Inception' and what it's like to be mistaken for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Read more after the jump!
I have to be honest, I've never seen anything like this in my life. I'm curious, what are you actually doing?
Flow arts is a combination of performance art and dance and meditation and yoga and sort of self-transformation, to give you a fun way of doing something that's really good for you and helps you be an even smoother, more awesome person than you already were. It's fun to practice, you can look good to your friends, it doesn't require a lot of money to do. But it takes time, and you can get really good
Do you ever think to yourself, 'What I'm doing is really dangerous?'
I've been doing this for eight years. Every single time I've ever danced with fire, I have had somebody with a fire-proof cloth making sure I was safe. One of the things I absolutely emphasize in the Flow Temple is safety training. [It] comes as a mandatory part before anybody has my blessing to do anything with fire. So far, none of my students have gotten injured and people have been very respectful of the potential danger.
Tell me about the school you've opened, Flow Arts School.
I started a school in Los Angeles, [and] I teach classes there and in Hollywood. I also drive around and teach at conferences, festivals, private parties, private lessons. I just got back from this conference in Peru where I taught at the conference and for local artists. I went from third world, often street kids, teaching them in the streets, to teaching at a corporate workshop -- one of the biggest accounting companies in the world hired me and a couple friends to come and train 100 new employees.
How often are you mistaken for your brother? The resemblance is ... baffling.
It's wonderful to be mistaken for him. He taught me to question the relationships other people have with their siblings because he would be my favorite person in the world even if I wasn't lucky enough to know him as my brother. He's just awesome in every way that I pay attention to. I ask myself, "Do I love him because he's my brother or is he really that awesome?" He's really, really awesome.
Wow, sounds like you and Joe have a great relationship.
It's rare that I don't feel really proud of him.
I take it you've seen 'Inception.'
Care to sum it up?
'Inception' felt like the smartest movie since 'The Matrix,' and 'The Matrix' is really important to me. I can see little kids growing up really thinking about their dreams and what their reality is -- because they grew up playing 'Inception.' I find it unbelievably inspiring that they made such a huge movie that is truly and artistically relevant. It was so smart, it really made you think. I love the idea that this will help other movies take more risks and challenge people more and not be so formulaic. Just awesome.
'Inception' was one of the few movies that had me talking about it for WEEKS after I saw it.
I loved Joe's quote so much, about the stereotype of big Hollywood movies, that you have to sacrifice love and art, that there's no room for it when you're trying to make money. And here's Christopher Nolan making these awesome, artistic, smart, creative movies making more money than the ones that go with the formula. That's beautiful.
Watch a video of Dan Gordon-Levitt spinning fire:
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