The Cast

Main Stage Performers
Kim Nalley Band vocals and live music
Scarlett & Axelrodaerial, dance and acrobatics
Gravity Plays Favoritespole dancing
Jennings & Xaiohonghand to hand balancing
Tracy Piperacrobats
Fleeky Flancohand balancing and contortion
Breonna Noackcontortion
Fou Fou Ha!performance troupe extraordinaire

 

Theatrical Demo Performers
Alysia Hooktorch cutting burlesque
Luna Del Fuego torch cutting burlesque
Shareese WheelerMIG welding strip-tease
Lauren Guajardofire hooping burlesque
Avi Khalsa TIG welding contortion
Eve Adelfibelly dancing glass flameworking with violin
Jenny Atomikbridge crane aerial
Laura Lynn Balcerzakmezzanine pole dance
Rose Niskerflamenco tissue aerial
Carlos Oxfordaerial tissue
Shaina Dyani JohnsonARC welding flash dance
Katy PomelovARC welding flash dance
Delina Brooksafro-cuban blacksmithing dance
Larry Hunt – blacksmithing bucket beats

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Main Stage

Kim Nalley Band

The Band
Tammy Hall – piano
Michael Zisman – bass
Kent Bryson – drums
Ned Boynton – guitar
Danny Armstrong – trombone

 

Recently named one of the “Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area,” Kim Nalley has an international reputation as one of world’s best jazz & blues vocalists. Known for her ability to turn a chattering cocktail-sipping crowd into a rapt audience of lifelong fans in minutes with a beguiling combination of sass, soul and smarts, no trip to San Francisco is complete without hearing Kim Nalley perform.

Kim Nalley, in looks and presence is often compared to Billie Holiday, but vocally she packs a 3 1/2 octave range that can go from operatic to gritty blues on a dime, projection that can whisper a ballad yet is capable of filling a room with no microphone, and the ability to scat blistering solos without ever losing the crowd’s interest or the intense swing. Her singing is most reminiscent of the former Basie Singers Helen Humes & Joe Williams with a dash of Dinah Washington and occasional nods to Ella, Sarah and Nina Simone.

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Scarlett & Axelrod

Kate Scarlett and Chloe Axelrod combine imagination, creativity, and skill, to perform a mesmerizing duet on the aerial hoop. Spinning and raised high aloft, their movements take them through a graceful choreography of sculptural beauty. Their performance is a dance of precision and seemingly effortless strength which captivates and delights those who observe.

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Gravity Plays Favorites

 

St. Louis socialites Katrina Dohl (aka Katrina the Red or Kate the Great) and Michelle Mynx (aka Michelle Gravity) have been flying high across the nation as Gravity Plays Favorites for over three years. With their unique combination of sexy burlesque and athletic acrobatism with an occasional rock and roll twist. These girls have quickly ascended the ranks of performers to become one of the top billed acts in such events as The New York Burlesque Festival, Cabaret Verdalet in San Fransisco, La Biblioteque in lovely Gotenburg, Sweden and at Las Vegas’ Burlesque Hall of Fame.

The Gravity Girls have a whole grab bag of tricks, a large variety of performance numbers, and style that fits almost anywhere.

“People want to see a real show,” Michelle says of the group’s following. “They want to see a real dance and a real striptease, and they love it. More women come up to us after the shows than men. They love seeing the sexiness without the raunchiness.” – Riverfront Times, St.Louis

Jennings & Xaiohong

A native of mainland China, Xiaohong Weng trained and performed in the Nanjing acrobatic troupe for 10 years before leaving to tour the United States with his performance group and then eventually settle in San Francisco. Jennings McCown spent several years on small, traditional tented circuses touring throughout the U.S. before leaving to work a 2-year stint in various Club Med resorts. Jennings and Xiao Hong both currently work as instructors at the San Francisco Circus Center, teaching flying trapeze and general acrobatics to all levels of students.

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Tracy Piper

Tracy Piper is an artist living in San Francisco and loving life. She is a natural born performer and communicator. Engaged in gymnastics since she was four and circus since she was nine she jumped into a life of performing from a very young age, touring the country and learning about life. She is currently enrolled at California College of Art and is studying Illustration while juggling an internship with Present Creative, performing with Kalri$$ian, the Marvel Lights, and Trapeze World, designing outfits for everyday and special events, blowing glass, and raising a small and beautiful puppy named Noki Dojo. On the side she loves to cook and garden and is always welcoming of any new exciting adventure headed her way.

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Fleeky Flanco

Fleeky is a Handbalancer/Contortionist of a new generation who combines innovation, charisma and traditional circus skills with a unique style of movement. The result is an act that excites and entertains audiences worldwide.

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Breonna Noack

 

As the first born daughter of a convicted bank robber, Breonna’s appreciation of the dramatic and unusual was cultivated at an early age. This appreciation led her to the theatre and eventually to circus, where the unusual was usual and drama had much higher stakes.

You may remeber Breonna from The Crucible’s 2009 Fire Ballet, Dracul: Prince of Fire, where she played a VampFatale pole aerialist and contortionist.

More information…

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Fou Fou Ha!

Fou Fou Ha! is an animated performance troupe extraordinaire, described by NBC as “wildly unique” and quoted in Metrowise Magazine as, “genuine talent at its best.” With a myriad of color-filled costumes- resembling a cross between Dr. Seuss, Antique Court Jesters and fantastic Anime characters – Fou Fou Ha! adds a fantastical element to any event with their “jaw-dropping dance numbers” (7×7 Magazine) that mix a “Fosse precision with a Jim Henson sensibility.” (SF Weekly)

Fou Fou Ha! was recently voted San Francisco’s favorite new [performance] troupe by The Examiner, “Best Dance Company” in 2008 for the Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay, and has been commissioned by Visa Signature in 2008 and Moett Hennessey in 2009 to represent their new campaigns in San Francisco. They have been seen in such venues as Great American Music Hall, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Regency Ballroom, The Bentley Reserve, Ruby Skye, The Cow Palace, Shoreline Amphitheater, and the Fillmore, to name a few.

Fou Fou Ha! also performs a children’s theater show based on Dr. Seuss’s “The Butter Battle Book”, which they currently perform in public schools through Young Audiences of Northern California.

More information…

 


photo by Eric Gillet & Anastazia Louise

Rana Stewart
Kristin Neidlinger
Nathan Cottam
Maya Culbertson
Cason MacBride

Theatrical Demos

Alysia Hook

 

Alysia Hook is a California native with a life long love of the arts. A force to be reckoned with, Alysia graduated in 2001 from UC Santa Barbara with a BFA in Dance, emphasis on Modern, Ballet, and Choreography. Miss Hook has had the privilege of performing under Modern Dance legend Meredith Monk, while attending the American Dance Festival (ADF) at Duke University, North Carolina. She has toured professionally with San Luis Obispo based Variable Velocity Performance Group under Diana Stanton and Jude Clark Warnisher, and with The Contemporary Dance Core under accomplished choreographer, Ashley Friend. Alysia’s pursuit of the performing arts has taken her to such far-reaching corners as Bali, New York, throughout Europe, and deep into the Hawaiian jungle.

Now in the Bay Area, Alysia is a member of Copper Lantern Fire Theater (CLFT) under Director Shaina Johnson. Recent CLFT performances include: The Crucible Fire Arts Festival 2009, Oakland, CA; The Ray Gun Gothic Rocket Benefit 2009,San Francisco, CA; Compression! Fire Arts Festival 2009, Reno, NV; and the Temple of Poi Fire Dancing Expo 2010, San Francisco, CA. Currently, Alysia is choreographing for the San Francisco world premier of Nymphomania, a play by Morgan Ludlow with Wiley West Productions, and is proud to be performing with The Crucible in Summer 2010 for HEAT: A Fire Cabaret!

Luna Del Fuego

Luna Del Fuego is an alternative model and versatile performance artist from Santa Cruz, California. Luna’s experience as a performance artist began with training in Musical Theater, where her inherent abilities and stage presence proved her a true “Triple Threat” actress, songstress and dancer. However fulfilling, she still found something lacking until her first exposure to live fire arts at a renegade fire show in 2004.

Fast forward to the present, Luna has become an accomplished performer and fire dancer versed in a number of tools including poi, hoop, fans, palm torches, swords and more. She has performed at shows and private parties around the bay area with her solo Burlesque Fire act (coined “Burner Burlesque”), as well as at public events and venues such as San Francisco Decompression, Temple of Poi’s Fire Dancing Expo, National Dance Week Santa Cruz, and the DNA lounge in San Francisco. Luna is the current Shin for the Fire Euphoria Burning Man Fire Conclave, and a founding member of the fire performance group Revolucion Del Fuego, which works to expand the fire arts to other disciplines and realms of performance. Luna would like to thank the Crucible for providing her the opportunity to share her arts and participate in HEAT, and hopes to continue working in collaboration with the Crucible on future projects and shows.

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Shareese Wheeler

 

Shareese is a trained ballerina and minored in dance. She also has experience in Go-Go dancing and fire performance, including fire poi, fire fans and fire hooping.

Shareese is currently attending San Francisco State University where she is contuinuing her study of dance as well as Holistic Healing.

Lauren Guajardo

Lauren is a playful dancer who likes to flirt with mischievousness. She is used to attracting attention on the dance floor and loves to explore new outlets for her creative movement. She has performed for large audiences in college where she jazzed it up on the football field for pre-game and half time shows. Today, she has expanded her passion to hoop dancing. Ultimately she strives to create a seamless flow when connecting to an audience with one of the most amazing dance props she has touched yet: a fire hoop. When not dancing, she challenges herself in the dynamic tech industry as an engineer.

 

Avi Khalsa

Originally from the east coast and based in San Francisco since 2006, Avi has spent the majority of her adulthood searching for the meaning of life through an unquenchable thirst for learning, knowledge, and experience. A classically trained dancer and Kundalini yogini at heart, Avi originally came to the Bay Area to become an actor . She studied simultaneously at the Academy of Art and with Jim Jarrett at the Meisner School of Acting for a rigorous two years. After attending a performance of SF’s local Pickle family circus, Avi screamed to herself, “I must do that!” Now why not just join the circus? Having spent her post-graduation summer in New York City dancing, practicing yoga, and vying for a job amidst the cattle calls of musical theatre, Avi decided that life would be way cooler as a contortionist…so she went back to San Francisco to learn just that. She now spends most of her time dancing, stretching, performing, teaching yoga (and Pilates too!), and cooking wonderfully delicious, vegan meals and desserts. Avi has been absolutely blessed to have performed with Vau de Vire Society, GoGo Pro, Tony’n’Tina’s Wedding, and many theatre companies throughout the Bay Area. She continues to share the wonderful gift of movement in her classes and in her free time, can most often be spotted goofing off in Dolores Park.

More information…

Eve Adelfi

Eve Adelfi is a vivacious, crowd-pleasing belly dancer, choreographer, and troupe director who has won multiple awards for both solo and troupe performances. She is versed in a variety of styles, and is deeply committed to fluent musicality and sharp technical precision. Eve is constantly learning new types of dance in order to express the music more fully.

Also a classical violinist, Eve has recently left orchestras behind for a foray into improvisational music with an eclectic group of musicians. Together Eve, her husband Cliff, and the rest of the band enjoy playing a variety of songs from all over the world. Eve is delighted to be able to synthesize these two creative worlds — improvisational violin and dance — in the Crucible’s production of “HEAT.”

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Jenny Atomik

Jenny is a former modern dancer, who got involved in the aerial and circus arts over a few years back. From 2001-2005 the talented artist studied Dance and Theatre Arts at Notre Dame de Namur University and graduated with a Bachelors in Theatre Arts and a Minor in Dance/Choreography. She has studied in many different styles of dance from modern, to jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and to even Chinese folk dance. After she graduated from college, Jenny began looking into the aerial arts and immediately fell in love with the aerial and circus world. Eversince, she has been training hard on a daily basis at the San Francisco Circus Center to further pursue her goals. She specializes mostly on corde lisse, tissu, and now more currently on aerial hammock. Jenny is grateful to be given this opportunity and gives Special Thanks to former teachers Marina Luna, Rain Wilson, and Brett Womack for supporting her along the way. Jenny is thankful to perform with The Crucible crew, and is looking forward for future performances to come.

 

Laura Lynn Balcerzak

 

The Lovely Laura Lynn has been passionately performing pole dance for over three years. Her experience with tissu, lyra and trapeze has lent a decidedly aerial flavor to her pole work, although acrobatic pole tricks are not all Laura’s style brings to the table. Years of teaching pole dance, personal fitness, kung fu and ballet has given her movement a fluid, expressive quality that is quite unique. Hoping to break away from the limitations of “strip club culture”, Laura Lynn has performed pole dance at private parties, special events, birthdays, bachelorettes, fundraisers, festivals and theater productions.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Laura completed a Bachelors at USC in Chemistry and Art History. Her studies led her to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship in Florence, Italy – after which Laura discovered her passion for dance and fitness. Her recent move to San Francisco Bay has made her feel like she has finally found a place to call home, and she is thrilled to be a part of HEAT: A Fire Cabaret.

Rose Nisker

Rose Nisker has been performing Balinese and other dance styles for more than twenty-five years. At the age of eight, she made her debut dance performance with award-winning troupe Gamelan Sekar Jaya at the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, and has performed in four tours to Indonesia, EXPO ’86 Vancouver, the World Festival of Sacred Music at the Hollywood Bowl, and three years at San Francisco’s Ethnic Dance Festival. Rose has also studied South Indian classical dance theater, Bharatanatyam, for over a decade in the style of legendary Indian dance master Balasaraswati. Rose has performed Bharatanatyam at festivals throughout California and in a series of lecture demonstrations at the University of Mysore in the state of Karnataka, India. Rose’s dance repertoire also includes Flamenco and was a company member of Los Angeles-based DeLiRitmo Flamenco dance troupe from 1997 through 1999. Rose’s love of movement has also taken her into the air. In 2005, she began intensive training on aerial rope and fabric at West Oakland’s circus center, Trapeze Arts. It was a natural fit, and soon Rose was using her dance background to help choreograph aerial routines for Trapeze Arts’ youth troupe, Les Aerielles. Rose has performed aerial acts at events across the Bay Area including art openings at the De Young Museum and special engagements at numerous nightclubs.

 

Carlos Oxford

Info coming soon…

 

Shaina Dyani Johnson

 

Shaina Dyani Johnson founded the Copper Lantern Fire Theater in 2004. As the troupe’s Artistic Director, her vision is to further the creation of large-scale theatrical productions that intimately link fire performance with dance, acrobatics, and other artistic media, such as fire sculpture, flame effects, puppetry and art vehicles. A lifelong performer, Shaina has studied Ballet, Modern, Khatak, Odissi, Yoga and Circus Arts. Despite an early, rather strong aversion to sequins and spandex, she also trained as a competitive ice skater, gaining multiple national titles. In 2001, Shaina decided to adapt her dance training to fire performance. Since then, she has performed at private, corporate and festival venues across the country and overseas. Some of her credits include appearances at the Harbor Nights Festival in Hamilton, Bermuda with Fire Pixie and in the Crucible’s production of Romeo & Juliet: A Fire Ballet in Oakland, CA. An avid tanguera, she recently returned from intensive dance study in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the birth place of Tango. When not performing, she is an instructor of Vinyasa Flow Yoga throughout the Bay Area. Her schedule of classes and workshops can be found at www.dyaniyoga.com.

 

Katy Pomelov

Katy Pomelov’s love for movement began very young. At the age of 4, she began studying Ballet in her native Russia and later developed a passion for Modern Dance after emigrating to the United States. She has also studied Jazz, Hip Hop and various forms of ethnic dance. Currently, she is studying Modern Jazz Blues with Elvia Marta and Bayan Jamay at ODC Dance Commons as well as Modern Dance with Anne-Rene Petrarca at San Francisco Dance Center and Dana Lawton at Shawl Anderson Dance Center. In 2003, Katy decided to add fire performance to her movement vocabulary and began performing professionally. She is now recognized for making innovative performance pieces that blend an assortment of movement forms with technical tool expertise. In addition to Copper Lantern Fire Theater, she also performs with Fire Pixie.

 

Delina Brooks

 

Delina Patrice Brooks, a Bay Area native, is a dancer, songwriter, poet, and actress. As a first time playwright, Brooks earned a 2009 Isadora Duncan “Izzie” Award nomination for “Beauty, The Beast: A Dance-Theater Production”, which she coins as a breathing self-portrait. Brooks has studied and performed across the U.S, Western Europe, and Guinea, West Africa, where she participated in several intensive dance workshop series’ with Les Ballets Africains. She has been funded by Zellerbach Family Foundation, City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program and East Bay Community Foundation. Most recently she was presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Youth Speaks, The Black Choreographers Festival, and La Pena Cultural Center, and performed with The Living Word Project’s inter/national touring choreopoem, “SCOURGE”, Deep Waters Dance Theater, ASE Dance Theater Collective (NYC), City Circus, Faustin Linyekula, KKDE, and Robert Henry Johnson, among others. Favorite roles include Hubert/Tribe Member in “HAIR” with Willows Theater (Concord, CA), and the title role in “CINDERELLA” with San Francisco’s African American Shakespeare Company. Composer and vocalist credits are with Shock G of Digital Underground and City Circus’ Echo’s Reach. Brooks has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (SFSU), a second Bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies (CSU EB), and is currently completing her Masters in Ethnic Studies.

Larry “Bucketman” Hunt

Larry Hunt, better known as Bucketman, is one of many entertainers making a living off their talents in San Franciscos popular shopping district. He plays about two hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, and can make up to $100 in an hour and a half of playing on a good day. Even homeless people put money in his tip bucket. But the big money comes from tourists who stop and spend a few minutes watching him beat buckets as if his life depended on it. And in many ways, it does. Hunt relies solely on drumming to keep a roof over his head. To this day, people ask, Why dont you get a job? He says, “This is my job!”

Performing is second nature to this 48-year-old musician. By the time he was 9, he had played with jazz greats such as Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Louie Bellson. He was introduced to these influential figures by the man Hunt still calls Daddy. His father encouraged him to play drums starting when he was only 3 years old.

For as far back as Hunt can remember, his drums were all he had. After his fathers death, Hunts oldest brother sent him join the Job Corps in Washington when he was 15. There he formed a band with legendary jazz keyboardist Rusty Thomas and honed his skills until he was accomplished enough to play with popular 1970s bands like the Oreos and the Drifters.

Larry says, “My drums are my kids. My family is me playing for people, he says. When they come back to see me day after day, thats my family.”

More information…