Aziz Abbatiello has combined the practices of the Mevlevi Order with fire arts, a process that has led him on a seven-year path of discovery and refinement, culminating in a synergy of the fire arts and the practice of the “whirling dervish.” He trains under Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras, Pir of the Mevlevi Order of America. He also studies with Sheikh Sherif Baba, head of the Rifai Marufi Order.
Axis Dance Company
Prepare to leave all your preconceptions at the door...
AXIS Dance Company, one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities, will change the way you think about dance and the possibilities of the human body forever. Founded in 1987, AXIS has become a jewel of contemporary dance and disability culture. AXIS has paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form - physically integrated dance- performing in over sixty cities nationwide, as well as in Europe and Siberia.
Dan Cantrell began composing at age 11. Since that time he has continued performing and writing music of all kinds featuring his main instruments, accordion, piano and musical saw. Dan received a rigorous training in Classical, Jazz, and improvisational performance styles as well as extensive formal composition training from an early age. He attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts studying piano performance and musical composition. Drawing from his rich musical experience, he strives to bring exciting new sounds to the world in collaboration and composition for interdisciplinary art. In recent years his attention has been focused on the study and performance of Eastern European folk music as well as compositions for film, dance, and theatre.
In recent years, Dan has composed the soundtrack to the television series Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, currently on the Cartoon Network. Dan received an Emmy award for his soundtrack to KQED documentary Home Front, as well two Golden Gate awards from the San Francisco International Film Festival for his work on local films As a performer, Dan recently had the honor of recording with legendary songwriter Tom Waits and composed and performed the Rootabaga Opera at The Crucible's 2009 Fire Arts Festival. He has also recently toured and recorded with emerging and internationally celebrated independent artist Joanna Newsom.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Copper Lantern Fire Theater has entertained audiences throughout North America and overseas with a stylized fusion of acrobatic fire performance, custom flame effects, and live chamber and electronic music. Founded in 2004, Copper Lantern is a 15-strong company of performers, musicians and crew who lovingly combine their diverse training in circus and movements arts to bring innovative productions to the stage.
Copper Lantern has performed at many prestigious venues, such as the Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival, GenArt’s multimedia arts festival, “Ignite!,” and numerous other incendiary events. Members of the company have appeared individually at venues such as Burning Man Decompression, The Fire Arts Expo, the Fire Garden, the Harbor Nights Festival in Hamilton, Bermuda; Huis Ten Bosch Amusement Park in Kyushu, Japan; and for diverse private and corporate events.
Described by Falseta.com as a performer “truly of international quality,” Juan Del Valle has performed in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has danced with some of today’s leading flamenco artists including Jesus Montoya, Luis Moneo, Jose Porcel, Chuscales and Carmela Greco. He is recognized for his elegance, strong presence, and nuanced expression. Juan recentlyproduced and performed El Fuego Fatuo at The Crucible, he has appeared many times at The Crucible's Fire Arts Festival and is currently teaching an Introduction to Flamenco class at The Crucible.
Shawn Hallman (aka Iron Monkey) is one of the world's top B-boys and urban dancers, with a style that incorporates tops, footwork, and blazing power. Iron Monkey has won or placed highly in international battles inculding B-Boy Master Pro-Am and Red Bull Lords of the Floor. This past summer, he was chosen as a Beat Rider.
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.
Mark Growden began his musical career scoring instrumental pieces for dance and theater companies including Joe Goode Performance Group and The Crucible. His work with Alonzo King’s LINES Contemporary Ballet won the Isadora Duncan Award for Best Original Score for a New Dance Piece. “I am first and foremost trained as an avant garde saxophonist and as a composer,” explains Growden. “My job is to take traditions and turn them on their heads – to break the traditions and to innovate.” Growden’s musical influences are broad. His parents relied on Motown vinyl to rock him to sleep as a baby. Growing up, he sang in his father’s church, played saxophone in elementary, middle and high school bands and discovered death rock and the alternative music scene as a teen. These days Growden listens to contemporary classical and jazz music and Alan Lomax field recordings. But, the underlying quality heard in his music has roots elsewhere. “I grew up with a lot of alone time – in the woods and wilderness – with coyotes, trumpeter swans, geese, deer and antelope,” says Growden. His music moves with a natural flow reminiscent of the patterned hushes in bird trills and blowing winds.
Marisa began her musical training at the age of 7 with the San Francisco Girls Chorus. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has performed with the San Francisco Opera, New York Opera Forum, Opera San Jose, the Stanford Savoyards, Lyric Theatre of San Jose and West Bay Opera. She performs regularly with the San Francisco Renaissance Voices, and with Velocity Circus, where she can be seen riding her motorcycle onstage before singing, or performing a trapeze act while singing opera over techno. Career highlights include singing the National Anthem for the Raiders and A’s, singing for President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, multiple performances and recitals with world-famous mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, singing with the Chris Brubeck trio and, most recently, singing a scene in an upcoming film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. When not performing, Marisa teaches voice out of her studio in Alameda, works as a Project Manager at Adobe Systems, and enjoys motorcycling and extensive travel.
Robin Coomer and Sam Bass. One woman, one man, one voice, one cello, multiple layered 'loops' hand tooled and shaped into lovely, cascading, provocative orchestral compositions with an immediate soul-rocking palpability.
Christine Marie is a director and designer specializing in immersive theater and spectacle. Her original work, "Ground To Cloud," recently appeared at the REDCAT theater in Los Angeles and theatrical design for "Shipwrecked!," at the Geffen Playhouse and South Coast Repertory Theater. She has worked with ShadowLight for over a decade and is a founding member of The Big Ta Doo Puppet Crew. She holds a Master of Fine Art degree in Theater and Integrated Media from the California Institute of the Arts. Christine Marie also works as a video editor and live design artist. She is most excited by her latest installation, "Shadows in Stereo," and play, "Peter's Shadow," which incorporate live actors, music and giant 3D shadows! Most recently she colaborated and performed at The Crucible's 2009 Fire Arts Festival as part of the Rootabaga Opera.
"Since becoming George Clinton's guitar player, Eric McFadden has turned into one of San Francisco's phantom treasures, a rarely glimpsed dark angel of blurred guitar strings, swinging dreadlocks, and flashing teeth; but rest assured, McFadden's talents continue to mature even as his countenance remains frozen in time". — Silke Tudor, San Francisco Weekly
Kristina performs across the country in nightclubs, festivals, corporate events, circuses, theatrical productions, and intimate cabarets sharing the stage with performers including Margaret Cho, Rachid Taha, and Peaches. She danced in music videos for DJ Shadow and MC Rai, and portrayed a vaudeville contortionist in a short film directed by David Arquette. In 2005 she was the Hips of Fury Belly Dance Ultimate Soloist, and she has been featured in five internationally distributed belly dance videos. In 2008 she debuted a belly dance contortion fire duet with world-famous contortionist Serchmaa Byamba. She has appeared with The Crucible, Velocity Circus, Earth Circus, Vau de Vire Society, Naked Rhythm, Hot Pink Feathers Burlesque, Latin Cabaret Productions, and Ultra Gypsy Dance Theater.
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 The Crucible's productions of Heat: A Fire Cabaret and El Fuego Fatuo.
Jill Parker and the Foxglove Sweethearts
Foxglove Sweethearts was created by Jill Parker our of her desire to work in a small group of top notch dancers, with possibilities for exploration outside the tribal fusion genre of bellydance. After more than a decade choreographing & visioning for Ultra Gypsy Dance Theatre Company, Jill wanted to explore an intimate collaborative experience with extremely well trained and versatile bellydancers, creating work heavily informed by traditional styles of bellydance while keeping her famous highly developed trademark sense of experimental twists in aesthetics & narrative approach to the form. Andrea, Sarah, Joie and Tessa are an obvious match with this artistic view and are each sumptuous stunningly beautiful performers & choreographers in their own right.
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.
4pyre² is a 12ft pipe with propane burners on each end. When the burners fire, the pipe is propelled around on two axes, tracing out the surface of a 12ft diameter sphere. (4πr² is the formula for the surface area of a sphere of radius r.) Enabling this pipe to spin is a gleaming machine of aluminum, stainless steel, bearings, shafts, hoses, rotary fluid unions, sprockets, chains, motors, encoders, and microcontrollers. Standing nearly 19’ tall, it holds the sphere of fire high enough that visitors can get quite close. There is also a panel where visitors can control the angle and the thrust of the propane burners, creating different patterns through the sphere. 4pyre² was designed and constructed by Christopher Schardt, with major help from Peter Luka and Vince Mills.
Made of Martinistic stainless steel and surplus boiler lids, the Oracle Fountain rises 9-1/2' tall from a 5' round lower basin. Its waters can flow at a rapid rate 100G/min or adjust to a languid drip. A cylindrical curtain of water forms traping flame within it and magnifies the light and color of fire. The beautiful rustic finish is preserved through the organic oxidation process given to natural environments experiencing time, water and air.
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