Jan 12, 2009

Hidden Secrets of the Bay: The Crucible

Yes, this man is literally flying - while on fire.
One of my favorite things to see in the bay area is when the Crucible puts on a show. If you haven't heard of the Crucible, it is a non-profit organization over in Oakland that teaches fine and industrial arts classes to underprivileged youth - generally things involving fire. Things like blacksmithing, ironworking, welding, glass blowing, ceramics, neon, fire performance, etc.

When the Crucible puts on a show though, it is something unlike anything you've ever seen - except maybe (just maybe) at burning man, but you can avoid all the blazing heat, sand, etc with the Crucible. They generally put on two big events:
  1. A fire arts festival in the summer.
  2. The fire ballet in the winter.
I just got back from the fire ballet which I visited last week. This year's ballet is a twist on Dracul, with vampires, zombies, a dragon, and the works. It is a somewhat more private affair, indoors, but spectacular. To get things straight, I don't really like ballet. I do like fire. And we are talking alot of fire:
  1. Life sized metal dragon spewing flame.
  2. There is no part of the stage that is not on fire at some point in the night.
  3. The characters are usually dancing with fire of some sort, on fire, blowing fire, eating fire, burning things, fighting with swords on fire, pouring molten metal, throwing sparks all over the stage, etc.
Not to mention that it isn't traditional ballet. More like cirque du soleil. The main characters spend about as much time touching the ground as flying through the air. It is quite a spectacle to see.

The whole thing is highly recommended if you have an evening some time and you are in the bay. There are still even tickets available, although last weekend sold out so it might make sense to buy early. Check out the Crucible's Fire Ballet.