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Burn to Learn

The Crucible industrial arts school’s community of practice.

By David PescovitzPhotography by Steve Double

THE STORY UNFOLDING ON THE STAGE COULD only be described as Romeo and Juliet go to hell. In January, California industrial arts school The Crucible reinvented Shakespeare’s classic as a spectacular fire ballet danced against a backdrop of burning scenery.

Inside a huge Oakland warehouse studio, Romeo and Tybalt dueled with flaming swords on a multilevel stage set. A dervish spun across the stage with his skirt hem spewing fire. The performance, driven by classically trained ballet dancers, breakdancers, aerialists, and even martial artists, was white-hot.

During the Capulets’ ball, all eyes were on the daring acrobats ...

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