Light Up the Knoll

“Fire, fire, fire,” the crowd chanted eagerly last Saturday evening, awaiting the start of the fire show on the Knoll. The show marked Pine Knoll’s first fire show, a highly anticipated event sponsored by and held in the cluster.

The show was performed by A Different Spin, a circus and fire show group formed by four friends who attended Vassar College. Members of the group have over eight years of experience in fire training and performances.

Featuring a collection of different fire acts, the show was accompanied by heart-pounding music and choreography.

The show began with an act of torch juggling, the group’s favorite fire act. As the crowd gasped and cheered, the performers juggled and tossed multiple torches and even juggled three torches each.

“The only end of the torch we can see is the one we aren’t catching,” said one of the performers jokingly before beginning the act.

One of the highlights of the show was when the performers invited Aya Murata, Cluster Dean of Pine Knoll, to learn and perform fire tricks with them while they juggled.

Murata astounded the crowd, replicating the moves of the artists without difficulty. “It was really fun and I was surprised by the amount of heat the torches produced,” said Murata in an email to The Phillipian.

Another highlight of the evening was the fire eating, a classic circus and fire performance act.

One fire artist, who is trained in fire eating, ate several torches without flinching, shocking everyone in attendance. He also ate a flame, kept the flame burning in his mouth and relit a different torch using the flame in his mouth.

“Personally, [my favorite act was] when they would create huge blasts of fire. [It was] scary but worth it,” said Ceylon Auguste-Nelson ’12, Pine Knoll Cluster President and one of the organizers of the event. The crowd seemed to agree, letting out huge screams when the artists blew fire up into the air.

Other acts were performed using balls of fire attached to chains. Swinging fireballs around in complicated patters, the fire artists often came close to scorching their bodies and occasionally lit the ground on fire.

Two fire artists also dipped swords in fuel, and after lighting them on fire, proceeded to act out a battle similar to the infamous light saber scene from “Star Wars.”

The show concluded with a collection of the highlights of the evening. The performers juggled twelve torches between four people, never missing a beat. They also stood on each other’s shoulders and juggled flawlessly.

Auguste-Nelson originated the idea for an all-school event on the Knoll as part of her campaign for cluster president last spring.

“I went to Mr. Capano…and he suggested A Different Spin. So really, the location was my plan, but it’s really Mr. Capano that should be thanked for the awesome pyro idea,” said Auguste-Nelson in an email to The Phillipian.

Everyone who attended deemed the fire show a huge success, and the dance held after the show was a hit. Murata said, “I loved it all, the fire eating, crazy juggling, big poofs of flame. It was all great.”