BACHELOR GULCH – Ballroom doors swing open. Two men dressed head to toe in bright white, including white-painted faces, erupt into a crowd of gown and tux-wearing international sales people. Jazzy hip-hop plays as the duo dances about the room, greeting their audience, until they reach center stage.Video graphics play on a screen behind them, and the men begin to ice sculpt on stage. The men fuse together pieces of ice with splashing water. Then, with buzzing, spark-flying electric hand saws, they carve out the details of their creation. In honor of their audience vacuum distributors, the men sculpt a larger-than-life housekeeper, donned in a frumpy skirt and apron, vacuuming the day’s dust.”We decided to create this performance art, which is called Fear No Ice, where we actually sculpt solid blocks of ice in front of people, because people are really fascinated by art and they love to watch art being created,” said Peter Slavin of Philadelphia.
Slavin, along with Kevin Roscoe of Seattle and local Scott Rella, form the Fear No Ice company. Rella, who lives in Avon, is responsible for carving the ice sculptures at the top of Bridge Street every winter season. Fear No Ice performed at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Wednesday night for Rexair’s semi-annual distributors’ “pacesetter incentive” gala. The trio met while cooking in New York City in the 1990s. Part of their responsibility as chefs was to decorate the buffet tables, including sculpting those lovely ice dolphins and seals. Through various apprenticeships and culinary schools, the chefs improved their ice-sculpting skills enough to start their own business. Fear No Ice’s sculpting performances are now a long way from the average decorative dolphin on a buffet table.”The word boredom doesn’t fit into our shows,” said Roscoe.The live performance evolved out of an impromptu situation. There was a miscommunication about when an ice-sculpted martini glass needed to be in San Francisco. Rella and Roscoe were boppin’ around the “City by the Bay” sight-seeing when they received a call from the client. Realizing the mix-up, the two rushed to the site with a raw block of ice.
“They turned it into an entertainment package and everyone had a great time,” Slavin said.In addition to a creating large main sculpture, Fear No Ice interacts with audience members by carving out large ice martini glasses and filling them with Cosmopolitans, or handing out ice swizzle sticks to cool down drinks. They’ve performed at weddings where they persuade the groom to kneel and then carve out an ice diamond ring to give to his new bride.”We make ‘icycles,’ like Harley Davidsons, out of ice and give people rides on the ballroom carpeting,” Roscoe said.Fear No Ice has performed their act, which is custom-designed for each audience, in almost every city in the United States. The trio has even performed at Philadelphia Fringe Festival and the New York Fringe Festival, adapting their routine for the edgier, fine-art audience.
“I’m talking with some people in Vegas right now about having a regular act,” Rella said.You really have to experience Fear No Ice’s performance to believe how much fun ice manipulation can be.”The experience of the Fear No Ice show is to be there, to feel the cold, to get wet, to hear the music and to get slapped on the back with a wet piece of ice. That’s a Fear No Ice show,” Slavin said.For more information on Fear No Ice, log on to http://www.fearnoice.com, or call Rella at 949-0458.