Let’s Dance! A David Bowie Tribute

Let’s face it….David Bowie was a genius. Without him, the world of music might have taken years to evolve.  Without him, the world in general would have been a more “gray” place.  David Bowie was more than just a musician, he was a visionary, a showman and fearless chameleon when it came to presenting his music. There was nothing ordinary about this man, and when he died, we lost that extraordinary light, but thankfully for us, we have all of his amazing music to keep him in our hearts.  To that note, the dancers of the Empire Room took to the stage to pay tribute to a musical inspiration and we had a lot of fun doing it 🙂

DAVID BOWIE POSTER

We had a little fun at the beginning of the show, and by fun I mean all out stresstastic nightmare when Baby and Gunner crashed simultaneously courtesy of their telecom provider.  Kellan was a goddess and we all flung our music across the interwebs to her and she got us rolling just a couple of minutes past usual.  I have no idea how she did it, I would have had a stroke rolled up in a conniption with a chaser of a heart attack!  Bless you Kellan for keeping us sailing along with a minimum of fuss and lost time and thank you wonderful audience for not freaking out and fleeing 🙂

Jilley opened for us with Paul to a duet of David Bowie and Tina Turner singing “Tonight”.  Jilley wore a beautiful white gown with a polka dot accent and a sugar skull mask and Paul was of course….Bowieish 🙂  The set was an ethereal evening with moonlight,  a dance stage suspended in air and a starlit background that accentuated the beautiful dance where each danced alone to start and then Jilley met Paul and the higher platform and they danced together.  I wanted the song to be longer so I could see more!

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Jilley

Ally took to the stage next with David Bowie’s “Putting out Fire”from the movie Cat People.  This set was so hot it was on fire! The backdrop was two huge glowing cat eyes.  The song is sultry….Ally was a cat and she had some large, intimidating cat friends lounging on stage with her.  Her stage literally burned….and the audience was desperately in need of one of my two future inventions…”the dump of cold water sploder”.  It was quintessential sexy Ally and a great set.

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Ally

I hit the boards next and I chose “Fame”.  I saw the Grammys and took my inspiration from Lady Gaga’s performance. I chose a different approach than usual, I came onstage from out in the audience….it was a red carpet walk to a red carpet dance…with some strategically placed searchlights and a dress I found from Faster Pussycat that I’m having a sordid affair with…I may not take it off for a month 🙂  Fame…what you like is in the limo…. Fuki did the coolest picture of this!

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Winnie

Wiz chose “Ashes to Ashes” a song that Bowie wrote  like an epitaph to the Ziggy Stardust era.  There are pointed references to drug use and dealing with the consequences and Wiz took inspiration from the video where there is an actual shot of Bowie in a padded room and he also switches characters while producing a picture of the next character.  I love the set, it’s an amazing adaptation, once again the Wizard is in 🙂

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Wiz

Kellan chose “Dancing in the Street” with Bowie and Mick Jagger.  The lyrics to this song shout out cities and countries and a continent as the boys encourage us to get out and dance.  Queenie, Ridley, Cyan, Ame, Mona, Nevar and I were there to represent and danced our little hearts away out in the street.  I loved the animations for this…they were really upbeat and fun!

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Kellan

Next we had JenzZa and her Misfits with my favorite Bowie tune “Pressure” with Freddy Mercury.  I could binge listen to this song for hours and JenzZa did the funniest and most amazing interpretation…from the vantage point of the very stressful life of the Red Queen  from Alice in Wonderland.  She was joined by a marching palace guard (Rendezvous), the cheshire cat (Phoebe), the ten of hearts card (Rumour) the mad hatter (Dulcikate) and the…er….cuppycake?? (Paul).  That darned cupcake just about stole the show, but I had more fun watching this set…I need to see it again…and again…and giggle more!

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Misfits (Jenzza)

Queenie (our very own Red Queen) chose “Life Mars” and she had a Bowie outfit made for her by a friend which was just awesome.  It even color changed!!  She put on a fabulous head of hair and Bowie eyes and her set was a series of frames, two with media with shots of Bowie and one with her in the middle.  Her animations were sort of flowy and zen to go with the song and she looked just fabulous.  She and Wiz need to do a duet with their Bowie outfits…they both looked great.

Elysium - 25FEB16 - Queenie

This brings us to the mind of Babypea…and the iconic “Major Tom”. I’m not sure you can do a Bowie show without this song…I know that I couldn’t.  Who doesn’t have a vision of this song in their head.  Like Baby, I envision a sort of 2001 a space odyssey on acid sort of vibe when I hear this song.  I say like Baby, because that’s kind of exactly what she did.  She finds the most awesome avatars and this one was no exception.  I’m pretty sure that she also bought out most of the particles on the grid as she floated and twirled and swooshed her way through space, where it looked much prettier than it does on a lot of NASA websites.  It was cool, it was psychedelic, it was hip, it was perfect!

Elysium - 26FEB16 - Baby

Sadly, that was the end of the show, but we all got to enjoy ourselves just a wee bit longer as Ame did our crowd dances to “Blue Jean”, “Modern Love”, and “Magic Dance”.  There was a great Bowie backdrop and bless SL for being faster than usual with loading us all and letting us have fun. I hope that you all had as much fun as I did last night…and I hope that Mr. Bowie…wherever he is on some eternal plane was able to look down and see how much we miss him and love his music.  Catch you all next Friday night!

Snapshot - Ame (Crowd)

 

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The Enchanted Evening Elysium Cabaret Show 2/19/16

The Enchanted Evening Cabaret February 19, 2016 Show! (By Salonge Baxton)

I have to say this week’s show brought tears to many of us. Enchanted is the theme I gave it because we drifted away song after song to each story the choreographers put together for us.

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Kysrha

The first act was put together by the beautiful Kyshra Rhiadra. Dancers Daze Columbia, Kellan Dubrovna, Storm Bohemian, Nevar Lobo and Zach Starostin twirled around to an empowering Demi Lavato – Confident. The atmosphere during this song was complete silence, which can be an AMAZING compliment as we were all lost in the stage set up and every step of the dances put together by Kyshra. Not to mention their barely there lingerie and leather clothing that made us all beg “Take it all off!” but sadly, they didn’t!

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Jilley

If the first act didn’t get the heart pumping, the second act would make you cry. Jilley set the bar even higher than usual this time.  I’ve heard many renditions of La Vie en Rose, and I’m surprised Cyndi Lauper could do it so well, but paired with Jilley dancing in a way only a woman in love ever could and Paul Woodrunner on piano while Ally (allyson.solo) played the violin.  We all felt the sadness and depth of the possibilities of love as Jilley danced and my heart pounded all the way to the end.  The detail to the stage and costumes were second to none as Jilley’s acts always are.  She always knows how to place each piece with the lighting so you go for a delicious ride through a story.  Please more!

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Ayita

Thankfully the powers that be know how to make the emotions wave up and down and Ayita (naybabe Resident) was the perfect choice for Act 3. Joining her was Nalani (dancinggal2014), Maia (fionna.carter), JMB Balogh, JJ (ladiejj.jewell), Babypea Von Phoenix, Kellan Dubrovna and Kymir Pardus to “Ooh Ahh by Tamara Jaber”. They all let us know who’s in control of those relationships as they danced their way to whatever they wanted and oh they could get it too! If you missed the stage set up for this one you really should beg her to play it again!  I want to go to Paris more than ever now.

Elysium - 19FEB16- La Oro (Tehya)

Oh my! Act 4 with Tehya from La Oro’s grouped up with Breezie, Jade, Amethyst, Allesandra and Kayla Kao with Ruby Blue. This group is outstanding anyway but this act had to be hard to follow. We all started swaying as they spread out on an electric blue and black stage. Red dresses bouncing over dancing thighs drew our eyes from anywhere else they might have wanted to wander and hold transfixed. We want to see them all come back all come back and tell us the next chapter.

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Storm

Phantom of the Opera is well known and close to my heart. The way Storm Bohemian set up the stage and danced his story with Liriel Garnet, made us all want his cry to be heard. The contrast of his dark suit and her flowing gown. We all know how that story ends, but for the moment I clutched my hands together so tightly and wanted more. The piano, waterfall, and torches lit up the stage with flickers throughout their dance. I didn’t want it to end, I hope to see much more in the future.

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Eva

Eva Harley brought us the intensity even a bit higher when she brought Johnn Galt along to dance on a black background with a face whose eyes looked into each of our souls and pulled out the secret loneliness we all share. The sound of silence was felt but not heard through the act. I took a look around to see everyone transfixed on the stage but not speaking. The couple strengthened our understanding that we aren’t truly ever alone. I always enjoy her stories and messages and get chills every time I see her magic working on the audience who understands it.

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Melvis

Still wiping tears through the music interchange, the beat picked up and we roared when we saw each of the Disney Characters represented by the glorious team of Melvis, Andytez Dumpling, Storm Bohemian, Sebastian Bourne, Nevar Lobo, Kellan Dubrovna and Monavie Voight who ground and bopped in ways we never saw on the cartoons to (mixed version) of Disney music. The crowd went wild screaming as the background of the castle faded through the extra effect lighting and I couldn’t even read the text flying by so fast!

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Wiz

Oh the Wiz, (Wiz Nirvana) if you’ve ever caught any of his acts before you’ll know he brings everything you could imagine or want. He danced this one solo while Sia’s haunting voice to California Dreamin’ filled the entire building. The broken down building scene was post apocalyptic and I think we all held our breaths to make sure it didn’t crumble as he showed us he WOULD be a survivor no matter what. The way he stepped to the edge of the broken landing, I have no idea how he didn’t fall off, but his gracefulness showed through and we all cheered before the music was even over!

Elysium - 19FEB16 - DavidGage

David (DavidGage) brought us something quite hilarious! Joining him were Paul Woodrunner, Eric, Stu, and Sebastain Bourne all dancing around in the bachelor pad. They made sure to take their time to let us know they’d love us even after leaving the toilet seat up and we go crazy *doesn’t everyone?* but we forgave each of them when we saw them wiggle through and promise us eternal love. The women in the audience screamed and offered to change their ways for another taste!

Elysium - 19FEB16 - Ame

The last choreographed number was put together by Ame Starostin who brought Zach Starostin. When they stood facing one another in the mirror I got chills. We were able to get a peek into the dynamics Ame wanted to share, the same faces and competing emotions. Each step executed beautifully at center stage while inspirational quotes close to their heart flashed around them. Ame has always added more components than slight stage designs to carry emotion through the song in a way that makes you really feel.  Everything about the art she shares makes me think on it again after I’ve walked away.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Elysium - 19FEB16 - DanceX (Wild)

Crowd Dance was put together by Dance Xcetera’s Wild Catnap. The crowd joined in to boogy down to Super Freak, Ladies Night, and Word Up. All discussing just how much they enjoyed the show. I couldn’t help but stay after everyone left replaying all the fun I had. Can’t wait to do it again next week.

Special thanks to the staff at Elysium Cabaret who stand behind the scenes to make this all work. It takes time and dedication and a lot of money to keep the show running and bring something new every week to the stages. Thank you Fuki for the photos.

Salonge Baxton – Elysium Dancer

Amazing Hawt Show Friday 2/12/16

Well, it’s the end of the weekend and I still am buzzing over the amazing show that was put on by the Elysium Cabaret on Friday night. It’s been a rough start to the week with being sick and trying to get back on track after my trip.  So sitting at the Empire room on Friday night was just what I needed!

Just like always and right on time, the Empire room came alive with the sounds of everyone rushing to their seats from the bar with drinks in each hand. DJ Gunner took to the airwaves and the dancers were getting final prep completed when all of a sudden the sound of the Black Eyed Peas brought a hush to the theater. It was time and we all knew because of that familar song “I Gotta Feeling”!

First up was Corri! Haunting and beautiful are the only two words I can come up with to describe her interpretation of Disturbed’s amazing cover of  Sound of Silence.  The one thing I love most about dance is that it does not matter how many times I hear a song, the person on the stage can evoke emotions that no other can. And, Corri did this for me with the simplest of set and beauty of movement.

After Corri was finished, I knew this was going to be a great night for dance! The Hawt meter was only beginning to climb and it took another step closer to explosion when our next dancer Ally took the stage.  Whenever I hear that song “Riding Solo” by Jason DeRulo, I know that I’m in for a treat and again she did not dissapoint with costuming and the right movements. “Rain” by Blackmill began to come alive right infront of our eyes. Wow! Ally! HOT HOT!

I am not sure what Wiz was up to this week with the line up but he sure did set up the audiance with a continued climb to the top of the hotness meter! The gentlemen watching were just sitting on the edge of their seats. Finally, there was some excitment coming for the Ladies! Mona provided with a colorful redition of Toni Braxton’s hit – “You’re Making me High”!  She was joined on stage by Cyan, Salonge, Gunner and Storm! I will have to say the ladies were treated to bliss seeing those two guys in their g-strings.  WTG MONA!

Well, up next was Wiz. I finally realized why he got the audience so intranced with the ladies of Elysium. See, I try really hard to make it to rehearsal on thursdays to see the dances before I sit and write a review. This week I had no clue what Wiz had up his sleeve. As soon as the music started though, I KNEW!!! Here comes the Ru-Wiz with his rockin’ moves to RuPaul’s “Don’t Be Jealous of my Boogie”.  The Ladies had nothing on Ru-Wiz when it came to his dance in his epic drag costume of RuPaul! Darn, Wiz how can you walk in those shoes?

Our next dance came from the Phoenix Dance Troupe! Jack brought over his tribute to David Bowie and I can saw that no matter how many times I see this dance, the memories of great music and a great time of my life flood into my mind. Since I already aged myself, I can say that this dance hits every right note ever sung by this great man. There are so many things I can say about this dance but none would do it justice.  I guess what I can say is, thanks Jack for reminding us there is “Magic in Dance”!

Have you been to Gotham City lately? Well, I have and it was so cool to visit with Sebastain and his craziness! If you did not know the Joker is alive and can really move around a dance floor! Sebastain grabbed Salonge’s hand and said come dance with me to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”! What a great number and I’m so jealous of his imagination. Where does he come up with these dances! This one was flawless!

Next up was a debut! Elysium Cabaret welcomed Tray to its troupe with open arms. I have seen some debuts on this stage and this one was up near the top! Tray, dancing with the gorgeous and so-stylish Immy, brought his love of dance and movement to the stage with set changes that not only gave us a sceen but told a story! It’s so nice to see more of us guys getting out on the stage and showing that dance is not defined by gender! Tray made me a believer and is a welcome addition to the Elysium Cabaret family!  Welcome Home!

The show is winding down now but it can not be complete unless Baby gets to take the stage. It does not matter what song Baby has chosen to dance to, I get chills watching art come alive over my screen. This dance was no different and how can you go wrong with Enya!  Baby, bring this gift to the stage that opens up the minds of each of us to love and peace. A gentle reminder of how full our lives are with love especially when we come as a family together each Friday Night! Dancing to “Stars and Midnight Blue”, it was the most beautiful end to an exciting show! Thank you Baby again for sharing a gift with us all!

The Troupe had finished but now it was time for the audience to jump up and close out the show in the signature manner of Elysium Cabaret! This week Paul called upon Kellan to bring the music and movement to a full stage of dancers just waiting for their break into the world we are all so fortunate to have found.  Kellan did not disapoint at all with masterful moves and the music of Chris Brown – “Forever”, Radioactive “In The Dark”, and  2Pac – Dr. Dre – “California Love”. As the dancers said thank you to the audiance and everyone got their blood pumping, the laughter and night came to a close!  Thanks Kellan for a great ending!

Well, off for now! Time to get planning for next week. I hear there is another great lineup for Friday Night as we Welcome you to the weekend!

PS. Thank you Fuki for the great photos!