Wow it’s hot out….superhot, cook an egg on your car hot. Three digits on the thermostat hot…Farenheit…but that doesn’t mean that’s any different that it ever is at the Empire Room on a Friday! SL was blessedly cooperative and Gunner was spinning his usual amazing tunes while we all scratched new bottoms on our toe shoes and Paul and Jilley made sure that everyone who stopped in felt welcome. I hear the buffet was great, but when you’re dancing there’s never time to hit the buffet!
Jilley opened for us and what an opening it was! She was the perfectly beautiful caged bird for Lindsey Stirling’s “Song of the Caged Bird”. There was gently lapping water under the cage and a delicately beautiful winged Jilley in it. The set was dark with strategically placed accents, an arch, the cage and some flora. It was mesmerizing and pretty. A wonderful way to let the week melt away and the weekend begin.
There was a vibe in Friday’s show, maybe it’s the lazy hazy days of summer, but emotion ran high in a few sets and Gunner’s was one of them. He was with his love, Baby, and there was a plane crash. Blitz’ “Berlin Leviathan” set the stage and while Gunner appeared to have made it, Baby did not. He danced to his love, gathered her up and carried her into the sea. What I didn’t expect, was the two of them rising from the water, like phoenixes…gorgeous flamed dancers dancing together again. Beautiful Gunner!
Goddess Shayna graced the stage in a ruin…not her, her set! Shayna was a beautiful belly dancer, whose hips wriggled to “Quest for the Oracle” by Paul Dinletir. The perfect song to set the scene with sand and fallen columns as well as some really adorable goats…and were there monkeys too? If I read that right in group…I don’t know…I was too busy staring at Shayna and couldn’t peel my eyes off of her. It was wonderful! She really was our Goddess of the desert.
JenZa and her Misfits were up next and that meant something fun, because with JenzZa it ALWAYS means fun! JenZza was our intrepid farm lady….curlers in her hair, batter in hand and countless reminders about feeding the chickens, watering the chickens, dancing with the chickens…plastered all over her house while she danced to her mix of Miss McDonald. The scene faded and our intrepid chickens were hanging out dancing and looking for worms…more on that later….and so Dulcikate, Phoebe, Love, Cuddlebug, Candykat and Rumour clucked and flapped around, while our little worm…Seb, managed to avoid the beaks of all of them…inching around the chicken coop and leaping …yep… hysterical animation…he contracted and leaped from window to window. Another cool and wildly fun set from the imagination of JenZza and the Misfits!
Wiz was up following the chickens…so let’s just say it was going to take a LOT to follow that act or should I say a little? To say that our Wiz was a minimalist on Friday would be quite an overstatement. The song was Katy Perry’s “Rise”. The set was an arena. The inspiration was the Olympics and apparently, athletes originally competed in the NUDE! This brings us to Wiz. Clad only in some fig leaves. Fig leaves on his HEAD…the one attached to his NECK! Not the usual location for fig leaves in one of his sets. I think there was a lot of chatter about the name of the song…the location of the fig leaves…the set…but frankly, I was distracted. Suffice to say, Wiz set me straight with his inspiration and the mosaic is Leda and the Swan from Greek mythology.
Now it was my turn to have to follow up an act that couldn’t be topped. Thanks Wiz! I chose Lana Del Ray’s “Young and Beautiful”. Lana has such a haunting voice and her songs really strike a chord with me. I decided to build a fantasy set because the song is really about what happens after you leave that phase of your life, but the fantasy that is SL allows us to be young and beautiful forever. I think I have the soul of a vampire…or would…if they had souls.
Kyshra was joined by Queenie and Baby to “I Remain” by Alanis Morrisette. It was a night of two belly dancing sets that were as different as different could be. The ladies flew in on their sand devils or sand tornadoes and it was a heck of an entrance. They wore particles on their hands and feet that were really amazing…they were delicate and when they moved, they created an effect that almost looked like sand flying through the air. In the end they were carried away by the sandstorm and in between they were beautiful belly dancers. Kyshra has been doing a lot with interesting lighting and particles lately and it’s really fun to watch her results.
Baby was our closer and she and Fuki took us to the enchanted forest for the last act to Selena Gomez and the Scene’s “Who Says”. Baby was Snow White…and yep there were a LOT of jokes about that and Fuki was the Evil Queen and they danced in the woods with the magic mirror between them. The fun came when the message in the mirror changed from the creepy face to “you’ve got every right to a beautiful life”. What a fabulous song and message and what a fun way to close the show.
Well, like that….it was over…dammit. We had nothing left to do but hop up onstage and enjoy some really fun group dances done by Ame. She picked the Red Hot Chili Peppers “We Turn Red”, Candlelight Red’s “Demons” and Halestorm’s “I Miss the Misery”. Hopping tunes which had us all hopping and bopping our way to the finish line of fun on a Friday night.
On behalf of all of the Elysiums, thank you all for spending some quality time with us on your first night of the weekend. We had a great time and hope that you did too! Can’t wait to catch you under the spotlights next week and having some fun dancing with you after:) Catch you all next Friday night!