Celebration. It’s the soul of dance. The spirit speaks through the magic of flesh in motion. Imagination flowers from the human form and transforms the stage. Just as the mind must dream, the body must dance.
Last night, the angels of Elysium Cabaret blessed The Empire Room with a celebration of celebration itself – a chronicle of festivity, devotion and downright good times throughout the ages. Our hosts with the most, Paul Woodrunner and Jilley, welcomed all with warmth and kept those good times pumping. DJ and MC Gunner von Phoenix‘s voice rose from the ashes to blaze our way through the outstanding onstage acts. And Elysium burned with a gala of grace that only it can devise.
Act One: Kyshra with Jo, Fukuju, Cowgrl Crystal, Sorcha, Nadi and Queenie – Ladies Come First – Hinder
Elysium started off with a celebration of where we all began – the flesh of a woman. Kyshra steamed the stage with an erotic display like no other: Girls strapped in the tightest of fabric, grinding, arching, pumping in a climax of carnal motion. It was raw. It was hot. It was the kind of dance you could smell in the air. And it left the audience on the brink of bursting, eager for what came next.
Act Two: Goddess Shayna with Oodlemi – This is How We Do – Katy Perry
The next act arrived in a sports car, as Goddess Shanya cruised onstage on the hood of a car driven by Oodlemi and took off – literally! The car soared into the air, over the audience, and led them on a voyage through one hell of a night out. The setting switched seamlessly, from a desert road to a road house, to a park and ride where the couple got down together, all the way to Shayna strutting home with heels in hand and hair mussed. Shayna turned dance into cinema itself, guiding their eye in fifth gear through the very vision of a damn good date night!
Act Three: Jo with Fukuju, Baby, Seb, Gunner and Melvis – Clap Your Hands – Parov Stelar
Jo‘s dance set reminds us that celebration isn’t just for the era of karaoke and krunk dancing, taking us back to the Roaring 20s for a classic routine of color-coordinated celebration. Embraced by the gilded arms of an opulent club, dancers clad in crimson and platinum spun, shucked and jived to a remix of a timeless tune. The dawn of modern dance shone bright as a golden cage while flappers and their beaus reminded us that even in an age of uniformity, people have found a way to cut loose!
Act Four: Nadi with Ray Lobo, Krysta Lobo, Zach Starostin and Fukuju Amaterasu – Dance Again – Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull
A tour through the history of dance and celebration wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the club. That’s where Nadi brought us – under the swing of colored lights, dancers got down on a floor that flared and shimmered with neon patterns. With ecstatic movement and free spirited fun, she showed us why millions dance again – and again and again – every night in the club scene!
Act Five: Wiz – Evolution – Wiz Mix
The endless cycle of discovering new ways to celebrate dance and song took us to the digital cradle of our modern, mobile video age, with Wiz Nirvana‘s dedication to YouTube smash hit, the Evolution of Dance. Set in a perfect construction of an embedded video player, the Wiz danced through the styles and steps of every chart-topping dance sensation that sent YouTube view counts through the roof! The artistry and action was worth nine-digit hits for sure, with Wiz’s mix of trending tunes truly captivating the crowd in its homage to an age of split-second attention spans and in-stream superstars!
Act Six: Melvis with Arabella, Mona, Jo, Seb and Andy – Final Song – MØ
Heavenly. There’s no other word that does Melvis Baum‘s performance justice. The stage opened on a fantasy landscape where angels danced among temple columns and shooting stars. As the music urged us to “not lot this be our final song,” the dancers took to the clouds, frolicking and flying in a celestial paradise. It was an ode to the angelic origin of dance – the spirit – featuring a symphony of special effects and exquisite attention to every heaven-sent detail.
Act Seven: Jilley with Paul – Maria – Ricky Martin
Jilley‘s act brought us to a Spanish-style villa, where Ricky Martin’s hit song was soundtrack of a romantic interplay between the dancers. The story of a south-of-the-border love played out with dazzling steps and a stunning set. Latin passion and lusty dance moves displayed the celebration that beats at the heart of every true romance!
Act Eight: Corri – Dragonfly – Mahogany Rush
One of dance’s greatest powers is to empower the imagination to take wing, as Corri‘s dance, featuring a dragonfly girl dancing in sync with a princely frog, displayed to us. With a vision straight from a fable, Corri’s dancers set a lively beat surrounded by lily pads and Spanish moss. A fairy tale frolic brought to life, it celebrated the magical qualities of dance.
Act Nine: Babypea with Gunner and VooDoo – Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
Babypea brought us all the way back to the dawn of civilization’s dance styles with a classic 80s tune set in the antique world – ancient Egypt! Shimmying and sliding in the geometric style of the West’s first great empire, Baby toured the audience through a cyclopean temple, a royal Nile barge and a stream of endless hieroglyphs. With imagery torn from the Book of the Dead, Baby brought us a vivid reminder that we’re but the latest symbols in a long series of dances that stretches back to humanity’s first steps.
Act Ten: Crowd Dance by Eva – Footloose, Bohemian Rhapsody, Say a Little Prayer
A night dedicated to the celebratory power of dance wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the movies! Eva packed the stage with popcorn, the crowd piled on, and all danced together to some of the greatest songs from moving pictures! Cutting footloose together – as Paul Woodrunner reminded everyone that an Elysium dancer is alive in every SecondLife avatar – brought the evening’s act to a fitting close by making everyone a celebrity!
Putting this into practice, Andy was inspired to create a video of tonight’s events. Giving wings to the imagination is what it’s all about, and we couldn’t be more thankful for his gorgeous cinematography. It’s not to be missed – be sure to view it here!
Super stars in the same onstage constellation – that’s what Elysium is all about! And this night was about how dance can a voice to even the meekest among us. Whether its about warm bodies shining together in the darkness, fantastical fables or getting funky at a roadhouse karaoke stage, there’s a dream within us all. Dance brings it to life!
Many thanks to Fukuju Amaterasu for the photos that immortalized this unforgettable evening.
And, starting Wednesday, we celebrate individual choreographers and dancers with the upcoming interview series – Interview with an Elysian!