Hackers?? Can’t Stop the Music at Empire!!

Friday was a wild internet day…wild…hackers, sites crashing, work…blessedly interrupted and all of us crossing our fingers for our Friday night fun.  Not to worry, the staff of Empire are trained professionals, so we buckled down, set home, glued our feet to the pose stands, battened down the hatches and got ready to rumble.

Now…it is October and let’s face it.  There aren’t many folks in SL that aren’t addicted to Halloween….and we are no exception.  Jilley went wild with the blood and pumpkins and creepy curtain; the theater looks AMAZING and it wasn’t even the theme show yet!  DJ Gunner, as per usual was spinning great tunes, Paul was out minding the house, and there was a stunning buffet set up for some pre-show snacking!  The crowd wandered in…gaping at all the halloweeny goodness and settled in for some fantastical dancing.

Jilley opened the show with Baby and Sammy Magic to “Spooky Scary Skeletons” and what an epic opening act it was.  Dark blue linear textures were the back drop with white skeletons on the ground, while multi-colored droopy skeletons floated overhead moving to and fro.  Our ladies wore latex skeleton outfits with wild hair and pale skins and with legs as long as the Mississippi they boogied away with no fear of the skeletons moving around them or the cool skeletal heads that were poofing around above them…and with that…we were off!

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JenzZa and the misfits joined us for the second act.  JenzZa had a mix called Rockin Goblins.  She was joined by Seb on guitar, Rumor as the skeletal Elvis and Dulcikate, Cuddlebug,  Phoebe, Miny,  and Love Lefko as her Oogie Boogies.  It was all I could do to not kidnap the Oogies and run away with them.  JenzZa’s sets bring tears of silly happiness to my eyes and this set was no exception to that.  The Oogies danced, climbed trees and danced some more….Elvis skeleton rocked it out on lead vocals, and Seb did some serious guitar shredding..all while the lighting changed giving everyone different eerie halloween coloring.  Brilliantly fun JenzZa!

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I took the stage to Kate Bush..”This Woman’s Work”.  My SL friends know that I am a stage IIIA breast cancer survivor..I just turned 7 this year, and I don’t let an October go by that I don’t do a version of a breast cancer dance to this song.  Every year it’s a little different, I used a shadowbox this year, because the dance is for everyone touched by this disease, not just me.  I do some local chat encouraging people to be tested, poked, squished and prodded because it’s such a treatable disease and the fear of what may happen is far worse than treatment…trust me…I had it all from surgery to chemo to radiation and I’m here…as are so many others….and I can enjoy my real life and my second life ❤

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Asali was joined by Baby, Jilley, Renee and Kyshra to “The Allure” by Beats Antique.  Great song…GREAT!  Electo violins…so freaking great…and the girls looked spectacular in steampunk finery..goggles and all!  The set had huge rotating gears that moved the girls and sank into the floor and they were also around on the walls.  It was mesmerizing and everyone looked so fabulous…the dresses were sooooo great.  Ok…gush-a-potamus there, but Asali doesn’t dance as often as we need her to, because she is amazing.

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Lady C joined us with a techno remix of the them from “Halloween”.  Lady is one of the first people I met when dancing on the big stage a few years ago…She is an oldschool burlesque dancer and by that I mean chic and sexy as all heck and she does classic striptease in such an amazing way that she knocks everyone’s socks off with her sets.  She was a creepy bat lady in a gorgeous graveyard (yep..how’s that for alliteration?).  It was seriously cool with a huge moon and fence and black cat.  She had lovely little particles on her hands and feet and she swirled and bumped and bopped…and she her teensy suit for the cutest spider web pasties ever.  It was a treat to dance with her again and I hope she visits with us more!

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Melvis….Melvis, Melvis, Melvis….first of all, he had a great song mix..none of it which is on the notecard….but here goes.  Stormtroopers…Seb, Paul, Wiz, Jilley, Shay and Diamonte marched onstage…and down some stairs to frame out poor frozen Han Solo.  Darth Vader saunters out, and I may not remember the whole mix, but when Darth pulled out his light saber and started to boogie to Diana Ross’  “I’m Coming Out” I laughed so hard my seltzer came out my nose, I woke up the dog and lost a slipper somewhere under the couch.  It took me a bit to pull myself together, but I also seem to remember Mona and SoCo in Stormtrooper-ette outfits, but bald and without headgear.  Melvis is a treasure and what a brilliant set…what I wouldn’t give to get a peek inside that brain of his!

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The lovely Goddess Shayna was next to 311’s “Amber”.  She was a beautiful butterfly fairy dancing on a leaf.  She wore pretty particles and little dragonflies fluttered around her stage.  It was a magical set;. stunningly done, but Goddess was so pretty in the middle of it, my eyes didn’t take much of it in.  She also had some very pretty makeup on.  I need to see this one again so that I can cam out and enjoy some of her hard work making the whole stage look fantastic.

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Baby closed out the evening with Wild, Jo and Fuki.  She danced to a rockin song by  Korn ft. Skrillex and Kill The Noise – “Narcissistic Cannibal”.  I’m still struggling with how to explain this set.  It was a two tiered palace with Jo in white on one balcony and Fuki in black on the other.  Baby and Wild started on separate sides, merged together in the middle and then came down the stair and split apart again dancing amongst some creepy circling hands.  Jo and Fuki came down and they danced as couples and then all merged together. It was wild….sort of Dr. Strangelove meets Kurt Vonnegut meets A Clockwork Orange and everyone drops some acid.  Ok…that didn’t really explain it, but it was really weird and freaky and beautiful all at the same time.  It was something only Baby’s imagination could come up with and I desperately want to see it again to enjoy the mindbending a second time 🙂

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Poof!  Before we knew it, it was time for those pesky but awesome dance balls to make an appearance and for everyone to hop on stage and dance the night away.  Kyshra did our crowd dances this week and she chose Bad Things “Roll with the Devil” and two mixes, a Halloween  Ghosts and Fear mashup and a Halloween Boogie mashup, both by Dirty D.  It was a wild and wooly end to a wild and wooly day on the interwebs,  and we got to spend it with good friends and family…or framily as Babypea likes to say 🙂  She took a few group picks, so I’m posting a few because it’s fun to find ourselves and giggle!  Thanks for a great show and the Halloween Theme show is next Friday…just in case you thought it was last night with all the fun Halloweeny sets!  Thank you all for coming out and supporting us!!

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Elysium Interview with Jilley

Jilley is strikingly talented. She is tall and elegant – the classical figure of a dancer. And, above all, she is surprising. Jilly is a choreographer with the courage to embrace new technologies, abstract ideas and powerful subjects. I enjoyed an easygoing afternoon with her at my home and explored the better angels and inner demons of The Empire Room’s “devil girl” with our Elysium Interview with Jilley.

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What and who inspire the ideas for your dances?

My ideas can come from different things. Sometimes it’s a song, or I find an outfit that needs to be danced in. Other times, I just start building a set and it just flows from there.  Sometimes things that affected me in my own real life inspire me to make a dance.

What first inspired you to pursue dance in Second Life and what was your very first dance?

Before Elysium and Empire Room existed, Babypea showed me a dance she had done, and it was an ‘OMG’ moment!  I have to do that!  I’d been a performer for some years with Rockshoppe Tribute Bands, so being on stage came naturally.  The very first dance I made was Devil Inside by INXS, hence why Gunner calls me devil girl. [Jilley smiles]

Your dances often have awesome sets. What advice do you have to those building sets?

No advice really. I just see things in my head and I build it.  You know, build it, and they will come. [Jilley laughs] ‘Just use your imagination’ is my best advice.

What’s your typical work routine and what part of preparing your sets and dances challenges you most?

My SL life is nearly always spent building or experimenting with ideas, and doing shows – not a lot of time for play.  I find the most challenging parts of a dance is if I can see in my head what I want to build, but I can’t find it on SL Marketplace or wherever, and finding that ‘just right’ dance animation to fit a song.

What are the most important qualities for an SL dancer, in your opinion?

Try to improve yourself with new ideas and creativity.  And be nice to others and stop with the dramas. Divas are such a pain in the ass!

What does being a part of Elysium give you, as a dancer and choreographer?

Elysium is my artistic outlet and I so love dancing and we have a great company of dancers; lots of nice people.  I think if I didn’t dance, I’d just be standing around festering in my own juices. Ew. [Jilley laughs]

You had a dance commemorating the 9-11 tragedy. What inspired that and helped shape its vision?

9-11 affected me deeply, and it is something I can never forget. I sat up all that night watching every horrendous event happen.  The song I chose was You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban. It wasn’t to remember the actual event, but to remember all those that lost their lives and the ones they left behind, and to show that no matter what, we can rise above it all and be strong to carry on.

What are your goals as an artist? Tell us what’s coming next for your fans!

My goals are to just keep doing what I’m doing, improve where I can. I want to entertain my fans – make them happy or make them cry if a song and dance effects them that way – and to have fun! Can’t tell you what is coming next. It’s a secret. [Jilley grins]

You can see Jilley’s secret revealed at The Empire Room, every Friday at 6PM SLT. And stay tuned here for more secret lives of the Elysium Cabaret’s superstars, in our next edition of Elysium Interviews!

Elysium Review October 14, 2016 – Spirit Worlds in Elysium

In this magical month of October, Elysium Cabaret led the audience on an exploration of fantastical environments and mystical places. From a dive into the glimmering chambers of the Underdark, up to the lotus pond of Nirvana and Heaven’s own chandelier, this supernatural path visited some spectacular sites. DJ Gunner von Phoenix kept the acts flowing smooth with his gravelly voice and seamless soundtrack, while our hosts with the most – Paul Woodrunner and Jilley – boosted the already soaring spirits of the audience. This dance through the spirit realm raised a chorus of excitement from the crowd, and this Elysium Review of the acts should leave no doubt as to why!

Act One: Babypea – Enigma Mix – Sarah

Babypea von Phoenix October 14 2016

Sheltered within a cradle of stars and still waters that reflected the heavens, a lotus pond was the stage for Babypea‘s display of mystical serenity. Beginning with the dancer hatching from a crystalline cone, Babypea’s steps spun her at the center of the lotus garden that signifies life, harmony and inner peace in many eastern religions. As streams of light and clouds of spangles emanated from the dancer’s placid motions, the act showed how the spirit blossoms in the true center of all things, until finally returning to the crystal petals from which it arose.

Act Two: Wiz Nirvana – Chasing Cars – Wind and the Wave

Wiz Nirvana October 14 2016

Another garden was the center of our second act, and though Wiz framed it in the urban setting of a concrete planter, it was no less deeply spiritual. As a bedraggled angelic figure sat bare upon a mossy log, eyes cast upwards, Wiz shifted before her in placid motion and pajama pants. The song spoke of the ephemeral, heavenly feeling enjoyed when lying next to a lover, and the dance announced the same with its somnolent, shifting forms and tender garden amid a hard, concrete world.

Act Three: Corri with Paul, Gunner and FT – Maneater – Hall & Oates

Corri October 14 2016

A darker realm was our third destination, as under a gloomy canopy of deepest jungle, Corri displayed a gruesome tableau of mankind – or womankind – at her most primeval: Cannibalism. While Gunner and Paul boiled in a pot and FT roasted on a spit before a dinner party of wild beasts, Corri was wildest of all, writhing and exulting clad in bones and tattoos alone. This ghastly scene came complete with a crashed plane, suggesting how this story of three men doomed to be meat began. The horror was defrayed by the clever incorporation of ‘Maneater’ – a song that’s always brought an image like this to mind!

Act Four: Eva with Misha, Selene, Nadi, Tauriel, Allyson Solo, Lexi and Goddess Shayna – Spectrum – Florence & the Machine

Eva October 14 2016

Eva‘s act was an abstracted celebration of the eroticism of club dance. As her sexy troupe arched, thrust, ground and spun in buckled white leather, Eva held their center in the scantiest slip of a scarlet dress. They were all as hot as the flames and lights that spun around them, all orchestrated in a perfect harmony of color, fire and sleek flesh.

Act Five: Anu with Star and CowGrl – Breath of Life – Florence & the Machine

Anu October 14 2016

As ‘Breath of Life’ flower over this misty stage, Anu‘s troupe of orcs, beasts, psychopomps and sorceresses gathered before a dark tower for a danse macabre! Anu’s lavish costumes were as awesome as they were elaborate, and the eerie motions of her dance were exquisitely framed by the spin of sparrow flocks – birds who bear souls to and from the spirit world. This was a breathtaking celebration of ancient ways, exotic myths and the undying power of female magic.

Act Six: Jilley with Goddess Shayna and Sorcha – You Spin Me Round – Eiffel 65

Jilley October 14 2016

Next we spun away from the eerie monsters of the human subconscious into an outer space scene woven from the most psychedelic science fiction – and the brilliant mind of Jilley! While chromatic spirals, spinning constellations and tiers of light brightened a black-lit stage, Jilley and her dancers spun in zero gravity delight, sheathed in shiny metallic costumes. From their whirling hands, bands of quivering light whirled around them, making the dancers the most mesmerizing spirals of all.

Act Seven: Kyshra – Until We Go Down – Ruelle

Kyshra October 14 2016

From the heights of imagination’s heaven, we dove into a luminous chamber of the Underdark – the realm of dark elves – to join Kyshra in a dance that was at once erotic and spiritual exultant. Dressed in spidery finery befitting a priestess of Lloth, Kyshra danced amid columns of multi-colored crystal below a golden arch emblazoned with the Tree of Life. Her mysterious movements were perfect for a land that defines dark magic at its most fantastical, giving us an enthralling glimpse of the ceremonies of the Drow.

Act Eight: Sebastain and Jo with Tray – Glitter in the Air – Pink

Jo and Sebastain October 14 2016

A celestial spectacle was our closing act – a scene of surreal romance cupped in the orbit of brightly shining stars, and designed by Sebastain and Jo. As a pair of golden men twisted and revolved in aerobatic performance on a chandelier of balloons and stars, Jo played the part of a ballerina, moving with delicacy and grace in concert with the men above. It was a marvelous homage to idealized love, sewn together with an exquisitely touching song, that settled the audience’s spirits while lifting their hearts.

Act Nine: Crowd Dance by Ame – Faster (Matt Nathanson), Breathe Carolina (Blackout), Angels and Airwaves (Surrender)

Elysium Cabaret Crowd Dance by Ame

The audience hopped onto the stage in front of a triptych of dancers framed in primary colors, and joined together in a routine choreographed by Ame. Excitement was the tone of these tunes, with the entire house dancing as one in front of an ecstatic backdrop.

Artistry and magic, spirituality and sexuality, heaven and horror – this voyage through the mystical reaches of the human imagination had it all! Elysium Cabaret was fierce and fearless on this spiritual journey, presenting a thought provoking and thrilling night of fantasy in motion – a perfect way to kick off an October weekend at The Empire Room!

Pictures by Storm Wylde

Elysium Interview with Wiz Nirvana

Auteur. Savant. Mad genius. Many words are used to describe the enigmatic Dance Manager of the Elysium Cabaret, Wiz Nirvana. But by and large, he’s a man of few words, preferring to connect to his audience through the exquisite voice of his art – choreography and show management. We enjoyed this rare opportunity to get deep in the head of the man behind the curtain – an Elysium Interview with Wiz Nirvana that covered the critical subjects of where he draws his dreams, his work as a dance manager and RL workarounds like slow cookers and takeout. 

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What and who inspire the ideas for your dances?

I get my inspiration from many places. I would say a lot of it comes from YouTube, not just top 40 music videos, but clips from reality music shows (Voice, “Got Talent’, Idol), BBC Radio and about a dozen artists. I also get inspired by movies, artwork and books. I spend almost as much time in the Marketplace as I do in YouTube. Sometimes a single prop will inspire a whole set.

What first inspired you to pursue dance in Second Life and what was your very first dance?

Back in 2010 I stumbled across this interesting sim, with some stores, a skating rink, a drive-in movie theatre, and three burlesque show venues run by Ellie Criss and Slappy Doobie. I was intrigued and mesmerized by the shows they put on each week. A friend of mine started dancing with them and I helped with sets, until the bug finally bit.

My first set was a doozy. It had everything in it. And it remains one of my favorites. The curtain raises to an old laboratory. An animated Wiz head is connected to electronic devices and having a discussion with his memories, a dancing Wiz appearing in a cloud, in a blue tutu. All the while, a dubstep version of Bittersweet Symphony plays.

What does a ‘Dance Manager’ do, and why do you do it?

I’m not sure what other Dance Managers do, but this is what I do:

During the week, I put together a rehearsal lineup. During rehearsal, with input from management, I work out the final lineup. By “final,” I mean tentatively final, because sometimes things happen and a change needs to happen 15 minutes before the show. During the show, I do a few things: Make sure everyone has a correct tag on, monitor the script board and politely communicate with offenders about how they can reduce their scripts. And the pre-show announcements.

The lineup process takes quite a few things into consideration – from the length and pace of songs, the theme, and the overall pace of the show, to avoiding putting dancers in consecutive sets so they have time to prepare themselves. In a way, it’s another layer of choreography. Creating the lineups is why I do this.

What’s your typical work routine and what part of preparing your sets and dances challenges you most?

The routine used to be a bit more intense. For over a year I created a new routine each week. Now, due to RL changes, I have a lot less free time.

First of all, I keep a list of songs I want to use. I revisit them occasionally to see if I can come up with a way to translate them to the stage. I also have a general list of ideas for props or sets that need a song. Sometime finding the right animations takes the most time. I’ve had songs playing for hours on loop while trying dances to see how they work (or, most often, don’t work).

The hardest part for me is compromising. I have had to veer from my vision many times because the technology or resources were not available to present exactly what I had in mind.

Why is reality the worst game ever and have you found any cheat codes for it that you’d like to share?

Reality is too “real”! The advantages of virtual reality over everyday reality are the things that are missing: pain, mosquitos and other pests, traffic, TV, fire, flood, famine…

Cheat codes include inexpensive takeout food, microwaves and crock pots.

What does being a part of Elysium give you, as a dancer and choreographer?

Elysium has really been a family to me. A rather transient family, but a family none the less.  I’ve been able to mentor and teach as well as learn new things because of the bonds I’ve created here.

Where do you see Second Life’s role in overall net culture going and do you have three – or more – predictions about virtual reality’s influence on global civilization?

I think SL needs to become three separate but related products. In addition to the current platform, a “game” version and a teaching version. Some efforts are in the works for a game version but I think it needs to be more like the adventure games created by Madpea, but in an interface you can access on your smart phone and with a strong group chat function.  Monetized, of course, so that it pays for newer servers. The education platform would be completely separate from the rest of our world, but would include copies of builds of historical landmarks and environments.

It’s widely known that you like subs for lunch. Which are some of your favorites?

The first time the subject of “subs” came up in SL I said something like, “We are talking about sandwiches, aren’t we?” Evidently we were not..

My favorite sub sandwich is a rare roast beef with spinach, spicy mustard and horseradish sauce on a wheat roll.

What are your goals as an artist? Tell us what’s coming next for your fans!

To keep pushing the envelope, expand my imagination, and surprise myself.
I have over a dozen sets in various states of development, some are 5 years old.
As far as what’s next? You’ll know shortly after I know. [Wiz smiles.]

With an artist as prolific as Elysium’s one-and-only Wiz, we know he’ll be good on his word. If you have more questions to ask our wizard – or any other of our outstanding Elysium Cabaret artists – leave them in the comments below, tweet them to us @ElysiumCabaret or ask in person after our weekly 6pm SLT show, Friday at The Empire Room. And of course, stay tuned on this space for next Wednesday’s Elysium Interview with Jilley!

Elysium Review October 7, 2016 – Transformation in Elysium

Much as it terrifies many of us, change is the fiber of human existence, and dance makes that fiber sing through the human form. Through change in the posture, poses and movements of the body, the dancer tells a story of transformation – love into sorrow, defeat into victory, even death in rebirth. The theme for the first Friday of October at Elysium was transformation. As DJ Gunner Von Phoenix lifted spirits and kept the tracks and acts flowing, and hosts Jilley and Paul Woodrunner conducted a capacity audience to the swanky new leather seats of The Empire Room, transformation’s promise was in the air. It is certain to say that the artists of Elysium Cabaret changed the hearts of many viewers through their exquisite revue of the power of transformation.

Act One: Jilley – One Love | People Get Ready (Photek Remix) – Bob Marley

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Can love truly change the world? In Jilley‘s striking first act, featuring a spiritual figure dancing before a female form woven of glistening silver wire amid an abstracted background, it certainly can. As the dancer whirled, commanding chromatic eruptions of light and swirling flame, the heart of the woven women glowed and a stark metal sphere resolved into a vision of the planet embraced by two soft hands of luminescent blue. Her composition of this ambitious composition was flawless, giving us a spectacle of true harmony in action, turning base metal into a beautiful cosmic embrace.

Act Two: Imrhien with Kyshra, Babypea, Mikie, Jo and Tray – Heaven Knows – The Pretty Reckless

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Imrhien‘s sensual second act reminded us that not all transformations are from bad to good – and that going bad can be a hell of a lot of fun! Her act carried us through shifting sets – first, a school hallway where dancers dressed as the naughtiest of schoolgirls writhed between the lockers, then to a classroom where they arched and danced on desks. Their motions reached a climax as they were plunged into a parody of Hell itself – a nightclub decorated with magma – and costumes melted away to the skimpiest of outfits: Crosses that barely hid their bodies, with a black spaded tail covering between their legs. The damned damsels were hotter than the lava that crawled the stage, and were only complimented by touches of humor – like the poster that at the best bar in Hell, the night’s opening act is always Nickelback!

Act Three: Scarlot with Kismet Coy, Divalin Magic and Exhi – Something in Red – Lorrie Morgan

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A fresh face in the Empire Room, Scarlot, led the audience through the phases of a love affair, as experienced by a succession of solitary dancers. Starting with a young woman in a room ripe red with passion, dancing under a string of shining lights, the setting’s focused changed with the stanzas of the song. Soon, the red room faded, giving way to another chapter and another dancer, in a room green with jealousy’s possessive luster and lit by the strung lights shaped into a star made for wishing on. The next phase gleamed pure white with wishes fulfilled, with dancer now wearing a bridal veil and the shiny lights strung in a single line by the window once more. Then came the fourth phase – a blue room showing a baby’s crib and the spangled string of lights separated into two columns. Using subtle imagery and a simple song, Scarlot composed a sophisticated narrative of the changes a woman goes through in a relationship, and certainly moved many hearts in the audience.

Act Four: Luna with Duch McCullen and CowGrl – Jellicle Cats – Andrew Lloyd Webber

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Luna brought the strident chorus of one of Webber’s finest musicals to the stage, by setting up a spot-on performance of Cats. The musical that declared to worldwide audiences that our experience of life’s changes – loss, grief, triumph, struggle and love – were not exclusive to humans was gorgeously replicated by Luna’s careful craft. The stage of the majestic Empire Room became a sordid alleyway, strewn with trash, and the dancers in full Cats kit cavorted among cement pipes and shifting steam. It was surely a crowdpleaser that had many singing along in their seats.

Act Five: Jo with Ray Lobo, Melvis Baum, Tray Porthos, Sebastain Bourne and Zach Starostin – Footloose Doll – Brian Setzer

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With amazing custom sets and flawless coordination, Jo‘s dance routine took us back to the era where public dance transformed from starchy formality to a footloose expression of romance – the dawn of the 20th century. Set in an aquamarine night club, Jo danced in a vintage cocktail dress, drawing suit-clad men from where they lounged around the bar to cut a rug with her. After Sebastain swung her through the air, Tray, Ray and Melvis swooped in to join them in kicking up their heels in the kind of kinetic way that cracked public morals and set the stage for sexual revolution.

Act Six: Wiz Nirvana – Every Step You Take (Minor Key) – Chase Holfelder

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Always one to command the audience’s vision of what dance can do, the Wiz plunged The Empire Room crowd into the bowels of a dank cavern, where a lone dancer in a loin cloth swung flames in a rhythm that was both sensuous and menacing. Set to an eerie rendition of The Police’s already unsettling ‘Every Step You Take’, the routine used the vast, hard, cold setting to frame the dancer in colossal solitude. It was a stark spectacle of how tender feelings can sometimes travel to a very dark place of the human heart!

Act Seven: Lily with Ame, JP, Sebastain and Zach – Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

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John Hughes’ unforgettable coming of age story, The Breakfast Club, was our next installation about transformation – Lily‘s picture perfect imitation of the famous film’s library and its distinctively dressed cast! As the audience cried out their delight at the 80s epic being brought to life so accurately, Lily had the five archetypes from Hughes’ film dance together in the library that symbolized their detention and ultimate liberation. It was a thrilling ode to a timeless tale of teenage transformation into young adulthood.

Act Eight: Denyali with Asali, Breezie, Nae Nae – Lady Marmalade (Remix) – Unleashed

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Denyali brought us to one of the most transformative areas of Paris – the Montmarte – in an homage to the musical that was all about putting its own twist on cabaret’s history, Moulin Rogue! In a set that honored the seductive glamour of Baz Luhrmann’s movie about the infamous “Red Windmill” bar, cabaret and brothel, ladies of ill repute strode and swayed on the stage. As the song – a remixed version of Lady Marmalade made a hit by the movie – reached for its powerful finale, the dancers shed their fur coats for lingerie, chandeliers rose and sparkles fell upon the stage. It was a dead-on representation of the kind of fantasy that Luhrmann brought to the screen – and the nostalgic embellishment that our own fantasies can bring to cultural history!

Act Nine: Babypea with Gunner, Nevar, Sebastain, Wiz, Zach – A Perfect Lie – The Engine Room

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From captivity to command, from the sterile to the sexual, from ghastly to gorgeous – Babypea‘s act summoned a spectrum of transformation in the way only science fiction can! Beginning with a wretched, deformed figure caught in a capsule between cold machinery and ghoulish geometric walls, the motion of the dance churned in time with the weird music. Finally, the figure arose from the chamber, dressed in the scant silks and striking headdress of an erotic empress, and chilly machinery was replaced by men trapped in tanks below the modern sci-fi symbol of rape – the xenomorph egg-layers from Aliens. Babypea’s extraterrestrial empress exulted in her lush sexuality and spoke a solitary line to her male captives – that she had some facehuggers for them – before the music climaxed, the curtain fell, and the audience gasped.

Act Ten : Crowd Dance by Goddess Shayna – Day Tripper (Beatles), Explore (Katy Perry Parody), Sail Away (Enya)

Shayna set the stage for the crowd’s voyage together to a new world – a closing act devoted to the classic symbol of a grand journey: A sailing vessel from the age of discovery! The audience joined the crew on deck, and as dancers frolicked atop the masts, everyone celebrated exploration together in a series of songs that ranged from the romantic to the satirical.

With spangle and sexuality, parody and pluck, artistry and awesome animation, the Elysium Cabaret turned transformation into a gala event! Kicking off the month associated the Wheel of Fortune, this festival of the inspiring power of change honored one thing that holds sure in this shifting world: When you’re among the Elysium family, there’s always a great adventure ahead!

Gifs and pics courtesy of Jorgio.

Gorgeous!

Beautiful video highlights from our recent “Lure of the Siren” show with thanks to Mr. Lex.  This show was performed at LEA9 in celebration of Lex and Mistys’ new creation Waterworld.  Make sure to go by and explore this fun, amazing build!  Take your family and friends and make it an outing.  So much to see and do, creative, heaps of fun!

Thank you Lex and Misty!  ♥

Elysium Interview with Kyshra Rhiadra

Kyshra Rhiadra is one of the most diverse choreographers and dancers that Elysium can boast among its troupe – she renders dance hall music, ballads and classic selections through her artistic command of Second Life’s technology. But two elements stand consistent in Kyshra’s work – their attention to the highest level of quality in motion, costuming and set design, and their devotion to the music they bring to life so vividly. She is also among the most humble and enigmatic of our artists, making it a natural choice for our interview series to begin with an Elyisum Interview with Kyshra Rhiadra.

kyshra rhiadra

What inspires the ideas for your dances?

For the most part, listening to music. I hear something and it starts as a little “hey…this is neat. I could do….” and it just takes off from there. Music and dance for me go hand in hand. One leads to the other in an endless loop.

What first inspired you to pursue dance in Second Life and what was your very first dance?

I fell into dance by accident. I was looking for some place to go and have some fun, and ran across a theater that showed movies.  The owners also said they had burlesque shows every week.  So, I signed up to be a cigarette girl – a hostess – in a cute little dress. Only, the first show that I was supposed to go see, I ended up dancing in. It was called ‘Spanish Nights’ and I was in this very elaborate black mermaid cut gown and big, feathery fans. I knew nothing about dances or building sets or choreography.  But, somehow it all worked out.

Your dances are usually very sexy. How does sexuality express itself through your dance?

For me, life is sensual in nature, and by that I mean that we experience the world around us via our senses. Touch, taste, sound, sight…I believe that in order to truly live, once can’t cut oneself off from those things.  For me, the body is spiritual in nature and it’s something to be celebrated – all shapes, all sizes, all the things that we are and do. Including our sexuality. Dance expresses all of those, and to me it’s an incredibly intimate experience to dance. I try to engage all sense and emotions at one time or another to keep the people involved and engaged.

What part of yourself finds a voice through your dances?

In RL, I’m very shy. I was never a popular person or one of the in crowd. I always sort of walked on my own path. What I discovered with dance is that everyone, if they’re truly dancing, expresses that path. Who they are, what they see themselves as.  It’s a method to communicate without speaking. Sometimes we have voices that are stifled for reasons that we may not be entirely aware of. But, dance, for me, lets me speak what I sometimes can’t say.

You have a distinctive name. Where did it come from and how did you choose it?

I use variations of it in a lot of different games. Originally I went by Kishandra in a completely unrelated game. That was too long for here, at the time I actually joined Second Life, so I played around and came up with Kyshra.  At the time, when you entered a first name, you were presented with a list of last names, and this one just sort of sounded right.

What does being a part of Elysium give you, as a dancer and choreographer?

I spend a lot of time alone in RL.  My family is several states away, though we’re still close. I can log into Elysium and find another kind of home and family that shares my ups and downs and doesn’t judge who I am or what I do. I get to be me here, rather than putting on a face or presenting myself as other people think I should.

Your profile mentions your love of reading and writing. How does that speak through your dances?

When I first started dancing, emoting was a pretty large part of what I spent hours working on for my dances.  As dance has evolved in SL, some areas moved away from that style of dance, but it’s still buried there.  When I create a dance, I try to tell a story.  Sometimes, I’ll write down notes, just like I used to for my emotes, to flesh out as I repeatedly listen to the music. Then, instead of creating the story with words like I used to, I create it with the sets, costuming, and animations.

What are your goals as an artist? Tell us what’s coming next for your fans!

Wow. I still fall back to “…I have fans?”  I want to continue to learn new things to bring even more entertaining sets to people. I think it’s important that we have an effect on our audience, whether that’s making them laugh, or cry, or, yes, turn them on a little. [Kyshra smiles]

I also hope to inspire people to reach out and find their own method of expressing themselves, the true self that they have inside. There’s nothing more beautiful, to me, than seeing a person figure out “Yes! This is me.” If I plant those seeds, then they can grow.

Kyshra can be found onstage at Elysium nearly every weekend through our latest season. We thank her for her time, and hope you enjoyed meeting her. Next week, our interview series continues with another Elysium mainstay who manages our troupe with humility and grace – Wiz Nirvana.

Classic Rock w/A Twist -9/30/16

I love our theme shows and tonight was no exception.  We were given the theme “Classic Rock With A Twist” to interpret in our own unique way.  This could include mashups, different genres or pretty much any way we could envision it.  Gunner was in top form playing all our favorites while Paul and Jilley got everyone settled in and comfortable.  The drinks flowed freely and the audience was getting loosened up while all of us were doing all the last minute stuff before the show.  Soon it was 6pm and it was time to begin.

Kyshra with Asali, Baby, Lalita, Mona, Fuki, Jo, Gunner, Nevar, Wiz, Zach, Joss and Ame – Tricky Sandman – RunDMC/Metallica

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Kyshra started us off with a version of the classic Tricky Sandman that had us all dancing from the ceiling, well maybe not the ceiling but at least upside down.  The ladies were in smexy lingerie with the guys without shirts all in matching white.  Kyshra definitely knows how to bring the sizzle to the stage and we were off to a hot start of the night

Ally and Michael –  “Dance With Me” by Orleans

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Ally danced her first duet with her husband Michael to this awesome classic.  Dancing in a gazebo under the stars, it was romantic and warm.  The choreography was perfect both separately and together and the couples work was spot on.  A truly enchanting first duet.  I hope to see more.

Nevar with Ame , Zach ,  Krysta , Fuki and Nadi – Kansas – Dust In The Wind REMIX (FUNKYMIX) 

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Next up, Nevar brought us a different version of Dust in the Wind with a funked up beat.  In a set reminiscent of a dig at some ancient Native American ruins, we danced across the sand with a gentle breeze blowing the dust all around us. We ended in a perfect head spin like small dust devils reminding us that eventually we all end up as dust in the wind.

Babypea with Gunner, Sorcha, Mona, Paul – Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy vs Fedde Le Grand ft. Ida Corr – Let Me Think About It  (mashup by MadMixMustang)

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Baby and friends definitely brought the sexy in this very cool mashup.  The stage was sleek and metallic in blacks, teal and gold matching the electro feel of the music.  The butterfly cages surrounding Sorcha and Mona only enhanced their mystique with Baby enticing the men with those sexy moves and strut; a perfect mix to the music.

Ame with Zach, Ray, Nadi, Wiz, Fuki – Falco feat. Queen – Rock you Amadeus 

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After Baby was Zach and me and our interpretation of a mashup of We Will Rock You and Rock Me Amadeus.  Set on a stage reflective of the classical era of dress and style, we danced hard with a combination of singles and couples work to tie in the mix of 80’s favorites.

Corri – Stevie Wonder – Superstition

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Delicious Corri danced as a black cat on a stage filled with all the things that come to mind when you think of superstitions, complete with the broken mirror and open umbrella.  I’ve never really considered myself superstitious but if I did, her sultry moves would have convinced me that at least black cats are safe…I think. 🙂

SoCo – (Phoenix Dance Team (CAPTAIN) with Melvis, Seb, Lily, Zach, Ame), Baby, Fuki, Ray, Ahn, JP and  Nadi – Disturbed – The Sound Of Silence 

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The Phoenix Dance Team were our next dancers and guests with a routine to this haunting version of “Sound of Silence”  Starting again a black stage and adding components and people as the song progressed, SoCo captured the feel of the song, adding a completely different dimension to the words and dance.

Jilley – Streetnoise – Horse With No Name (Club Mix)

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The final dance of the evening was Jilley.  Set against a background of desert sands, it looks like she found an oasis to entertain us from.  Complete with armored horse and chain mail armor of her own and awesome dance, she gave us a wicked cool interpretation of another classic standard and ended our performances with a bang.

Babypea  – The Gap Band – You Dropped a Bomb on Me,  Pink – U and Ur Hand,  Zapp – More Bounce To The Ounce

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Ending the night was our Friday night tradition of the crowd dance choreographed by none other than the lovely Babypea.  As we invited the audience up to join us, Baby gave us all an tough workout to end the night.

If you were able to join us tonight, thank you!  If not, we’ll hope to see you next Friday at 6pm sharp and the Empire Room!

 

 

 

 

Elysium’s “Lure of the Siren” MONDAY 6pm SLT

Elysium Cabaret is happy to invite you to attend a very special show, in celebration of WATERWORLD, the spectacular and super fun new build by Lex and Misty at LEA9. Another Linden Endowment for the Arts project, this time Lex and Misty will take you under the sea for exploration, adventure, and a heap of fun! This show will be followed by a underwater ball. Dress as your fave sea creature for a chance to win a prize!  Come by any time and explore the sim, have fun with the many activities and events planned!

Monday October 3rd at 6pm SLT

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA9/138/170/3001