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
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
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
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‘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
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
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
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
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)
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