The Elysium Cabaret bid farewell to a month of happiness and horror with a show devoted to how it was pretty good to be bad. Hosts Jilley and Paul Woodrunner gave great welcome to a packed house while DJ Gunner von Phoenix conducted the acts – and a group of dancers! – through one spectacle after another. Whether the dancers’ story was one of naughtiness, romance against the odds or laughter in the face of bitterness, it was a night that had the audience upright on the edge of their seats at The Empire Room!
Act One: Diawa with Yougao Destiny – Flesh Without Blood – Grimes
Diawa’s act put the mood squarely in the pink, with a super sexy number featuring starlets in blush-colored skirts. As they leapt around a mesmerizing stage of abstract shapes, it brought a certain hypnotic quality to this kinky number. The choreography was as smooth as latex and as hot as the pink that pervaded the stage!
Act Two: Shayna – Veil of Tears – Beats Antique
In an mystical garden grown from the imagination of ancient Egypt, Elysium’s resident goddess, Shayna, danced as an avatar of a spirit from that bygone mythology. Surrounded by a select court of animals from the Nile Kingdom, Shayna moved with grace and majesty within a tableau that was a grand replica of an Egyptian tomb. It was a stirring ode to humanity’s first lore of resurrection, raising both the spirits and the senses of the crowd.
Act Three: Ariel with Devlin, Rhonda, Nara and Raemida – Too Darn Hot – Ella Fitzgerald
An island tribal romp set inside a stage of burning orange light showed off Ariel’s talents to an audience that surely felt the heat! As women in primitive costumes of skin and bone ground, spun and thrust on the stage, the backdrop showed a blazing sunset with a lonely sailboat, overlooking this raunchy rite.
Act Four: Nadi with Paul Woodrunner, Eva Harley, Ame Starostin and Zach Starostin – Don’t You Wish It Was True – John Fogerty
Nadi’s routine lifted spirits with an homage to Pixar’s ‘Up’! As the cantankerous old man danced in a pixel-perfect replica of his house, a troupe of kids arrived to bedevil him with their own dance. A merry nod to tricks and treats for this past month definitely had laughter and joy rising to The Empire Room’s rafters.
Act Five: SoCo with Sebastain, Lily and Fuki – Ashes of Eden – Breaking Benjamin
Soco framed a scene of heart-wrenching romance within a macabre setting, bringing the audience along for a narrative of lovers within a grim environment. The stage took the form of a glorious graveyard garden, complete with moving statues, waterfalls and weeping angels, as two romantics danced together. Both sad and splendid, morbid and moving, Soco’s act was as profound in its emotions as it was perfect in its design.
Act Six: Babypea – In These Shoes – Kirsty MacColl-Ibizarose
Latin passion in a hard, foreboding atmosphere was what Babypea’s number was all about. Featuring a dancer in a scantily tailored Flamenco outfit, this scene was set in a grim, dark desert where the only life had thorns to it. It evoked notions of how love is often a matter of survival against the odds, and was as sleek in its motion as it was rich in defiant romance!
Act Seven: Monavie – Devil in Me – Gin Wigmore
Mona‘s act was hot as Hell this week, with an infernal scene that turned power exchange on its head and had temperatures rising to the peak of the thermometer! Clad as a sensuous, demonic figure, the choreographer herself took us in a dark lair lit by red candles and a hand cupping a flame, where a ruggedly handsome man was bound helpless on a chair. This scene of temptation and agony was a thrill to behold in every regard – action, design and costume weaving together into a tableau of eroticism at its most hellish.
Act Eight: Gunner von Phoenix with Kyshra, Minty, Jilley and Fuki – Girls Want To Have Fun – Cindy Lauper
In a penthouse hung with erotic portraits and opulent furnishing, Gunner von Phoenix conducted a troupe of ladies in lingerie for an act that was classy and erotic! Arranged in a class dance line, these lovely models lunged and swayed to their conductor, composing a routine that raised the temperature of The Empire Room to the top floor! There was plenty of fun to be had for these girls under Gunner’s command, with a sexy routine dedicated to the finest in good times – penthouse living.
Act Nine: Crowd Dance by Ame (Captain) – Bad; Bad Romance; Bad Blood
Ame’s crowd dance was bad, bad, bad – in the best of ways! Stepping and swaying to a series of “bad” themed songs, it was a Halloween-time homage to a month where it’s nice to be a little bit nasty. The set was strewn with almost as many dancers and fallen leaves, dressed in a gorgeous seasonal scene of the leaves changing.
Some things never change, year round, and the excellence of Elysium is one of them! As October gave way to November and we enter the holiday season, The Empire Room will host some the most exciting shows of the Elysium Cabaret season. Be sure to grab your seats in what will surely be a packed house for the holidays weekends to come!
Photos by Storm and Sorcha Wylde.