Elysium Cabaret celebrated its four-year anniversary this Friday – four years of excitement, creativity and dance! The revue presenting a dazzling showcase of choreography, special effects and the best in Second Life animation. Our outstanding host, Paul Woodrunner, and charming hostess, Jilley, entertained the audience as they packed the house, waiting for the show to begin. DJ Gunner von Phoenix got the hype going and the tracks rolling, revving the crowd’s engines with his distinctive growl. Then the curtain rose, the dancers swept into motion and a cavalcade of Winter fantasy, wild sci-fi and top-talent performance art began!
Act One: Ame Starostin with Zach Starostin – Bring Him Home – ThePianoGuys
As with most creative efforts, the Elysium Anniversary show began with love! A pair of dancers attired in classic ballroom costume swirled and dipped onstage, orchestrated by the seamless choreography of Ame Starostin and her partner, Zach. Their elaborate Baroque hall setting hosted a whole narrative of two lovers courting and coming together in this exquisite composition by one of Elysium’s truly elite talents.
Act Two: Ally Romani – Dance Me to the End of Love – Leonard Cohen
The show then turned from the romantic to the abstract, with Ally Romani putting on a performance of modern dress, modern dance and modern art that was truly striking. Clad in a tux and sweeping a violin bow about the stage, Ally conducted the audience’s attention around a foggy collection of bunkhouse beds. With a message emblazoned behind her, Ally made a strong statement with her dance about the bold nature of creativity and survival against the odds, even the Holocaust – a fitting act to celebrate our beloved Cabaret!
Act Three: Kyshra – E Nomine – Mala
Kyshra literally set the stage ablaze as her act opened on an infernal cavern and a demonic dancer, twisting sensuously amid a ring of skulls. This succubus queen arched and writhed as embers danced with her and chains swung above flame-colored crystal. It hardly comes hotter than Kyshra’s dances, and this red-hot number sent the mercury through the roof with its vision of the fire down below!
Act Four: Nadi with Zach, Ame, Krysta and Ray – Love Runs Out – OneRepublic
The crowd then plunged into grunge as Nadi put on an urban act that was raw, intense and hot as it gets. Flanked by muscled male dancers, Nadi got down in a graffiti-strewn cityscape, thrusting the onlookers right into the heart of the blackboard jungle. It was a heart-pumping, hip-twisting homage to the classic street dances of the modern age – another chapter that fits so well in the canon of Elysium dance imagination.
Act Five: Winnie – Simple Gifts – Allison Krause and Yo Yo Ma
After hot times in the city, Winnie whisked us away to a sublime setting – a winter wonderland rendered with exquisite detail. At the center of a snowy forest, the artist herself spun and stepped in balletic style, surrounded by a court of deer and darling animals. Married with the heart-moving track, this was a sentimental piece that surely stirred the emotions of the audience in concert with the snowflakes that swirled the stage.
Act Six: Babypea with SoCo, Gunner, Fuki, Wiz, Ame, Zach, Gert and Kyshra – Red Lips (ft. Sam Bruno) – GTA
The uncanny Babypea commanded the crowd’s attention with an act that was mind-blowing performance art at its best: A pure-white dancer frolicked in a gauzy frock, surrounded by soot-black, bestial dancers. The troupe took the audience from a craggy wilderness into a Cthonian castle of menace and majesty, blending seduction with the sinister like few others can!
Act Seven: Raemida with Rhonda, Shayna, Queenie and Alexis – Into the Night – Santana
Raemida‘s rousing number brought together a Mediterranean villa, Arabian dancing girl attire and a favorite musician of the Latin world – Santana! Showing off their sleek bodies and smooth movers, Raemida’s dancing girls presented a sight that got heartbeats racing and spurred the senses. As the pounding track and thrilling motion mixed together, the stage was practically on fire.
Act Eight: Jilley with Paul and Seb – Robo Booty – Opiuo
Jilley never fails to raise the bar with her performances, and this latest act sent it straight into outer space with a stunning sci-fi spectacle. A trio of robotic dancers sliced and spun a set of lightsabers as a techno track took the crowd through a succession of science-fantasy sets. Complete with flashing, foggy special effects, this act truly spoke to the soul of future shock by blowing the crowd’s minds with its high-tech awesomeness.
Act Nine: Eva (Crowd Dance) – I Can’t Drive 55 (Sammy Hagar), Low Rider (War), Life is a Highway (Rascal Flatts)
Once things had heated to the burning point, it was time for the traditional inferno of dance that closes out each Elysium Cabaret performance – a crowd dance, supplied by Eva this weekend! This one took place in a mechanic’s garage, with the crowd going through a series of dances that hit every speed, from gunning it in top gear to getting groovy at a mellow pace. It really showed off the potential of dance in a way that’s distinctly Elysian – celebrating together!
There was so much to celebrate in this special show: Four years of camaraderie, creative support and spectacular genius. The Elysium Fourth Anniversary show displayed the spectrum of styles – from space opera to schoolyard rock, high fantasy to romantic realism, seasonal splendor to timeless abstraction. The infinite potential of Second Life dance was honored as much as our beloved Cabaret and its fans and family, setting the stage for years to come. At The Empire Room and among the Elysium Cabaret, inspiration springs eternal!
Photos by Goddess Shayna and audience member, Kazuo Thei.