June 15th 2018 Show

It was not that late, but being winter in the Land Down Under meant the sun set early. So, though it was not quite 6pm, the sun had already abandoned the scene, leaving a chill hanging in the air that exhaled frosty breath on my prickled skin. I huddled into my faux fur wrap, the balls of my feet feeling frozen with each step I took. I silently cursed having chosen pumps over snugly boots as my heels clacked on the concrete, echoing off the walls of closed shops and down shadowy alleys. I had taken a bus which, like the rest of the city, was oddly abandoned. Where was everybody? Where were all the people? Street lights and dimly-lit shop display windows didn’t do much to offer any comfort or hope of civilisation. I then became aware of a second set of footsteps, echoing behind me, following each step I took.

I didn’t want to appear worried. So it was with calculated casualness that I peered back over my right shoulder, sharp eyes scanning the misty street. And there I saw him. Only a quick glance, as I immediately returned my view to where I was going rather than where I had been, mostly because, as I said, I didn’t want to appear vulnerable. But he was back there. A tall man of course, why are tall men always the villains? Based upon my own experiences, short men are far more devious. But this man was tall, his silhouette long and lanky, and I saw the hint of long dark hair draping down from under a dark fedora. My heart leapt for a moment. Maybe it was Seb! And we could sneak down the alley for a quick tryst, finally fulfilling one of my greatest all-time fantasies! Hurriedly, I dug in my purse for my pocket dictionary to look up “tryst” and make sure it meant what I thought it meant.

But what if it wasn’t Seb? What if it was… oh gawd no, not him… I quickened my pace, seeing off in the short distance bright lights and hearing some noise. The sound of a crowd, a voice blaring over a loud speaker… a club? Civilisation! I went from fast walking to a slow trot, careful to only go but so fast in these heels. But the steps behind me quickened as well. My heart started to pound, my chest tightened. I suddenly felt I could not catch my breath! Surely I had time to make it to the club, it was just up ahead… move faster! But my feet were frozen and felt to be breaking with each step. Finally I chanced a glance back, and in horror saw it was not Seb, it was… some other long, lanky man! And he was right behind me, close enough to grab me! I could smell his musky cologne blending with the frosty night air, I could feel the warmth of his body slightly easing the chill of mine, my eyes met his and I stopped in my tracks, mesmerised.

He was not Seb, but he was still beautiful. He was gorgeous.

He smiled at me, stepping right up in front of me. I must have looked like a giddy school girl. I smiled weakly back, waiting for him to lift me into his arms, carry me down an alley and TAKE me in a manly way! He parted his lips. I held my breath in anticipation. Then he said, “Welcome to the Weekend!” He then hurried past me, up the stairs and into the club.

I turned, my eyes following him with scornful disappointment. “ASSHOLE!” I yelled. “Ya TEASE!” Humph! Next time send a short man, they know how to carry a woman off for a proper tryst! Stamping my foot, I plodded up the stairs and into the club. Perhaps I would find him and throw a drink or a crab salad on him for not ravishing me. What was this place? The Empire Room. Where a dance troupe, Elysium Cabaret, were about to perform. I settled down with a martini and enjoyed thawing out as I waited for the show to start. Maybe I would like this. Maybe I should audition and become a dancer?! That would make him sorry for not carrying me off when he had the chance, once he saw me on the big stage. That would teach him to be a gentleman, dammit! What was in the show? Let’s take a look!

With thanks to R. Crap Mariner for the great pics… to see more photos of this show plus other shows and troupes, visit Crap’s fabulous Flicker at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/isfullofcrap/sets/72157681703250966

Jo
with Gracie and Nara
Gymnopedie 1&3 Mix – Ten Strings

Very much beautiful and so artsy!

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Mikiko
with Zena and Rhonda
Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall

Super fun act with sexy school girls!

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Lina
with Que, Josie, Nara, Eva, Web
Caro Emerald Just One Dance

Lina is back with her posse of gorgeous gals!

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Seb
with Si, Adam, Jo, Jilley and Diawa
Surfing (Edit mix)

Sexy Seb and friends carried off by some really big waves!

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Wiz
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

OMG Wizlice!! Go ask Wizlice! We love our Wizlice!!

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Diawa
with Nara
‘ Pillow Talk’ by Zayn

Romance and sweet times!

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Jilley
with Lina and Eva
2 UNLIMITED – TRIBAL DANCE

Badassery a la Jilley Struck!

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Eva
Crowd Dances
Tonight is What It Means to be Young – Streets of Fire
It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
Bat out of Hell – Meatloaf


Eva is very much cool dancing the crowd with very much cleverness!

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May 11th 2018 Show

What a great show this was, so much variety and every dance had something that made it unique and very special! So much talent, I feel so privileged to have such creative and dedicated people sharing their performances on the Elysium stage… in The Empire Room at Copperhead Road sim. Thank you to all our choreographers, dancers, and all the staff who work so hard behind the scenes to bring it all together… Paul Woodrunner, Jilley, The Wiz, DJs Gunner, Corri, and Miss Ame, and MEEEEEEEEEE yes I am in there somewhere! Have a look at the pics and read what some of the choreographers had to say about their dances! Cheers!

Wiz
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Willa Amai
He is just… delicious *swoons*


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Corri
with Ray
Little Mix – Touch
50 Shades of Corri and Ray!


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Si
with Diamonte, Joszef, Antonio, Nik, Prestor, Excalibur, Seb, Paul, Wiz and Sinbad
Daft Punk, Pentatonix
MENS! MENS MENS AND MORE MENS! Thank you so much, Si!

1. Why did you choose this song to create a dance to? What was your inspiration?
It is a really fun song and with a variety of music styles in one number. It gives me a chance to be more creative and have everything from Swing, Robot and R & B Animations all in the same dance.

2. What were the particular challenges you dealt with when creating this dance?
Having 12 men on stage, with 3 groups dancing different animations at the same time. All the animations needed to work with the music and seem to be part of the wider number. Everything had to be part of the one routine.

3. What does this dance mean to you? Is it a bit of fun, or is there a deeper meaning?
This is a fun dance, but this is an updated version of a dance I did a few years ago for Relay for Life Cancer Charity in SL. Now there is more colour and a beach party theme, but it is always an upbeat and fun dance.

4. Is there anything you would like others to know about your dance?
The preparation time back stage to get everyone in the dance onto the right dance huds and the right animations, and on the correct dance movers. It is run with military precision to make sure everyone is right ready for the dance at the start, so then everyone can enjoy it and have fun.

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Taema
with Kyser
Can’t Stop That Feeling by Justin Timberlake
How I loved this dance… colourful, unique costumes, an interesting set and fabulous choreography, a dance I hope to see again!


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Ally
“Crystallize” by Lindsey Stirling
Excellent use of advanced lighting effects and likes of sparkle!


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Lina
with Josephine, Hailie, que and Alexis
The Dame Says, Ivy Levan
Lina’s gang of sexeh babes gonna kick yo arse 😀

1. Why did you choose this song to create a dance to? What was your inspiration?
This song would not get out of my head, it haunted me until I made it.

2. What were the particular challenges you dealt with when creating this dance?
The timing of the fades and working the different set designs and movers into place.

3. What does this dance mean to you? Is it a bit of fun, or is there a deeper meaning?
The song has a great sound to it, Ivy Levan her voice is just tremendous

4. Is there anything you would like others to know about your dance?
Just sit back and enjoy:)

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Elayn
Prototype – Viktoria Modesto
Elayn once again fascinates the mind with a dance that is pure brilliance.

1. Why did you choose this song to create a dance to? What was your inspiration?
I was very inspired by Victoria Modesta who is a RL amputee, but she doesn’t see it as any sort of disability, it’s her inspiration to be unique and amazing!

2. What were the particular challenges you dealt with when creating this dance?
The first part is a recording of the similar movements in RL. Timing animations to that took longer than the rest of the dance! I really wanted to do it justice.

3. What does this dance mean to you? Is it a bit of fun, or is there a deeper meaning?
There is no such thing as disability unless it is imposed by others.

4. Is there anything you would like others to know about your dance?
Just what is said above!

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Antonio
Crowd Dances
ADELE ~ SKYFALL (DANCE REMIX)
Duran Duran – A view to a Kill
Madonna Die Another Day Official Video

Bond! Antonio Bond! Sounds better than Aunt Tonio (the DJ needs pronunciation lessons) but WOW what a slick production these acts were!

1. Why did you choose this song to create a dance to? What was your inspiration?
I like James bond movies, I thought the props from the movies would be good to dance on.

2. What were the particular challenges you dealt with when creating this dance?
Placement for all the dance balls, 60 balls can be a tight squeeze.

3. What does this dance mean to you? Is it a bit of fun, or is there a deeper meaning?
It was just a bit of fun, Crowd dances usually are.

4. Is there anything you would like others to know about your dance?
Just have fun with it, and remember men the ladies to like a man in a suit.

Now is the time on Living in a Modem World when we dance…

FABULOUS article from R. Crap, have a read! All about dance in SL!!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Hi. I’m R. Crap Mariner. I write things.

While Inara’s keeping busy in both Second Life and Sansar, I thought I’d share a bit about something that’s been keeping me busy for a while (No, it doesn’t have anything to do with a certain pirate who’s not a very good pirate).

For the past year or so, I’ve been obsessed with shooting photographs of the Second Life dance performance scene.

Guerilla Burlesque

A few months ago, I pinged Inara about an upcoming Monarchs full-sim dance show, but she was busy with some stuff, and she asked me if I could write something up about it. Being a professional writer, I did what came naturally: I dawdled and procrastinated, and I missed the deadline.

Yeah, I suck.

It All Begins at the Beginning…

I got an invitation to see a show by Guerilla Burlesque on the Idle Rogue region (okay, dozens of…

View original post 1,099 more words

3/31/17 – A Chuck Berry Tribute

At Elysium, we respect and honor the great musicians that gave us the music we dance to and Friday was no exception.  This show was in honor of Chuck Berry and we had an eclectic collection of dances to showcase his music.

The crowd was gathering, greeted by Jilley and Paul as Gunner was spinning his awesome tunes.  We were all furiously caching our sets, checking the costumes and attempting to bribe or drive out all the SL gremlins for the evening.

Babypea w/ Gunner, Wiz and FT – Chuck Berry – Shake, Rattle and Roll

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The opening act for the night was Baby and crew in a rollicking fun dance.  Shimmying with each man in turn and making her way through the house, I think we were all a bit jealous that we didn’t have 3 sexy men at home to party with.  Baby chose this song because, “I love this song.  It is so upbeat and rowdy and fun.  It is a classic, one of his most well-known songs, and we can’t have a Chuck Berry show without this song.  I love the energy of it!”  We were definitely energized by the end.

Luna w/ CC – Chuck Berry – Nadine

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Next, Luna and CC took us on a romp through town.  From the set to the cute costumes and her choice of choreo, we were transported back to the 50s and immersed.  I really enjoyed the fact the scene kept changing culminating with a terrific groove inside the quintessential pink car.  A very fun and entertaining number.

Corri – Chuck Berry – School Days

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The third performance featured Corri giving us a joyful dance in celebration of our times in high school.  Moving from classroom to local soda shop, I think we all had flashbacks of football games, homecoming dances and hanging out with friends.  Corri had on a costume with a sexy and short poodle skirt that would have had any guy offering to escort her home.

Gracie w/ Nara and Tristan – Chuck Berry – Maybellene

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In this performance, Gracie and Nara gave us a spirited dance with Tristan in the role of Chuck Berry.  Gracie tells us, “I chose this song because it made me laugh. The thought of someone chasing or racing rather their cheating girlfriend was funny to me.  As I researched  this song I discovered that Maybellene is a cow from a book when he was in school. So I just had to do this song because it showcased his sense of humor.”  She definitely left us all with a smile.

Kyshra w/ Baby, Queenie, Rhonda, Gunner, Zach, Ame and Tristan – Chuck Berry  – My Ding-a-Ling

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Kyshra chose one of Chuck Berry’s most funny and well known songs to celebrate his life with.  On a stage full of bells, we danced to animations not often used for dance and they were perfect for this music.  When asked how she settled on this particular song, she says, ” I was trying to decide on a piece of music when I ran across My Ding-A-Ling and the ideas for how to do the set and choreography just started to flow.”  This was another act showcasing Chuck’s varied style.

Jilley w/Baby and Rhonda – Chuck Berry – Blues for Hawaiians

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The final performance of the evening was Jilley and her girls were sexy hula dancers in a beautiful tropical setting transporting us straight to Hawaii.  Jilley chose this music since it was different from the norm and immediately spoke to her.  The movement was lovely and perfectly timed as Jilley is known for.  As she said, a nice mellow dance that was fun to make.

Ame – Crowd Dance – Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven, Carol and You Can’t Catch Me

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At the end of our shows, we offer our crowd dance to the audience in appreciation and thanks for their continued support.  We invite everyone to come up with us for their time in the spotlight as well.  The 3 songs I chose were quick and lively to get everyone moving.  It was a great close to a great show.

Thank you for joining us for a wonderful night of dance and fellowship with like minds.

Please join us next week and every Friday at 6pm for another inspired show.

Photos by Web Sass, with thanks and gratitude!

The Annual Milky Way Cabaret at SL 2017 Sci Fi Convention for RFL

It’s that time again, time for this year’s Milky Way Cabaret. This family-friendly series of shows (PG-13) are one of the most popular features of the annual Sci Fi Convention. The Sci Fi Convention is a flagship RFL (Relay For Life) event and the Milky Way Cabaret is a major part of that effort.

Each year has a theme that drives the sim designs and, to some extent, the exhibitor’s booth design. Where this event differs from most large RFL events is that it is not primarily focused on retail. This is a true fan-focused experience. This year’s convention theme is “Elements” (Earth, Fire, Water, Sky, NOT periodic table. lol).

Milky Way Cabaret began in 2013 as a small novelty show at the request of one of the organizers of the Second Life Science Fiction Convention. 2017 is looking to be our biggest and best year ever. We have been given an entire sim to utilize. We would be honored to have you join us.
SHOW SCHEDULE:

Friday 3/24 –
22:00 (10 PM)

Saturday 3/25 –
12:00 (Noon)
19:00 (7 PM)

Sunday 3/26 –
12:00 (Noon)
19:00 (7 PM)

Wednesday 3/29 –
17:00 (5 PM)

Friday 3/31 –
22:00 (10 PM)

Saturday 4/1 –
12:00 (Noon)
19:00 (7 PM)

Sunday 4/2 – Time TBA (Con Awards show)

Your jumpgate: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Akasharon/159/160/3908

Thank you so much for your support for this worthy cause!

Tray Porthos and Imrhien Porthos (Imrhien Fargis)

Honouring Vietnam Vets: The Outsiders at LEA7 Fortunate Sons

Dance Troupe— The Outsiders

Wednesday, March 22nd at 6pm SLT

USO-style show in honour of Vietnam Veterans, focusing on uplifting and supporting our Veterans.

This entire project is dedicated to the people of Vietnam – Indochina – and the Military that served there during the 1950s – 1970s.  Entertainment similar to USO shows.  LEA7 Fortunate Sons, the sim is open for your exploration.

Fridayyyyyyyyy! 03.10.17

Thank God for Fridays.  In the frigid northeast US I was enduring a 6 inch snowfall in sub 20 degree weather so I was soooooo happy to head to the Empire Room…with all those nice snug chairs and little bottles of booze and Gunner’s super great music to warm up to!  Ok…I layed off the booze until after I danced…I swear….*I had nametags turned off, so if there were replacements in sets, I will fix ASAP*

The inimitable Babypea took to the stage to get all of our guests revved up for an evening of amazement.  She came out to the strains of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” and did a split screen set…one where she got in trouble and one where she got out of it…courtesy of getting out of her teensy outfit which was apparently far too restrictive *grins*.  Clean up for drool in aisle 5!!

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I chose a set that I did a few weeks ago at a memorial dance for Cyan Magic.  Cyan was known to many of us, both through dance and Gor.  I met her right here at the Empire Room and enjoyed sharing the review with her as well as just chatting and hanging out.  She had a love of dance and we shared that love and the joy we found in it.  I danced with Jo to a cover of “Smile” by Emily Rex.

win and jo 2

Anu and the Muse Dancers were our guest dancers this week and Anu chose “Buttons” by The Pussycat Dolls.  Anu was joined by Star, Ekaterina, Edward Bollinger, Joy Canadeo and Ginin Tonic (OMG great name!).  They were soooo sexy in the urban scene that graced the stage and then….when the chairs faded in…holy cow, even sexier!   We even got a little bit of mancandy for this set.  I totally love those little details onstage like the drunk girl passed out…it cracks me up 🙂

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The sexy group set idea was carried on by Lina who was jointed by Jayden Xevion, Aidenchase, Daddy Merriman, Vixenb and Muhrdur to Duffy’s “Mercy”.  Not a whole lot of mercy going on here with sexiness and cages and an awesome dance floor and abs abs abs!  The ladies on the other hand had enough latex on to open a surgical suite 🙂  That stuff is NOT breathable folks….and it was HOT on that stage *winks*.

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Wiz brought us a thoughtful and beautiful set to a cover of “Black Hole Sun” by Nouela.  If you haven’t heard this version I encourage some youtubing because it’s amazing.  Wiz is a master at understatement and he wore beautiful particles in front of his huge black sun and moving backdrop, and the particles made gorgeous patterns that reminded me of sun flares with their golden color against the black.  The ballet dances were perfect, allowing the particles time to really create the effects.  Two words…simply stunning!

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Jilley created another type of solar flare to The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up”.  Jilley, Babypea and Lina roared onstage on their cars with graphics flashing and some buns a-flashing in their super sexy see through skirts.  Note….I may have been a little distracted by the ladies to give the set the observation it deserves, but with a little nod to a certain Whitesnake video…WOW did they make an entrance and no one took their eyes off of them for the remainder of the set!  Superhot Hotwheels of Smexy.

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Corri was up and she had the remedy for all this sexiness with a great set to Porcelain Black’s “Favorite Drug”.  A rockin’ song with a big syringe and some other questionable mushrooms and bottles…doesn’t look at all like my medicine cabinet…nope! Dream and Gemma were cool pshychedelic dancers on the mushrooms while Corri took the dangerous road near the end of the hypodermic.  I’ve been in the hospital a lot folks and thank heavens Corri wasn’t my nurse because I’d still be trying to find my husband 🙂

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Eva took us to the crowd dances on a wonderful spaceship ride in the sky.  There were 4 poseballs per platform, but what I didn’t notice at first is that they were jet propelled platforms and at somepoint she fired them all up and we all rotated around the stage on our little rocket pads.  TOO FREAKING COOL!!  She danced us to Thirty Seconds to Mars “Closer To The Edge”, Queen’s “Flash” and Rick Springfield’s “Human Touch” and if I may make a tragically bad pun..it was a blast!

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What a way to start off the weekend…and the perfect antidote to another long work week.  Thanks for coming out and sharing in the fun with us, and thanks to Paul, Wiz, Jilley, Baby and Gunner for another awesome week at the Empire Room!!

Elysium Interview with Babypea von Phoenix

Babypea Christmas 2016

Dance is transformation. Motion. Passion. And no other Elysium dancer embodies this better than Babypea von Phoenix. She is a mentor, a monster, a servant, a director and a den mother. Excellent at all these things and confined to no one thing, she is a true artist. Like the best of artists, she is kind, even when she’s commanding Hell’s legions or conducting twisted experiments. She was kind enough to open her heart to us in this Elysium Interview. 

What and who inspire the ideas for your dances?

Originally, I was inspired by my other half.  I made all my dances solely for him, and as long as he was pleased by them I was happy.  I am inspired by music; hearing a song that excites and captivates me.  I can’t sing or play any instruments, so dance is how I express my love of music.  I am also, at times, inspired by a picture or texture that I will see, something that captures my imagination and holds my attention.  I often create dances that start with textures.  Every now and then, I find a costume that is so outrageous, I think, “I must create a dance for this.”  That is what happened with “Cover Girl.”  I saw Mona in this sea shell costume and cracked up laughing.  I said, “We must dance in this!”  So that entire dance was inspired by a silly, fun outrageous costume.  We were sea shells and were all legs!  It was so much fun!  I love Ru Paul.  But that dance happened because of Mona.

I will share one of my best creation secrets.  Really, it is no secret; I have written about this in a “Lost Your Muse” article that I participated in.  When I have a song I want to make a dance for, I go to Google and type in key words that relate to that song.  I then peruse Google Images, seeing many fabulous pictures and textures that give me ideas for sets.  I have advised other people to try this.  It is a great way to get off the beaten path and create dances that are not predictable.  It certainly gives you fresh ideas and inspires you to try approaching dance creation from a completely different angle.  This is one of my best ways of getting unstuck on creating a dance that I am struggling with.

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

It was my other half that inspired me to start dancing in SL!  He is my everything… Husband, Best Friend, Master, Lover, Confidante.  He loved Gorean dance so much and was so impressed by it, that I decided to make a dance for him to please him and make him happy.  He has been a huge help to me, especially with Gorean dance.  Anytime I would be stuck with a dance and having trouble with it, I would go talk about it with him, and he would help me sort it out.  He has done nothing but encourage me in mainstream dance as well, and anytime I get frustrated and talk about giving it up, he is the person who encourages me to stay with it.  He really is the wind beneath my wings.  I would not be a dancer were it not for him.

My very first dance was a Gorean chain dance called Eternal Connection.  My first mainstream dance was Stray Cat Strut followed immediately by Puttin’ On the Ritz.  I still love all of them.  My dances are like my children or chapters in my Book of Dance Journeys.

Your dances are the most surreal in their artistry. What influences inspire the bizarre visions you create?

I love metaphor, mystery and surprises, which is why I love art.  I think when a person looks at art, they will draw their own interpretation of it based on their own experiences and value systems.  I love Impressionism because it leaves so much up to the viewer’s interpretation.  A hundred people can look at one work of art and each see something different in it.  That is because the viewer puts a piece of their own experience, their own soul into the viewing.  A connection is thereby formed between the artist and the viewer.  It is a human bond.  And the viewer becomes a part of the art as they contribute their own interpretation to the shared experience.  It is a shared journey of sorts.  I know people don’t always ‘get’ my dances.  But they don’t have to get my interpretation, I would rather they fill in the blanks with their own.  This allows them to be a part of the creation experience.  I don’t need them to understand me or see me through my creations, what I want is for them to see a piece of their own selves, or something they relate to in some way.  I simply want to make them feel something, and when that happens, it is very satisfying.  Only then does one of my dances feel finished.

When I am creating a dance, I often approach it metaphorically, and I decide to not tell the audience or show them everything directly.  I did “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and people either loved or hated that dance.  It all came down to the chicken.  People who ‘got’ the chicken loved the dance.  People who did not ‘get’ the chicken hated it.  The chicken was symbolic of the futility of our justice system.  So you see, I bypass the realistic at times and go for the metaphoric, thereby leaving room for viewer interpretation.  Not always, of course.  I would die of exhaustion if every dance I created was some meaningful artistic expression.  I also do ‘fast food’ dances which are just plain fun; just me having a good time.  I do love comedy as well as metaphor, and I love to have silly fun with some of my dances.  It all just depends on the song.  It is always about the song and what images they inspire in my head.  My sense of humor does come out to play on stage.

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

There are four primary elements of a dance: the song, the costume, the set, and the choreography.  I usually start with the song, then build the set.  If I am starting with the costume, I then try to find a song to suit it.  Every now and then, I build a set cause it just feels good, then again I try to find a song to suit it.  Usually, I prefer to have the set built before starting the choreography.  Once I have the set, I can make informed decisions on mover work, where to start, where to move to, where to finish.  I can then create the choreography, and adjust the timing on the movers so that I am not scooting when moving.  As a rule, costuming comes last in my dances, unless it is a dance that is starting with an inspirational costume.  I enjoy costuming the least, partially because I hate to shop.  No one in the world hates shopping more than I –  in both lives.  That is why I don’t like Christmas – all the shopping.  I enjoy building sets the most because I love to decorate and create environments.  Choreography can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it is very challenging to find animations that work with the music.  The hardest part of dance creation for me is always picking that first animation to start a dance.  It usually takes me as long to pick that first animation as it does to pick all the ones that follow.  I go through dozens of animations, trying one after another, just to find the right one to begin a dance.  It can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  But once found, it is usually clear sailing for the rest of the choreography.  Once I have my song, set, and choreography, I decide on costuming and then,  I look the set over, watch the dance, and think if it is feasible to add in special effects or particles.  These are the pretty bows on the package, so I save them for last.

I have started and finished dances in one day, even elaborate ones like “Rewired” which, yes, I started and finished in the same day.  And I have had dances that took 140 hours to create.  It just depends on the dance, and on what effects I want to use.  Some give me trouble.  Sometimes I want to do things that aren’t possible, so I spend a lot of time experimenting to find a way to do what I want to do.  Sometimes elements of a dance will give me fits, and sorting them out can be very time-consuming.  Costume hunting is massively time consuming.  And boring, waiting for things to rez or loading page after page on MarketPlace.  I also, at times, have had dances take over and go places I had not intended.  They do seem to take on a life and mind of their own – a spirit, of sorts.  This is sometimes great, because I finish up with something that surprises even me.  But sometimes the surprise is not a good one, as I have, on occasion, finished up with a dance I did not like.

How do you overcome the personal doubts and distractions that challenge all artists?

Every now and then I feel that pressure creeping in – that nothing is good enough and how am I going to make this or that dance spectacular because every dance has to be more than just a dance, right?  It has to be spectacular so that people are entertained.  That is when I am flinching and feeling I do not want to work on dances.  I don’t like that pressure.  It is not fun.  So, then I go and read Elysium’s charter, and remember why I wanted to start Elysium: so that I could have a place to dance where I could do anything I wanted.  Yes, dance should be entertaining, and many of us delude ourselves into thinking that we are so incredibly entertaining that other people could not possibly get bored from watching one of our dances.  Yes, I have to keep the entertainment factor in mind.  However!  If I am not having fun, there is no reason for me to be doing this.  So, I read the charter and remember why I am doing this above all: fun and friendship.  I often say, dance is how I socialize with kindred spirits.  Not every dance I make is going to be spectacular.  Sometimes they will be cute or funny or bizarre.  There is room for all.  When I am balancing the ‘fun and friendship’ aspect of dance with the pressure of having to produce something that will entertain others, it is a lot easier for me to create free from the personal doubts.

As for distractions!  They are a serious problem for me.  I often get hammered in IMs.  Because of this, it can take me five hours to get one hour of work finished.  I actually started dancing on an alt, because she has few friends, gets few IMs, and I get more done on her in one hour than I do in five hours on Babypea.  I haven’t worked out how to get around all the distractions on Babypea.  At least my other half understands and does his best to give me space and let me work when I need to work.  I am blessed that he is so supportive of my dancing.

One thing that is a really bad bad thing to do, and will destroy a dancer’s spirit, is comparing yourself to others.  If you do that, you will be miserable.  You will either feel inferior and never good enough or you will feel superior and be looking down your nose at other dancers, rather than enjoying and appreciating the pieces of their souls they are sharing with you.  So, my advice to anyone who dances and doesn’t want to feel miserable and encumbered with self-doubt is to never compare your dances to those of other creative souls.  If you are comparing, you are self-doubting and that is something you might want to think about.  Maybe ask yourself why, and what can you do to concern yourself with feeling satisfied with what you create.

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

Chest pains, knots in my stomach, and PTSD!  Being an Owner sucks in some ways.  People can be so hypersensitive, taking offense very easily, and it is stressful trying to balance everything.  Trying to make everyone happy when everyone wants different and often opposing things – it is futile.  And frustrating.  I wish I could make everyone happy all of the time, but it is just not possible.  But overall, I think Elysium is lucky.  Most of our people are good-natured and benevolent souls, and most of them are a joy to work with.  Most of them make Management’s job pretty easy, and they make dance fun.  They make me smile and laugh.  Fortunately, most of the difficult ones (the divas, which come in both female and male form) leave sooner or later, and usually when they do, I find myself exhaling in relief.  I think I am lucky cause so many who have stayed make me feel so happy when I am dancing with them.  They make up for the occasional bad eggs, and I am very grateful to them.

As a dancer and choreographer, what Elysium gives me is a place where I can dance anything I want.  I have creative freedom there.  We have few rules, so there is plenty of room for me to try different things.  I love variety, love to experiment, and love to have new dance adventures.  That’s why I wanted to start Elysium.  I wanted a place where I could dance anything, from burlesque to gospel, hip hop to ballet, jazz and tap to country and even comedy.  I also love having a stage that is large enough to accommodate big acts or I can box it down for smaller acts.  I can fit almost anything there.  Another thing I get from Elysium is a chance to meet a lot of dancers from other troupes, through our guest performances.  I really enjoy meeting them and seeing what they do.  I also enjoy promoting them, because they are part of our extended dance family.  It makes me feel happy to welcome dancers from all over Second Life to our stage.

What principles do you live your life by and how does that assist your creative powers and imagination?

I have a very strong work ethic, I am a hard worker in both lives.  When I commit to something I will go to the outer limits to fulfill my commitment.  Yes, real life comes first, but if I commit to something in Second Life, I consider that as important as a real life commitment.  I am very well organized and like to stay on top of my work load by finishing things ahead of schedule.  So, I start early and am very dedicated.  I am also a bit OCD, so a bit of a perfectionist but not to the point of being impossible to live with.  This all helps me to take my dancing seriously and to really focus on it with passion.

The human element is important to me, and peoples’ feelings mean more to me than ‘things’ so I try to be encouraging of others.  I don’t lie and am not insincere, but I don’t go tearing apart things other people create.  I try to keep in mind, a dance is a piece of a person’s soul, they are sharing it with me, and I should be appreciative of their gift.  I’m not one to sit and look for everything that is wrong.  This helps me to be humble so that hopefully I don’t embarrass myself by letting my ego get out of hand.  It helps me to consider ways that my dancing could improve.

I tend to look on the bright side, and prefer to bask in positive energy.  I am often reminding myself I am among friends, and that helps me relax so that I can function as a creator.  I have my share of haters, and I consider them extended fans.

Babypea snorts.

My sense of humor above all sustains me.  My gratitude for what I have keeps me bubbly and happy.  And then there is bliss.  Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that you never even knew were there.”  So, I try to keep that in mind as well.  Follow your bliss.  Have fun with it.  Take chances, make mistakes, get messy – I love Ms. Frizzle.  She so rocks!

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

Not much.  I am very tired and want to take a year or two off.  I have a lot going on in RL and want to be more focused on it.  For my dancing, I want to spend more time on simpler, intimate dances.  I am sick to death of scene changes, and am shying away from them to a point.  I am growing weary of gimmicks and trickery.  I just really feel like I want to focus more on choreography and less on flash.  I know you can have both, of course, but sometimes I think the flash distracts from the choreography.  I am moody so I suppose what I do with my dances will depend on my mood.

The magic of those moods commands the emotions of the audience, every week at the Elysium Cabaret. Horror, joy, sorrow and the sublime – all these powers of human experience are woven into the elegant forms of Babypea’s art. And they inhabit the genius of each Elysian, as you’ll discover in our continuing series of Elysium Interviews.

Photo courtesy of Babypea von Phoenix.

Another Friday Night to Remember

Another great weekend has come and there is no better way to start it than Friday night at the Empire Room with the Elysium dancers. Such a hot show and another full sim this week as we honored Black History Month with a variety of styles a different as all of our unique dancers. With Paul and Jilley at the door with their welcoming smiles and Gunner and Wiz getting ready, the energy in the air was sizzling hot as the night began.

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First up was Jilley, stunning the crowd as always with her style. Tonight she was joined on stage with Dream and Baby as they danced to Nat King Cole and “Smile.” A gorgeous interpretation of this song as Jilley, dressed as a sad clown and her dancers behind windows dressed as wooden mannequins. Her dance was perfect and beautifully done as always as the show opened beautifully with her heartfelt performance.

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Anu was second on stage tonight with a stage full of talented dancers including some very scantily clad men wearing nothing other than what could be described as strategically placed thongs. Her sizzling hot version of Bootylicious including a huge caste with Babypea, Ginty, Star, Electra, Ferdinand Scarmon, Edward Ballinger, Gunner von Phoenix, Sebastian Borne, Si Di Brit and Keith Ringgold had the crowd going wild and cheering as her act paid tribute to Queen B in the style that she deserved.

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Wiz and Ariel were next in a romantic style retro tribute as they danced the night away to All She Wants to Do is Rock by Wynonie Harris. The dance moves and costumes just perfect as they slipped back in time and danced the night away with spectacular moves and bringing cheers once again from our audience as the night just continued to got hotter.

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Kyshra was next to prowl onto the stage with her dancers dressed as some of the sexiest felines I have ever seen. Dressed being the questionable world as their feline costumes left nothing to imagination. Joined onstage by Ame, Baby, CowGrl, and Queenie and they livened up an already wild jungle set to a mix that included everything from Tone Loc’s wild thing, Kiss, fingers and more as they had tongues hanging out all over the room including one audience member who called out that they would be worth risking a hairball for.

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Next I took the stage with two of my favorite dancers, Josie and Queenie. Straight out of the rain forest as we danced to Janet Jackson’s “Moist.” Janet’s soft voice and falling waters drenching us as we enticed the crowd, slipping into the water and teasing as the storm of colors and water swirled around us. This act brought me a bit out of my comfort zone a little as I showed that softer side of me most don’t get to see onstage.

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Eva never fails to stun us with her style and talent as she followed me up with Melanie Martinez – Carousel. Everything was perfect in her act from her costume and animations to her particle effects that were purely stunning. She started her act with a magical carousel and continued on with a lighting spectacular that would rival the fourth of July. An act that could be easily loved by all as she left me wanting to see more.

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Baby was the finale with Grand style tonight worthy of her own show on the Vegas Strip. She took with stage with a huge flurry of colorful teal and purple feathers as she danced her solo to Louis Armstrong – The Mardi Gras March. Perfect for the theme of the night and Mardis Gras as all eye were on her. Doing it all with the pizzazz and class that Miss Baby Pea always brings to the stage. She wowed everyone in the place as she danced and strutted for us all and I do not think there was one man in that audience that was not ready to pluck her feathers!

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Bringing the night to an end in true Empire Room style, Ame and the Elysium dancers welcomed the crowd on stage to pay tribute to Black History Month in true Motown style. Fun dances and a wild set closed out the night as everyone danced to such classics as The Four Tops – It’s The Same Old Song, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – Dancing In The Street, The Supremes – Come See About Me.

An appeal on behalf of Second Life creator Elicio Ember

I wrote an article on this amazing and inspiring creator for MOVE Magazine. I hold him in such high regard, so wanted to share this. He is such a remarkable soul.

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Cerridwen’s Cauldron – Ground Level

Elico Ember is a brilliant Second Life creator and a friend, I’m therefore posting this article in support of him and his family, after learning via Saffia Widdershins about a familial health crisis he is facing, and a call for help he has put out via Facebook.

You can read the full details on Saffia’s post. Suffice it to say here that Elicio’s father has suffered a stroke which has left him with neurological damage. As Elicio explains in his Facebook post (which Saffia provides in full on her blog), circumstances mean that his father is without health insurance, despite having been employed by the state teaching languages at a local university. In order to ensure he gets the required treatment, the family has been forced to turn to private medical assistance, and thus are facing exceptional medical (and potentially other) bills as a result.

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