Liquid Latex embodies artists' visions
Not many students passed up the opportunity to see their friends perform in only latex paint and thongs at the annual Liquid Latex show last Tuesday. Covered by layers of extravagant body art, performers expertly danced the night away in a packed Levin Ballroom that rang with cheers and catcalls from friends. This year's show, titled "Art Imitating Life" was coordinated by Alex Hulse '12 and Shayna Medley '12 and offered unique and often humorous glimpses into the modern human experience.
In the opening piece, Diana Flatto '12, Allie Joseph '12 and Rachel Klein's '12 "If You See Something, Say Something," the two lead performers, Jordana Yahr '14 and Joe Babeu '15, captured the feeling of bewilderment at encountering the unexpected-in this case, zombies-on the subway. The piece tactfully used Michael Jackson's popular song "Thriller" to accentuate the zombie theme.
Another clever piece by alumna Carly Greenberg '11 was based on "Fruit Ninja," a well-known iPhone app. Her models' energetic enactment of the game easily earned the loudest cheers from the audience, especially when they burst into moves in sync with LMFAO's catchy song "I'm Sexy and I Know It."
Arguably, the most serious act was "Symphony of Brotherhood," designed by Asher Krell '13, Robyn Spector '13 and choreographed by Melanie Shapiro '12. With their bodies adorned by art of clashing colors and mismatched patterns, models linked hands in solidarity under dynamic lighting to show how people can come together despite their differences. Combined with segments of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches and Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari's inspiring music, this piece was very moving.
Two acts that particularly stood out in terms of music and narrative were Dina Nathanson's '12 "A Tale of Love and Three Monsters" and Hulse and Monisha Rajinikanth's '12 "Masked Desires."
Nathanson choreographed a love story of epic proportions, featuring not only the usual pair of lovers but also a treacherous snake and tiger that the hero had to fight for the heroine. The music choice, "Tunak Tunak Tun," a famous Punjabi pop song by Daler Mehndi, was upbeat and certainly unorthodox, and the dancers did a great job of dancing energetically to it while still clearly enacting the complex plot.
"Masked Desire" also had an interesting plotline about a girl who encounters several individuals in a mysterious place controlled by a character behind a Guy Fawkes mask. The choreography was striking, with the Guy Fawkes performer often creepily standing to one side of the stage and dancing as if he was orchestrating the happenings of the act.
Lighthearted pieces included Medley's "British Invasion," which took on British musical pop culture; Nora Mitnick '12, Mark Borreliz '14 and Zoe Shiovitz's '13 "Go the Distance," which stirred audience nostalgia as models donned Disney-inspired body art; Paul Belenky '14, Sinan Isim '14 and Sara Lodgen's '14 "L'enfant Perdu" about a boy who finds the love of his life in a circus; and Ariel Goldenthal's '12 "Star-crossed," an reenactment of Romeo and Juliet set to popular music. Shikchha Srivastava '12 designed one of the more original acts, titled "Runway: From Books to Bodies," in which each of the performers modeled iconic novel covers from The Great Gatsby to Life of Pi.
Despite all of the creative choreography, at the end of the day, Liquid Latex is most remembered for the body art. This year, with the minimal use of props, the artwork really took center stage, and the choreographers' effectively devised moves stood to maximize the beautiful designs. From skeletons to colorful country maps, each piece of body art held its own. While many students came to see friends perform in near-nudity, what they saw instead was their friends covered with layers of artistic talent.
Editor's Note: Asher Krell '13 and Robyn Spector '13 are Justice associate editors.