Lots of Latex, limbs and laughs
Liquid Latex is a Brandeis tradition almost as famous as Louis Brandeis himself. As the first inner page of the show’s pamphlet informed the audience, the show was born in 2000 as the “Body Art Fashion Show” and has since bloomed into the beloved annual show. The same pamphlet page also proudly states that the performance earned Brandeis an honorable mention in a 2010 Playboy website article ranking the “top ten party schools.” The show consists of scenes choreographed by students and performed by students wearing only thongs and the intricate liquid latex costumes other student have designed and painted onto them.
The line to enter Levin Ballroom stretched into what seemed like an endless chaotic mosh pit as people grappled to find empty seats last Tuesday night, the show’s opening. This year’s theme was “The Devil Wears Nada.” However, each of the seven featured performances had its own unique theme.
One aspect in every scene, which aided in unifying the show, was the “runway” portion, where each dancer was given a chance to break away from group choreography and strut down the catwalk, showing off the intricacy of their own painted costumes. In the first scene, “A Dance Down Memory Lane,” the costumes were styled to embody classic dance anthems of the past decades, such as Elvis Presley. While the skit may not have featured professional-level dancers, the artistry of the scene was captured in not only the amazing body art but also the genuine enjoyment the models seemed to be experiencing on stage. After the initial shock that this would be an hour of watching virtually-naked people dance on stage had worn away from the audience, the crowd began cheering and clapping for each dancer, enjoying the artwork and swaying to the music.
The second skit had arguably some of the most well-defined and accurately themed painting, as each individual modeled a different ecosystem from the BBC series “Planet Earth.” This scene ended with the cast members holding a banner which read “There Is No Planet B” to the background music of the pop song “No Place I’d Rather Be.” This was followed by “Psychedelic Psikness,” a scene honoring musical icons of the decades. Before intermission, the audience enjoyed singing along to the music from the cult classic film in the scene “Wild and Untamed Thing: The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, which proved to be a much-needed break from similarly choreographed dancing scenes, with more elements of theatricality than the previous dance series.
The ten minute intermission seemed to go by rapidly, as people stayed rooted to their seat ready for the next series of dancers. The act to follow intermission was a fan favorite of the night.
“Neverland’s Mythical Creatures” was not only the only act to feature a back flip from one of the models, but was also unique in its inclusion of original music arrangment, with soundbites from classic Disney movies intermixed with upbeat modern music embodying each character.
The next scene, “Horoscope Hip Hop,” had astoundingly synchronized choreography and one of the more engaging themes, as each dancer was painted to be one of the zodiac signs. However, the moves from the models while on the catwalk more resembled those seen by girls in fraternity basements than the representation of each zodiacs characteristics.
The night closed with the scene “Evolution of Gaga.” At points in the night it may have been easy to lose sight of the artistic value of the show, through all of the playful chanting from the audience and general silliness on everyone’s behalf.
However, the overall show was a powerful demonstration in body positivity as people embraced and showcased themselves, as well as demonstrated the skills of the designers, dancers, choreographers and painters here at Brandeis.
—Editor’s Note: The Arts Editor of the Justice, Hannah Kressel ’20, assisted in painting for Liquid Latex.