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Latex lust

Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 23:05

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Chris Gilley

A performer in the annual Liquid Latex event is painted backstage before the show in Levin Ballroom last Thursday.

To say that Levin Ballroom was packed Thursday would be an understatement. With students and even some parents resorting to sitting on the floor, Liquid Latex proved once again to be one of the most popular annual performances. And why wouldn't it be, what with the fancy footwork, cool costumes and near-nudity?Acts shifted between those where "the costume came first" and where "the dance came first," resulting in a wide range in the overall final product, anf it wasn't difficult to determine where each performance fell on the spectrum.


With "Espalda de la Luna," the dance clearly came first. The latex designs were neat, but nothing spectacular. What was most memorable was how the movements were synchronized with the lights.


The other dance with stellar choreography was "Restless Dead;" the dancers, painted to look like zombies, strikingly moved to the flashings of a strobe light in a most haunting fashion.


What Brandeisian doesn't think pirates, ninjas and robots are fun? Certainly not the ones who performed in "Genesis 1:1," Liquid Latex's opener. It wasn't until this dance devolved into a three-way rumble that the skit came together. Or it could have been when the dancers threw condoms into the crowd. Either one.


Of course, Liquid Latex wouldn't be what it is unless it were oozing with sexuality. "See What's on the Slab" was fundamentally nothing but gratuitous sex. The orgy (set to Rent's "Contact") in "Little Mary Sunshine" was salvaged by the skits humor during the song of the same name from the musical Reefer Madness.


"Take Me or Leave Me" was basically a copy of the song from Rent, so while it lacked originality, the legions of Rent fans were satiated. In contrast, the adaptation of "The Mask of Zorro," by not trying to be literal, was a fantastic way to end the show with love, sword-fighting, death, sword-fighting- and some dancing, too.


The pop-culture acts this year were again among the most well-received. "Spice Up Your Life," a musical romp through the rise and fall of the Spice Girls, more than pleased the crowd by reminding it of the fun of the late 90s. And while "The Disney Princesses" ended with a clichd female-empowerment message, the first half-showing Belle, Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella and Jasmine rejecting their lovers-was very funny.


But it was "A Midsummer's Nightmare" that, while it may have left many in the audience scratching their heads, provided the most originality. The combination of dance, plot and design in this Tim Burton-meets-Shakespeare romp showed more than any other act that Liquid Latex will be around for a long, long time.

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