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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Liquid latex showcases student talent

Published: March 21, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc., Featured

Amid the odor of fresh paint and the tightly packed balconies brewing with intricately painted nude bodies, Levin Ballroom was packed with students waiting in eager anticipation for the annual performance of Liquid Latex. Liberating and serving as a means of artistic expression, the event garnered excitement form the campus, as tickets sold out and students eagerly lingered hoping to sneak into the theater.

Opening with the popular song Thrift Shop, the performers claimed a strong presence on the stage, as the audience erupted in cheers. Encapsulating the concept of confidence and brimming with energy, performers engaged in flirtatious dance routines, renditions of popular cinema, and what can only be described as utterly comedic acts.

As one of the highlights of the evening, the lighting dimmed while music from the popular film “The Nightmare before Christmas” echoed across the theater. Capturing the eerie atmosphere so perfectly created by Tim Burton, paint depicting the skeletal figure and looming eyes of Jack Skellington transformed a student performer to the beloved Pumpkin King. Beyond merely preparing dance routines, this year’s show evoked high quality play acting, dramatizing scenes from the popular film in a theatrical rendition.

The artistic lighting techniques aided in stimulating an atmosphere reminiscent of Burton’s work, creating the classic image of Jack and Sally’s shadows outlined against the image of the full moon. Incorporating a fully clothed Santa Clause figure, the performers artfully recreated the simultaneously romantic and eerie quality of Burton’s film. Despite bearing no physical resemblance to the massive figure of the Boogeyman, the female performer who portrayed this character completely transformed herself. Through dance, she mimicked his movements flawlessly, lending herself to the persona of the Boogeyman with ease.

Demonstrating the diversity of dance routines merged by the students, the soundtrack to The “Nightmare before Christmas” faded only to be replaced by the unmistakable beat of Dubstep. Incorporating a dance style equally jerky, the performers were illuminated by the pulsations of strobe lights. Breaking from synchronized movements, the performers one by one dramatically powered down the stage as if it were a runway, expressing sheer confidence and drama with each step.

Unique not only in the sense of its diverse content, Liquid Latex is a performance that fully engages and integrates the audience, garnering cheers, laughter and urging shouts of approval throughout the entire performance. Blending students of varied dancing capabilities, performers painted in an array of classic sweets ranging from m&ms to colorful gumballs performed cartwheels across the stage. Echoing a dream like state, embodied by the presence of a single clothes girl suddenly thrown into a world of an elaborately decorated candy land brimming with dancing figures, the performance was whimsical in design. Complemented by the sound of Christina Aguilera belting out “Candyman”, the audience was transported to an alternative reality, brimming with color and backflips.

As the dream like state came to a conclusion, subsequent routines continued to serve as the epitome of the rich and diverse styles characterizing the evening. An entire routine dedicated to the songs of Britney Spears garnered laughter from the audience, followed by an elaborate belly dance routine lead by Deena Horowitz ’13. Expanding beyond purely dance, several of the routines succeeded in rendering the audience transfixed, in essence conveying elaborate stories artfully translated through movement and artistic expression. Performers easily recognizable of the classic Disney films, including the Lion King, Tangled, and Beauty and the Beast, demonstrated the skilled level of painting behind Liquid Latex.

Brimming with confidence, the student performers at Liquid Latex incorporated a unique and diverse range of styles, echoing the eerie motif of classic films such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” alongside the unmistakable sounds of Dubstep. Through the intricacy of the artfully painted designs gracing their nude bodies, the student performers epitomized the image of confidence, commanding the stage with their dramatic presence and elaborate dance routines.