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A 15-Year Tradition: ‘Liquid Latex’

By Jessica Chow

Section: Arts

March 27, 2015

As a first-year, there are many campus activities and events that I’ve been looking forward to attending, especially the annual “Liquid Latex” show. I remember visiting campus as a high school student and having several Brandeisians mention the “Liquid Latex” show as one of the biggest campus traditions. This year, Brandeis celebrated 15 years of “Liquid Latex” on Tuesday, March 24, and I had the pleasure of being able to attend the event (and now I can cross “see ‘Liquid Latex’” off my Brandeis bucket list). “Liquid Latex” is something truly unique and engaging; I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before. From the art to the performances to the performers, everything about the show was entrancing. I loved it because of all the interesting aspects of art, design and performance that were brought together.

I want to start off by commending all of the wonderful performers, brilliant choreographers and the talented artists and designers. To all of the amazing performers, thank you for having the strength, courage and confidence to appear in the show. I can’t imagine that it is easy to be so exposed and open on stage. I truly admire your self-confidence. Let’s also not forget about the artists who did an absolutely brilliant job painting the performers. The artwork was breathtaking. Last, but certainly not least, the choreographers for each piece did an amazing job, especially for those pieces that told a story.

Of the 13 pieces, the ones that stuck out the most to me were the “Nickelodeon” runway, the “World’s Wonders” runway and the “Seven Deadly Sins.” What stood out the most to me about each of these pieces was the intricacy of the artwork and designs on all of the performers. The “Nickelodeon” runway was a great throwback to ’90s Nick’ with performers representing the characters of some of the most popular Nickelodeon TV shows of the 1990s, such as “CatDog,” “The Amanda Show,” “Hey Arnold!,” “Rocket Power,” “All That,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple” and “The Wild Thornberrys.” The designs on the performers were extremely well done.

Another standout piece was the “World’s Wonders” runway walk, with seven models depicting the Seven Wonders of the World. I thought that this specific piece was really well thought out, from the theme to the art. It was unique because it sort of allows the audience to travel the world to see the Seven Wonders of the World. It honestly felt like you were transported to the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Each model took you somewhere new in the world. I also really liked this piece because of the artwork. I have to commend the designer for this piece because the models looked stunning. Even from my seat in the audience near the back, I was still able to see how the artist took the time to consider how they wanted the full picture to appear on the model. The artist played off of the model’s body in creating depth and shadowing in each latex costume. I also really appreciated that for this piece, the picture covered the whole body and was not confined to just one spot.

For me, the highlight of the show was the piece following the intermission, “Seven Deadly Sins.” I loved everything about this piece: the music, the choreography and the latex designs. I liked that each of the seven deadly sins had choreography that was specific to the sin they represented. The music for this piece also matched each of the sins perfectly. For this performance, the designers painted the name of the sin on the back of the models, which helpful for identifying each sin.

While the performances were fantastic, I think that the most important thing about “Liquid Latex” is its implicit message to the audience about body image and self-awareness. Bodies of all sizes, shapes, colors, races and genders were represented in the show. The performers, unknowingly (or perhaps knowingly), presented the audience with the message of embracing your body. As I said before, I truly admire each and every performer for having the confidence to express themselves so openly in front of so many people. “Liquid Latex” is a one-of-a-kind event that contributes to the unique community on campus. Congratulations, “Liquid Latex,” on 15 wonderful years. I hope that there will be many more as this tradition lives on and thrives in the future!

 

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