This past Tuesday, Levin Ballroom filled to capacity for the 18th Annual Liquid Latex show, “Legally Latex.” This year’s Latex featured over 70 models in eight pieces that were both powerful and hysterical.
Liquid Latex began in 2000 as the “Body Art Show,” and it has since become a beloved Brandeis tradition where students perform wearing nothing but latex paint. A consistent thread throughout the performance was the emphasis on body positivity, confidence and supporting one’s peers.
The night opened with “Not Sorry,” concepted and choreographed by Emma Hanselman ’18, Eliana Cohen ’18 and Sarah Skrovan ’18. Two classic songs, Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry,” filled the room as the dancers commanded the stage with fun, upbeat choreography. The latex designs were vivid, inspired by costumes from Bieber’s music video; each model was painted with colorful geometric patterns, setting the audience up to watch a vibrant performance. The choreography was fun and all the performers were visibly having a great time on stage.
A perfect way to start the show, the program said that the piece aimed to “say with confidence that no one needs to, or should, apologize for their fierceness,” thus highlighting the theme at the heart of Liquid Latex.
The following piece, “Damsels in Undress,” was Disney princess themed and emphasized women’s empowerment, turning the concept of “damsels in distress” on its head. One of the most captivating performances of the night, there was not a dull moment in this piece. The models were all dressed as a different princess, and when each had their moment on the runway, a song would play that fit their character’s story—like “Cinderella” by the Cheetah Girls or “Starships” by Nicki Minaj for Princess Leia. Each model took control of their solos, adding their own personal twist to the character they portrayed.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” was the next presentation of the night. The performance, more in style of a skit, was a hilarious battle between the characters from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Rick and Morty.” The performance was silly and dynamic, with a variety of song choices, getting the crowd to laugh as the piece flipped back and forth between each group of characters.
Since the theme was niche, it may have been difficult to follow along with the framework of the skit if one does not know the story of Guardians of the Galaxy, but the piece still engaged the audience.
Concluding the first act, “Animal Queendom” had members of the “Queendom” show the audience the fierceness of women. Each model was dressed as a jungle creature, in designs by Olivia Joy ’18 that were extraordinary, intricate and perfectly executed in the latex paint. The choreography by Brooke Granovsky ’18 was strong and innovative, the dancers at one point mimicking a wave with their bodies. The songs blended together well, with each selection relating to a different animal. The performance was truly fierce.
The second act opened with “Spongebob NoPants,” designed by Liquid Latex president Rebecca Kahn ’19 and Josh Rubenstein ’19 and choreographed by Kahn. This performance was one of the standouts of the night, filled with carefree amusement and high spirit. Every model was painted as a character from the television show, Spongebob Squarepants, and each song came from Spongebob, such as “FUN” and “Goofy Goobers.” Parts of the piece were also done as a skit, with no model doing the exact same thing. Everyone stood out in the performance individually, and the piece was a great way to bring the audience back after intermission.
“Dreaming Love,” designed by Devora Krischer ’21 and choreographed by Renee Korgood ’20, was sweet and filled with fairytale ambiance. The scene opens as characters are set in a story, trying to save the princess, portrayed by Abby Berkower ’20. The lyrical and ballet choreography by Renee Korgood ’20 was beautiful, and each model played their characters astonishingly well in the fantasy story.
“Songs of Ice and Fire” followed, with beautiful designs and an intense performance inspired by “Game of Thrones.” The piece, choreographed by Julie Joseph ’18, who is on the Liquid Latex e-board, was well-done, and the models’ energy was palpable to the audience. The concept of the performance may have been somewhat difficult to follow for those who do not watch Game of Thrones or know much about the show, but die-hard fans must have been excited by the theme, and the whole audience could appreciate the skilled performance.
The final showcase of the night was “Iconic Women,” designed and choreographed by Viola Dean ’18. In this powerful and upbeat performance, models portrayed some of the most iconic women pop stars in modern history. The presentation started off right, as each of the models were still like mannequins, as the mannequin challenge song, “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd, began to play. Each model had their own solo, highlighting their pop-star character while lip syncing to one of their songs. The crowd loved the solos; some audience members were even dancing in their seats. It was the perfect way to conclude the night, honoring famous women and demonstrating the theme that women are invincible.
During the finale, all of those involved in contributing to these amazing performances took the stage and bowed as the audience cheered them on, thus finishing off another Liquid Latex show.