Women’s bodies are everywhere. They became a tool of advertisement, they sell clothes, cosmetics, cars, fitness tickets, expectations, standards, a way of thinking. They are glorified, promoted, objectified, admired for what they convey—but do we ever stop to look at them just as a piece of art, an entity of pulchritude, ignoring all the concepts that our society and media has hung upon it?
Le Crazy Horse from Paris assigned the praise of the beauty of the female body as its role. The traveling show that celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation this spring, May 19th, has built up its sassy, sexy, but still artistic number from the elements of French avant-garde, burlesque, and the Pop Art trend of the ‘60s. The cabaret is coming to Budapest to perform what has already dazzled such celebrities as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Steven Spielberg, Christina Aguilera, Michelle Pfeiffer, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Salvador Dali, Pedro Almodovar, or Elizabeth Taylor. The dancers of the company have to meet the expectations not only in terms of talent in dance and theatre, but also need to have aesthetical attractiveness and the sort of sex appeal only referred to as “je ne sais quoi” by the French. Besides, if a woman wants to partake in the cabaret ‘Forever Crazy,’ her measurements must match criteria compared to what the mystified 90-60-90 looks a piece of cake. One might wonder whether the founder of Le Crazy Horse, Alain Bernardin did not admire the absolute perfection instead of reality, but of course there may be a list of practical reasons for these demands: a need to appeal to the audience, fitting into the mainstream standards of beauty, uniforms and dance clothes available in only one size… Nevertheless, among the professional dancers several guest stars, such as Dita Von Teese (being the first guest star in October, 2006), Pamela Anderson, and Carmen Electra have contributed to this first-class show of seduction and feminity.
The world-known company is going to present their show ‘Forever Crazy’ on November 10th and 11th at RAM Colosseum (1133 Budapest, Kárpát utca 23-25). Advertised with the motto ‘The art of nudity,’ the +18 cabaret pleases the eye of the Hungarian audience for a relatively high price: the cheapest ticket costs 17,000 HuF; the most expensive one, for which you get a seat in the diamond row, costs 55,000 HuF. If you buy a ticket for the diamond, platinum (45,000 HuF), or golden (38,000 HuF) seat row, you can also order a four-course dinner to dwell in gustatory pleasures beside aesthetical gratification. On top of that, for diamond guests a free door-to-door lift with Lexus cars is provided. It is questionable if the average Hungarian wallet is thick enough for such an expense, though the program and concept of the cabaret might have been designed for the elite after all. However, material wealth does not necessarily entail the level of openness without which such a highly erotic, sensual, and exalted artistic piece can’t be appreciated.
On the other hand, if we believe the positive opinion of famous people and the history of reception, or just consider the fact that such big names as Salvador Dali, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Marylin Manson, and Christina Aguilera have been inspired by the artistic virtuosity of Le Crazy Horse, ‘Forever Crazy’ might be worth the money.
The program of the dance troupe uses a variety of dance elements; ranging from ballet in which all the crazy dancers are trained, through hot striptease, to racy burlesque, Le Crazy Horse enchants the audience with piquancy and gracefulness. The ladies dance either in lingerie or completely naked, which opens up a whole new opportunity for concealing cleavage: with lights projected to the dancers dressing them up with luminous stars, waves, diagonal lines or leopard stains, this technical innovativeness enriches the given numbers with an additional visual accessory, underpinning the concepts of movements as jewels gliding along the skin. Sometimes with a play of shadows only the silhouettes of the dancers can be seen, other times they are dressed up as sexy bobbies, demonstrating a “beauty of army;” furthermore, we can see femme fatale in pointe shoes, dancers as leopards, conceptualizing fierce female sexuality, and other archetypes of divas represented in a fascinating amalgam of suppleness, French charm, and mild, still teasing cabaret music.
P.S. I wrote this preview last October, but it was not published due to lack of space and time. Much as I would have liked to watch the show, it was too expensive for me, so I can't tell whether my preview met the parameters of the real performance.