He spins in the air, his body contorting into positions beyond the impossible; tendons and limbs yielding and contracting with domination.
Flesh and sinew writhe; even his muscles have muscles; I can’t help noticing he has abs upon abs while his buttocks are beyond roundness to almost form a gravity-defying apex. Movements blithely disregard gravity as he exudes incredible control with every action.
Hands and feet are strategically placed; torso and lower body following through with manoeuvres simultaneously recalcitrant and pliant. It’s a synchronous presentation of physical beauty and control; the human body at its ultimate pinnacle of carnality.
Such are the Parisienne-inspired pleasures and fantasies with the return and second instalment of Strut & Fret Production House’s winning show, 'Blanc de Blanc Encore'. Paired to bottles of Moët & Chandon, the two-hour show manages to run through every spectrum of emotion – arousal, exhilaration, astonishment, veneration, howling merriment, tenderness – even tears.
Image © Jacquie Manning
With extravagantly provocative costumes displaying every superbly-muscled feature to perfection, the prodigious cast presents a titillating show of sensual burlesque, stunning aerial, cheeky comedy, breathtaking vocals and flexuous acrobatics to a well crafted soundtrack with a cleverly-lit set covering three levels. At every point to relieve the tension (for tension did indeed need to be relieved), spot appearances divert our attention from the rafters to each corner, culminating in the centre of the room for the big event.
Comedic hosts Blanc original and favourite Spencer Novich alongside he-of-the-beautiful-French-accent Remi Martin Lenz are deliciously bawdy in their humour, breaking up the tension wonderfully from every physical spot performance before individually displaying their own very special acrobatic talents.
With her extreme physical flexibility, Mongolian-trained contortionist Ugi Otgonbayar boggles the mind, and undoubtedly for many, incites the nether regions with her extraordinary animality – and why not indeed, with such bendy, tractable movements.
Burlesque dancer Skylar Benton certainly inflames the loins, with limbs performing sensual sweeping movements; the blonde beauty aesthetically satisfactory in physique and competently tactile in motion. Saucily adorable with a brazenly pert personality, Laura New frequently twins it with Skylar for racy pas de deux and pas de trois, though Laura's lone performance dishes up a rollicking high spot – one of many – to the show.
Image © Daniel Boud
But it is dancing jazz singer Ashley Stroud, she of the Postmodern Jukebox lineage who tugs the heartstrings and moves me to tears. Blanc’s modern-day version of Josephine Baker, Ashley’s vocals are a chocolate sauce warm; oozing and sensuous at each strident tone; sassy with every flippant phrase and heartbreakingly poignant with every emotive note – and this before the Moët begins flowing. Truly, 'Blanc de Blanc' is akin to a an upscale stripper: if you haven’t fallen in love with at least one cast member by the end of the show, they haven’t done their job. But their job they do so very well, building to group climaxes; frequently.
From ticketed backstage tours, to VIP Tables with champagne and platters and the bar at entry, 'Blanc de Blanc Encore' presents a provocative, erotically lurid and dazzling spectacle. It extends beyond an immersive show for the senses; 'Blanc de Blanc' is a 4D experience of sexual frivolity and wild champagne celebration.
'Blanc de Blanc Encore' plays Sydney Opera House until 9 March.