I’ve had a hard time writing this piece, to be honest, because there’s just so much I want to say. There was an immense amount of ground covered, as we witnessed all the shifts taking place. Akin to describing the power of Zeppelin itself – where do you even start?
There was so much in Lovers of Zeppelin – a truth, even – despite the fact that we are all (most of us) too young to have lived it ourselves. The music didn’t just inform the show, it actually spoke through the dancers. Sure, they covered the classics, but it wasn’t all Stairway to Heaven, that’s for damn sure. There were layers of nuance that added a depth – in the story and in the movement.
“Like dancing from the inside out.”
The embodiment was consistently effective – When the first dancer sauntered across the stage, the scene was set – we were there. It was felt in the tilt of their heads, in their hand gestures, their bodies… and of course, in the imagery that echoed the pieces.
There was a wonderful moment, after a big party, when the smoke from their cigarettes lingered on the stage space and filled the room as the lights came up. At the end of another piece, the dancers ended up draped over the stage, bodies hanging over the edge… indicative of the effect that music can have on our souls? But I digress.
I also loved the video that framed the show – definitely a more effective way to narrate – and I LOVED the exploration of dance and movement throughout! It was clear that they took the time to play and choreograph without limits, the way Jimmy would have wanted… Let the music be your master, after all. Break rules, shatter monotony. So, I mean, Yes – Bring in some tap-dancing! Why the fuck not. Such a strong piece. (It felt like it should almost have been the end of the act…)
As the show developed through the 5 sections: the birth, sex, drugs, rock and roll and the death, you could see the transformation. There was something ceremonial about the whole process.
I loved watching the girls, who later would become groupies, discovering it for the first time. They captured the utter freedom, innocence and subsequent rebellion that was inherent to the shift that was happening. Later, they would inform the girls waiting in line backstage, bras in hand, hoping to be chosen.
The show took us through the whole spectrum– The Sex, The Fame, The Wives. Controversy. Death. The Dark Arts. Drugs. Broken Hearts. But still hope. And a certain kind of Innocence.
Amid the developing darkness, there were always moments of fun – edgy, raw, yes… but lots of sexy fun.
[At the intermission, my friend, Joy, who came with me, noticed the guitar on the stage.
“That’s a Gibson,” she said.
Me, not knowing much about guitars, asked her how she knew.
She told me it was the signature style – the way it curved. You could just tell.
Then, the show continued and we witnessed the provocative piece, Since I’ve Been Loving You, (aka 3 girls/3 instruments,) with Portia Favro, Rachel Routledge and Vanessa Young…
At the point where Miss Portia slowly lowered herself down as if she were definitely makin’ some sweet love to it, she leaned over and whispered,
“…and that’s the way a Gibson should be handled.”
Now I don’t care if it was or was not, in fact, a Gibson… Couldn’t have asked for a better date.]
Every member of this cast had a part to play just like every person who is part of the Lovers Cabaret family. The company has come so far in the short time I’ve had the pleasure to know them. And like Zeppelin, their story is both inspired by and inspires everyone they know. Myself included.
“We truly are a family, and every dancer that has worked for us has contributed to our success…
When I think about how far we have come as a company, it brings tears to my eyes. The amazing people that have brought their talents and time to our little passion projects, have helped them grow into something so much bigger and better.” – Vanessa Young
Part of their success surely lies in the way Vanessa and her team allow for an environment of true creativity – a freedom to create without boundary. Each show lives with the spirit of everyone involved and this is why it works. When you have freedom, life and art, stories can take on their own lives.
In the words of Miss Pamela:
“We just got to be all of who we were and it was amazing. It was magic. It was wild.”