The Judgment of Paris
Can Can, corsets and high camp
This article is from 2008.
With sculpted, Harlow-platinum wigs, gorgeously gilded corsetry and tongues in cheeks firmly set to ‘high camp’, this riotous piece of dance theatre by Company XIV merges Baroque dance forms, Can Can and contemporary ballet to music by Offenbach and Marilyn Monroe. It’s hyper-engaged, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink storytelling reminiscent of fellow off-off Broadway companies TEAM and Axis.
The Greek myth of the first ever beauty contest, where Paris chooses Aphrodite (re-imagined as a voluptuous Weimar brothel madame) in exchange for the love of Helen of Troy, becomes a messy, eroticised meditation on the construction of femininity and the blonde bombshell archetype. The overall point of the show disappears in places, but it’s told with so much zing and gusto, by dancers so comfortable with their bodies that they can find sensuality in battle as well as surprisingly tender love scenes, that the audience is carried along, whooping.
Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House, 0871 7500077, until 25 Aug (not 17), 8.15pm, £9–£10 (£7–£8).