Enter a world of fantasy. If being on the rooftop of Crown Casino wasn’t enough, what with the majestic lit up night sky, pumping plumes of fire along the Yarra and the amazing Melbourne city lights as a backdrop, once you enter the Spiegeltent you are drawn into a mystical world and a surreal experience.
Think of Empire as a raunchy, sexy, adults-only circus with a cocktail of comedy, live music, theatre, amazing athleticism and a bit of burlesque and romanticism thrown in. It’s an evening of high-energy entertainment, one that will leave you on the edge of your seat at times, other times with tears of laughter rolling down your cheeks, all the while with your jaw dropped and eyes wide open.
With a credible cast of international talent, Empire is directed by Australian Terence O’Connell and choreographed by Australian-born John O’Connell of Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom.
Very cleverly, the entire show takes place on a stage the size of a dining room table. Last night the opening act was Russian “bubble-girl” Elena Lev-Bakkar who set the tone for the rest of the show, magical! Memet Bilgin’s strange yet beautiful stick-balancing act had the audience holding their breath. And the twirling burlesque babes and powerful female bodies had me motivated and inspired to get fitter. And isn’t that what a show is meant to do; move you, inspire you, take your breath away.
Parts of the show were completely unpredictable with a good dose of humor and shock tactics, full frontal nudity and bad language featured, and random audience engaging acts worked well to create an interactive crowd. My top rating act of the night would have to be the Ethiopian foot juggler, spinning a boy at incredible speeds on the soles of his feet. These guys stole the show receiving a standing ovation complete with whistles and roars.
The main thing I took away from this spectacular performance is the limits of the human body and the accuracy with which we as human beings can develop our skill to. It’s in us all and it is there at the Empire stage on display for the world to see. I wouldn’t recommend you try these tricks at home folks, but if anything, one can walk away with a bit of motivation, inspiration and a great entertaining evening. Empire will perform at the Crown Rooftop Melbourne till 5th May 2013.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013