The Body Art Ball, Phoenix, Arizona
January 14, 2007
The Body Art Ball is a fantastic touring stage production and I was thrilled to take part in when the troupe made a stop here in Phoenix, Arizona. The show is sponsored by Tuaca, an Italian liquore, and it is produced by Dallas-based Chris and Candy Productions. The show is actually a private event that is by invitation only to bartenders and wait staff from select venues that serve Tuaca. The Phoenix production was held in the Marquee Theater and it was standing-room-only by showtime.
You'd have to see it to believe it, but I'll try to describe in words the gist of the Body Art Ball. There are 15 performers who are highly skilled in a variety of dance styles and street performer routines. Each of their performances were set to music through the concert speaker system and state-of-the-art theatrical lighting. Their talent and the professional production alone would have made this an incredible show, but magical touch was that all of these perfromers were painted from head to toe with bodypaint. I believe there were 6 featured body artists plus a handful of helpers who spent the whole afternoon painting and preparing the performers. I only painted one of the performers, but other artists such as Mark Reid were assigned to paint 3 or 4 models.
The attendees were admitted into the theater about an hour before the show started so that they could see the last stages of the bodypainting taking place. They were welcome to interact with the artists and ask questions while they put the finishing touches on their living canvas masterpieces. Then the performers scattered away to backstage and the audience took their seats for a show that they would not soon forget.
As the curtain rose the opening act was introduced. It was a musical act that consisted of 4 tribal drummers with a very animated stage show. I was able to sneak out into the audience and catch some of their act and they were very impressive. Next it was time for the main act.
Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed in the venue so the only pictures that I have to share are a few snapshots that I took backstage. There are many pictures from the Body Art Ball on the producer's website at http://www.chrisandcandyproductions.com but none of them are from the Phoenix stop. I wish that I could remember all of the acts to describe, but here are a few that come to mind:
Broadway Tiger - I'll start with my own since I know the most about this performer. The model's name was Amy Z and her stint on the runway was a sultry Broadway showtunes homage. I brought the cane and tophat as props and she brought the tail. The tiger strips and tuxedo were painted on with Mehron and Paradise paints and the black and silver glitter were affixed with spirit gum.
Marching Band Leader - A blonde female dancer was painted in a marching band outfit and then proceeded to go through the typical moves you might see at a college football game. The music then broke into modern dance hits and she strutted her dancing prowess. The suit was blue with lots of gold glitter and she was in fantastic shape.
The Breakdancer - This guy was a phenomenal break dancer and his bodypainting was a red and white jogging suit.
The Cowgirl - This was one of the performers that Mark Reid painted and she was "wearing" his famous painted-on jeans, a red plaid shirt, leather vest, oh and the cowboy hat was real. Her performance consisted of line dances to country songs, but with some high energy antics. This was definately a crowd favorite.
Eve - There was a live vocal performance by a beautiful model painted gold. Her motif was Eve with a snake wrapping around her and biting an apple that was painted on her breast. She did a flawless rendition of Fionna Apple's song Criminal.
The Acrobats - I saw most of the show from the audience and this was one act that really blew me away. It was a male and female acrobatic team and they were painted in brilliant blues and fluorescent oranges. Their whole show was amazing, but I'm still in shock from the finale when she did a hand stand on one hand...on his head...and he was standing up. That was incredible.
Marilyn - This one took the Grand Peoples Choice Award and it really deserved it. I think that I would be divulging a big secret if I told you about this one so you'll just have to see the show when it come to your town to see this one. Lets just say that it was an extreme dichotomy of the two people named Marilyn.
There were obviously quite a few more that I won't go into detail about, but they included a ballarina, a gangster, 1940's military buggler, pimp, senorita, and a tantalizing butterfly. Each of the performers did solo routines and then there were a couple of numbers that included the full cast. It really was one of the best shows that I have ever seen and I so glad to have had a little part in it.
Here are a few of the pictures that I took backstage of my Broadway Tiger and some of the other performers. Please visit www.thebodyartball.com website to see more of the show images and if you get a chance to go to one of these shows in the future, don't miss it!