Multicultural, elusive and promising artistic illusions of projections on naked skin, these were just some attention-grabbing lines used for Forever Crazy‘s publicity. With a seemingly strong focus on artistry and creativity alongside nudity, the show seems controversial enough to be interesting for a place as conservative as Singapore. It is not an every day affair to have a cabaret come to town. Much less one helming from the iconic Parisian cabaret Crazy Horse Paris.
I was expecting a lot more from this two hour performance, however left with disappointment and thoroughly dry underwear.
Kickstarting the performance was an ensemble piece God Save Our Bareskin by all the women. Marching in sync with identical outfits, it was a choreography easy to take in and a teaser for what more was to come. It felt like a nice introduction to warm the audience up and to gain our attention to the rectangular set that will be used throughout the show.
Though at this point, I did wonder how multicultural this show is since only one woman of colour was in the ensemble.
The second performance inspired by the stock exchange market Crisis? What Crisis! was eye-catching and seductive. Featuring only one performer, the choreography was precise to the music used and the unraveling of clothing tempting. From being fully clothed to naked only after a long drawn process of teasing and dancing, this particular solo stayed on my mind throughout the night. Personally, it was one of the more, if not most, exciting works out of the entire night.
But I’m A Good Girl was another performance solo that showed off the body while flaunting the skill of the dancer. Leg swings and the use of direct gaze at the audience, it was a performance filled with ease and oozed sensuality at all the right spots.
Unfortunately, the other performances fell flat with the easy reveal of skin and the giveaway so easy. Also, almost all the accompanying music were playing on the same rhythmic baseline that really made things monotonous instead of exciting. If there were more introductions to varying rhythms, types of music as well as transitions, the show might have had my attention for longer.
After a while, skin just became skin instead of a canvas or even a statement about beauty, femininity or womanhood. It became a tool for placing a simplified performance onto a big stage, which was a complete pity.
And for a show that claims to celebrate women, the star of the show turned out to be male dancer Robert Muraine – going by Mr Fantastic. Indeed he lived up to his title, connecting with the audience immediately with his humour and then surprised us all with his dancing as well as body contortions. It was not long when he got the audience clapping after every move that he executed with precision and confidence.
Though only having one solo and another with a fellow audience member, Muraine left a lasting impression and generously gave everyone in the theatre a great show.
However, though Muraine easily outshined the women ensemble, this is not to say that they did not have the skills or talents. In various numbers, some managed to give us a glimpse of what they can possibly do though those moves were never fully explored.
For example, certain sets offered plenty of possibilities for movement and choreography such as the poles and the tables. Often through the show, the women would interact with them minimally or only work an incredible move every once in a while. That led me to wonder: if the women could clearly perform more complex choreography and have the skills to do so, is the performance style itself limiting them? Or are they limited due to reasons of focusing more on their skin and the average projections appearing on their bodies?
Similar to Consentino in Singapore, Forever Crazy had plenty of promise but did not manage to deliver even though they were last here a decade ago.
If you have cash to spare and some curiosity on what a cabaret experience might be like, go on down to Forever Crazy. Otherwise, perhaps you might want to give this a miss.
Originally written for Popspoken.