Liquid Latex, unique and risque, back for 10th year

Students do it all: Choreography, costume design and body painting

Liquid Latex – an innovative annual show that last year was risque enough to win Brandeis an honorable mention in Playboy magazine's ratings of party schools – returns for its 10th year at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in Levin Ballroom.

According to chief coordinator Alex Hulse ‘12, Brandeis is the only university in the country to host an annual dance performance of painted bodies.

Liquid Latex is entirely student run: Students choreograph dances, design latex costumes, and paint mostly nude models with latex paint. Liquid Latex is a favorite amongst Brandeis students, with a full house of approximately 700 attending annually.

Tickets will be sold at Usdan Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 14. Seats cost $7; standing room costs $5.

"There is nothing like it anywhere else in the United States," Hulse said. The only other place he has seen examples of latex painted on the body is during carnival celebrations in Brazil.

Hulse says he heard about Liquid Latex as a shy freshman at a Brandeis pre-first-year meet and greet in his hometown in Colorado, and "I decided okay, I'm going to do it." The student who informed him of the show is now a close friend, and Hulse is dancing in her piece this semester.

He says that the show is "one of those things that is nerve-wracking and awkward to do for the first time, but if you're willing to put yourself out there, I've never met a single person who has not enjoyed the experience." Hulse has danced in the show for the past three years.

Liquid Latex began 11 years ago.

Alaric Toy '00 and Sharon Gobuty '00 co-founded the group in March 2000 as part of Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. It was originally a fashion show called the "Body Art Fashion Show." Toy says they organized the show "purely for art's sake." After the initial success, Toy created the Liquid Latex club to continue the performance on an annual basis.

This is the first year in the last three years that the Liquid Latex club had to turn down pieces and applicants for runway modeling because so many people wanted to participate in the show.

Hulse estimates that about 200 people are participating, including models, painters, choreographers and designers. There are 10 pieces and a fashion show catwalk.

The process for Liquid Latex begins in November when applications for piece designers are due. The applications include designs for models and a statement of the overall theme of the piece. Hulse says the club's executive board makes its decisions based on how well the designers use latex paints and how well thought-out the pieces are.

A piece that Hulse says is "one of the most exciting" is a rendition of the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel."

"The designs take you back to the fairy tale, but with an abstraction mixing innocence and ambiguity, considering the fact that these people are half-naked Hansel and Gretel," he said.

Liquid Latex received an "honorable mention" on Playboy's website in an article about top party schools in 2010 for "Best College-Supported Art Project: Brandeis' Liquid Latex Body Art Show." Liquid Latex is also mentioned in the Brandeis section of "The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2011: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know."

Categories: Student Life

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage