L'Effleur Des Sens

means "flirting with the senses," and choreographer-director Cati Jean has MC Gregg guide us through this French-style cabaret that consists of nine fleshy, erotic dances performed by the host and a bevy of seven beauties with jaw-dropping precision. The girlie-magazine fantasies that the dances conjure border on the fetishistic, with jail-stripe thigh-highs and lingerie, cigarette smoke (in a city that bans puffing in clubs, so smoking has become something of a clandestine fantasy), legs that go all the way up, torsos that subtly sway while the doll-faced women bear expressions of calculated disinterest, or come-hither stares. One dancer cavorts behind a rope net; an aerialist hangs by her ankles from a swath of red silk. Gregg parades through the audience, goading men and women to tell their own fantasies. In the performance I attended, they did so, reluctantly. Gregg goaded them to be more explicit, which either got the job done (one woman admitted she wanted to be tied up and ravished) or led to understandable awkwardness. Though private anatomy remained concealed, private desires did not. The cabaret is a display of old-school sexuality, which is its point. Gregg's improvised humor borders on the puerile, but the dancers' physical dexterity, training and skill are beyond reproach.
Every other Thursday, 9 p.m. Starts: Aug. 21. Continues through Oct. 30, 2008


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