The Dazzle Dancers—in collaboration with artist Bec Stupak and Peace Bisquit records—premiered their new single and music video, The Love Boat, at Deitch Projects in Soho. Most who know the Dazzles probably know them from New York’s seedy underbelly, where their message of peace and love through nudity is readily accepted (of course!). Having slept with some of them (of course!), I know them well and often cheerlead, but anyone could see the upgrade in venue marked a sort of watershed—change was in the smoke-machined air. The event was sponsored by megabrand Adidas and the Dazzles even rehearsed. But the most shocking of all? In the last chaotic minutes before show time, as techies scrambled, Dazzles dressed and glitter swirled, Cherry Dazzle ordered me not to pass around my whiskey. Not that it mattered, since by the time the doors finally opened, more than a few Dazzles were a beer away from blackout.
Hundreds arrived, but most did not get in. Thankfully, the cops arrived to clear away the rabble (i.e. Lady Bunny). Those who made it in remarked upon the irony that the Dazzles—a group of people who pride themselves on crashing parties—could have a door so rigidly policed. Victors included Paul Alexander, Murray Hill, Michael Musto, William Hurt and, looking a little traumatized, Brian Clamp (of Clamp Art), Paper's Kim Hastreiter, Zaldy, Miguel Villalobos and Jay McCarroll. Porn star Colton Ford, meanwhile, seemed totally at home, perhaps owing to the bright lights and lubrication—booze, that is.
The show began with a review of Dazzle fashions, from 1996 to the present. Designed and rehabilitated by the aptly named Machine Dazzle, the costumes ran the gamut (not that it's a big one) from sequinned sailor shorts to skimpy strips of tape, but all were shiny and made for quick removal. Then, in black leotards with iridescent stars, the Dazzles proved that nothing, not rehearsals, Adidas cash, or high production values, could change their basic ethos—love, liberation, libation and glitter (over 30 pounds of it). They danced, sometimes even in unison, amid clouds of overzealous smoke, before getting naked—always a crowd-pleaser—and posing in tableaux.
After the show, the Dazzles rushed the crowd. Before long, it was the kind of party the Dazzles come from, with shirtless and sweaty men, dirty smoke and house music thumping. It was an opportunity for everyone to participate in a little Dazzle play. Days later, we're still aglow—and aglitter.
—Andrew Dunn, groupie, assistant and honorary Dazzle