Seductive, scintillating, “Sensatia!” A night the 5 senses won’t soon forget opened in RiNo on June 16th. Housed within the former bones of Epic Brewing, Quixotic’s latest offering pulls you in with urgent live music, awe inspiring dancing, and powerful vocals from the most exquisite Master of Ceremonies you’ve ever seen.
A single violin opens the show and slowly and smoothly it evolves into a bass bouncing remix of a recent pop hit. Every sound you hear has a foundation in the live string work from the violinist and a cellist. This combination of instruments, played with passion, provides an urgency to every framework dance scene that follows. Those musicians, and a seldom seen but devastatingly powerful saxophonist, are not props. They are scene partners, dancing and communing on such an intimate level that they themselves become the conduit by which the audience gets to fully experience every last “Sensatia”.
Our MC, Envy, commands the stage with wit and belting notes that pull you in and can leave you breathless. Her rendition of “Valerie” is particularly exciting and fun. This reporter may have even tried his best to sing along and be noticed… No dice. And that sticks out. There is a cursory amount of audience engagement throughout the evening. Usually controlled in seemingly random interludes from Envy.
After “intermission,” chocolates are handed out to those brave enough to sit close to the stage. Yet, those on the periphery are left out. Later, Envy selects a couple to engage in a little fourplay. It’s awkward in a crowd, but then again when is it not? They try on blindfolds and whips. Ticklers are presented. The crowd ooh’s like middle schoolers and the couple plays for a brief moment before being seated. After a joke at their expense, the night continues.
And what comes next is a feast for the eyes. A contortionist emerges, encrusted with diamonds; she moves and teases us all in a way that reminds us that we are all intertwined. The violinist searches her body with his reed. A young ingenue, who has witnessed or participated in most of the dances as an at first timid spectator, reaches. Yearning to be closer to the tangled satin sheets that is our dancer. And it is here that the thread through all of the dances makes sense.
A fire dance unfolds, in which our ingenue is educated on the power of the flame. In small doses she gets to experiment, while never fully being engulfed. Earlier, she obscures her face in a beautiful wide brim hat, with long floor length tassels. She is joined by a quartet in the same ensemble. The hat. Pasties. Panties. And nothing else. Here these women reveal themselves through their tassels as if stepping out of a changing room. They dance, in unison, with confidence. They are in control of their bodies. They control what limb they share with us. They control the room. They establish the rules.
It is not explicitly mentioned that the audience must keep their hands to themselves. But it must be stressed that nothing can be freely and wholly given without consent. The ensemble trusts each other implicitly. They must, there are potential hospital bill’s if they don’t. And the ensemble also trusts their audience knows that this is not just a burlesque show. It is an erotic and sensual experience. And for that to be fully realized, the audience must trust the performers to take the wheel. Once this reporter let go of his desire to control everything, he fully absorbed the intimacy of the evening. The immersion happens in that release.
The music is all around you. Every dancer is a beautiful vision of athleticism and skill, right in front of you. You are wrapped in perfumes. The air is thick. The cocktails linger on the tongue. You are one with the evening.
“Sensatia” is as billed. It is an acrobatic, rhythmic, immersive night. Where everything is shared and consent is sexy. The music will move you. The dancing will stir you. And the specialty cocktails will warm you. Drink responsibly.
“Sensatia“ can be found at The Arch (formerly Epic Brewing)on 3001 Walnut Street. Denver 80205. For tickets and other information, visit their website https://sensatiacabaret.com/ or call/email at 720.297.3300/QuixoticBoxOffice@mthkc.com.