Bananas, trumpets, trailblazers and cacti

Le Cactus
Le Cactus

Maya Paris is a colourful, inventive and imaginative Second Life artist with a wonderfully wacky wit and knowing glint in her eye – as anyone who has visited the likes of Celebrity Blow Your Own Tits off, or Sauce will know only too well.

Now, at the invitation of Eupalinos Ugajin, she’s brought back a celebrated favourite creation:  Le Cactus, and it is every bit as wild and as wacky as ever, offering news delights for those who have not previously paid it a visit, while those who do remember it can revisit an old favourite for a fresh dollop of fun presented in a way that only Maya can master.

Le Cactus
Le Cactus

“[It’s] a celebration of the extraordinary talents of cultural trailblazer Josephine Baker, queen of the trumpet Valaida Snow, the lampshade-hatted dancers of the Casino de Paris and the offbeat irony of Jacques Dutronc,” Maya says of the installation, located high above LEA21. “Throw a banana on your head, dance on a cactus and tickle a tentacle. Everything’s interactive, so click away!”

And everything is interactive. At the landing point there are seven vinyl records, each of which will give you a costume to don; beneath them sits a box offering a HUD and the helpfully entitled “Le Cactus: What to do here” note card.

Le Cactus - Josephine!
Le Cactus – Josephine!

The outfits are as imaginative and a colourful as the setting (which has a delightful Art Deco look and feel to it), and you can wear them with your avatar either completely masked, or with body clothed and visible. I went for fully hidden for most of the outfits, but showed myself whilst wearing the Valaida and Josephine outfits (see right, flapping away).

The HUD provides links to YouTube and short films about both women and a playback of Jacques Dutronc singing Les Cactus.

From here it’s off down the stairs to click, dance, spin, swap outfits – all to the early jazz of Radio Dismuke, if you have the audio stream on (and you should). Then, when you’ve had enough, drop into one of the bar-side sofas, or claim your drinks and refresh yourself.

Like any bar, the atmosphere at Le Cactus increases in leaps and bounds the more there are enjoying the place, so grab your friends, mash-up the outfits, stick and banana on your head and have fun.

When you’ve done with your visit to Le Cactus, don’t forget to drop-in at group level, where other things will be going on. Eupa revealed a little of Life on Jupiter to me, which is currently under construction and promises to be every bit as offbeat as le Cactus, and joined me at the bar for a time, suitably attired for dancing, but opting to wear a model of Skylab as floating headgear, rather than the suggested banana.

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