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Review: SupermartXé, 9th August

An unabashed celebration of life as you do not know it.

Examine anywhere in the world and you shall usually see that as times progress and society evolves the oppression of rampant individuality and lavish hedonism is constant - and inescapable. Since its 70's heyday as a glittering, opulent Mecca to the sexually diverse, the curious and the lewd party seekers of the world Ibiza has - in comparison - become somewhat tame. Since the demise of Manumission Privilege's SupermartXé - along with Amnesia's La Troya - stand as the remaining opulent, gay-friendly nights on the island.

Forget for a second about the music: SupermartXé is a grandiose show of eye-watering proportions, a titillating spectacle of dance, homoeroticism and drag. Adopting a different theme for each week, this Friday saw the Main Room of Privilege transformed into a multi-tiered interpretation of Brazil's Amazonian world; complete with chiseled stone statue of Christ the Redeemer. Oiled, feathered queens, girls in naught but tactical slivers of gold leaf and gladiatorial fire-breathers took turns astride the various podiums, levels and catwalks. Up until 3am a thick black curtain hung obscuring the stage - a spotlighted golden host welcomed the heaving crowd to the infamous party in a thick Spanish accent and then it all began: resident songstress Nalaya, the voice of the show ad-libbed over a dramatic mix of commercial house anthems; cohorts of minimally clothed men and woman slowly writhed to the beat and confetti simply poured.

The party's motto 'You'll never dance alone' is immediately evident - complete inclusion and involvement is involuntary and happily irresistible. Musically, the line-up of residents remains the same throughout the season pushing an orchestrated brand of progressive, big room house tailored to the energetic stage show. A sample of Linkin Park's Numb Encore, a beat box rendition of White Stripes Seven Nation Army and Third Party's lauded remix of Otherside all spun from the deafening sound rig. I for one itch to see what delicious production theme next week shall bring, the Carnival spirit was infectious and certainly larger than any proverbial life.

Calling the party a 'spectacle' does not do this event descriptive justice. Larking back to the fantastically vibrant days of Ku and a sexually-free existence SupermartXé makes you question the conventions and rules of everything around you: Who are 'they' to say no? Not why, but why not? As I stared up at the gargantuan span of a male dancer's luminescent, feathery headdress the atmosphere was palpably thick with smiles from every walk of life - from wide-eyed first timers to the playfully sensual stage acts who pounced on unsuspecting men: leave your inhibitions at the drive, SupermartXé is an unabashed celebration of life as you do not know it.

Photography by James Chapman

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