Michael Silas performs at Gaga's Monster Ball in St. Louis
Link to the performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehfqXJO1umQ&videos=-1lqehQ2juc
Dancer Michael Silas becomes an important part of Lady Gaga’s lesson about blood, sex and religion in front of 20,000 people. She sacrifices Michael and lets him bleed to death with her on stage, and then she brings them both back to life.
As a classically-trained dancer, Michael Silas has been using his body as art for almost his whole life, but he has only been using his body as part of high-profile Performance art since he started dancing for pop star Lady Gaga. Recently Gaga showcased Michael in a July 17 performance of “Teeth” comparing him to a famous savior, and in the process revealing a scintillating detail about Michael.
At the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Gaga seemed like she was winding down to the finish of her song “Teeth” wailing like a soloist in a black gospel church. Wearing a blond, Marilyn Monroe wig, a skin-tight latex leotard and blood smeared all over her body, Gaga looked like she stepped out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Her dancers stood behind her frozen with their backs bent forward and their blood-dripping teeth clenched. The cameras flash in the audience, and the crowd screams with delight. Then Gaga addresses Jesus saying “Jesus, way up there…heaven…psssst. Some people say, Jesus, that you only love a certain kind of people. Some people say that Jesus only loves one kind of person, and not everybody, not every religion or every race or every ethnicity or sexual orientation.” The crowd roars when she says the last thing, and Gaga pauses for a few seconds. “But you have blessed me. And I know bleeding to death in front of 20,000 people every single night on a world arena tour that Jesus must love everybody.” She pauses and then repeats “Jesus, must, love, everybodddyyyyy!”
Gaga gets on the floor, and crawls until she’s lying on her back directly under Michael Silas’ crotch. He’s frozen in the same position he was before, and his legs are wide open. She speaks “This is Michael” and she caresses his leg, from calf to thigh. She proceeds “I like Michael so much because Michael likes American girls” and Michael sticks out his tongue and starts moving it as if he’s eating cherry pie. Then Gaga continues “But I also like Michael because Michael likes American boys.” The crowd explodes with cheers. As she says this, Michael moves his tongue around his mouth as if he has a lollipop in his mouth. Hmm…American boys. Then Gaga says “Just like Jesus…” and Michael crosses himself in the Sign of the Cross and spreads his hand as if presenting himself to the crowd, as Gaga says “Michael loves everybody.”
Next Gaga starts singing like a gospel singer as the rapturous electric guitar starts back up, “Show me your teeth” and Michael gyrates to the moaning guitar riffs, and removes his hood and thrusts his hips forward with Gaga still under him. It’s almost as if Gaga’s singing and the guitar-playing are speaking for Mike, who as a dancer can only use his body to communicate. Gaga has resurrected Michael, just like Jesus. This is made particularly clear when Gaga sings “I’m a free man, and Jesus loves everybody,” because obviously she isn’t the man, but Michael is. He makes a motion like he’s choking on a disco stick as Gaga wails, and then he even lip-synchs her wails. The words “I am a man. I am a human being. I am a me, and I was born this wayyyyyy! Show me your teeth!” It’s clear as day that Gaga is a reverend and this performance is her sermon.
You may call Michael a prop for Lady Gaga’s theatrics, which he is in a way, but the art reveals a little about Michael Silas. A dancer uses his body to speak, and not his vocal cords. Gaga used Michael to exemplify her audience who are largely gay, lesbian and transgender, or however they see themselves. Gaga wants the world to know that she and her little monsters were born this way. And don’t you forget it.