Coming Up Next…
VISIONS OF LORE at the VIBF
This Saturday, a brand new production will come alive on the Vogue stage. Visions of Lore dives into the world of myth and legend to reveal new truths. Join us! You can buy tickets in advance here to make sure you’re part of this show’s very first audience.
Bringing you their interpretations of timeless tales:
with musical magic from:
Last week, we shared a bit of inspiration with you. Curious for more? Read on to discover the final three mythical creatures we created acts around.
Known for his beauty and loved by the gods, Narcissus famously fell in love with his own reflection. He could never obtain the object of his desire, though, and wasted away at the side of a mirror-like stream.
The varcolac can be released from within at times of deep darkness. Taking over the host’s body, the creature longs to devour the moon and in doing, remove all light from the world.
Undeniable seductresses, sirens lure sailors onto their island with a song of ultimate knowledge. Whether portrayed as half-bird, half human or as beautiful mermaids, sirens are sure to entice and entrance. Let yourself fall under their spell!
We are so excited to share this new production with all of you! Join us for the 10th Annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival this Saturday, May 2!
More March Photos!
This post is all about giving you more, so here you go! Feast your eyes on some of the performers who will be bringing Visions of Lore to life. Thank you, David Tresham for the photos.
Coming Up Next…
PANDORA & THE LOCKSMITHS at GUILT&CO
Join us at our home base, guilt&co, in Gastown on Tuesday, June 10 for our monthly live music burlesque extravaganza! Let us know you’re coming by checking out the Facebook event here. Get shimmying and shaking on a hot spring evening with performances by:
with stage mistress
musical accompaniment by
and hostess for the evening
Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm. Suggested donation of $10 with all proceeds going to the artists.
You may or may not know this, but Pandora & The Locksmiths operates as an artist collective rather than a company or troupe. What this means is that there is no assigned “leader” and all jobs -from social media, to band leading, to writing this here blog- are delegated among members. We cast performance spots based on availability and rotate sweeping duties. Sometimes we have one member lead a group number if it is a theme they are particularly passionate about, but most of the time we create as a team. It may take a lot longer, but we all feel strongly about creating with equality among artists. Miss Fitt and Nicky Ninedoors echo the sentiments of the group with their thoughts on our collective structure:
The most interesting part for me is how we seem to grow so much as individual performers through our work together. I get inspired all the time by my team. Performing along side such diverse and talented people helps me to become a stronger performer. I get ideas, I see what is exciting and effective for others and I bring my own unique talents and ideas to the table as well. I feel we each contribute to setting the bar higher for ourselves and support each other with our goals and ideas. We all benefit from each others success and grow stronger as a group as a result.
What I found incredibly powerful about the process of Awakenings, was that it put us all in a really intense state of vulnerability. We had to be completely open with our feelings, consider the validity of the feelings of others, while working together towards a common goal. I feel that common goal was realized in the creation of “Hunter”, which closed the show. Performing as part of that act was powerful for me because it was created by eight people who were willing to listen to each other, who practiced saying “Yes” to each others ideas, while being humble and gracious when ideas didn’t work or needed revisiting.
It was a really hard process, but as a group we have been evolving for a while, recognizing the talents of each individual within the group, and striving to move away from the idea that any one individual is solely in charge. Each member of the collective is incredibly valuable, and it’s empowering to be surrounded by women who respect, admire, and encourage each other through the challenges they face.
Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend
A huge “BREAK A LEG” to all the hugely talented women jetting off to Las Vegas to compete in the Tournament of Tease! The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender is a huge four-day fundraiser for the one and only Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum. Team Vancouver will be lighting up multiple categories this year. For Queen of Burlesque we have April O’Peel, Melody Mangler, Burgundy Brixx, and Lola Frost, for best group we have a duo by Lola Frost & Rita Star, and up for Best Debut, our very own VORACIOUS V! Kick some butt down there, Nebula Nipples!
Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
It was such an honour to grace the Vogue stage with “Awakenings,” a huge collaboration between our collective, Four on The Floor String Quartet, and K-Tel. Want to know what the VIBF is like first-hand? Check out Ava Lure’s Festival Diary in Pin Curl Magazine! Enjoy these amazing photos of our VIBF production from Fubarfoto and Reckless Photography.
Coming up next…
Pandora & The Locksmiths at Guilt & Co!
with special guests:
APRIL O’PEEL & NOUVEAUX TABLEAUX
Reeling from the whirlwind that was the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, Pandora & The Locksmiths return to the Guilt & Co stage! Blending fine art with performance, we welcome special guests APRIL O’PEEL and NOUVEAUX TABLEAUX.
Featuring burlesque performances of the classically glamorous persuasion:
Bringing fine art to life with Tableaux Vivants:
NOUVEAUX TABLEAUX- MOLLY MALONE and ALLEY CAT HATFIELD
Door at 8:00pm, show at 9:00. $10 suggested donation, all proceeds going to the artists. Let us know you’re coming by checking out the Facebook event!
What is Tableaux Vivants, you ask?
“Not unlike today, social mores of the early 19th century objected to any public exposure of a naked human body. Based on moral, religious or decency grounds, the exposure of a naked body was regarded as inherently sexual. As a result of strict morality laws forbidding women from dancing in the nude, Tableaux Vivants became a form of erotic entertainment under the guise of of art and culture. A Tableau Vivant occurs when a group of performers create a scene without movement or speech to create a living picture. This was a popular form of entertainment before radio, film or television and at one time were a major feature at festivities for royal weddings, coronations, and royal entries to cities. Enterprising producers argued that if classical art works were permitted to show female nudity, they should be as well. Tableaux Vivants were agreed as acceptable as it became understood that it was movement that caused the female form to become sexual. This meant that recreations of classical works using nude women could and would be permitted. “
See it for yourself on Tuesday, May 13 at guilt&co!
VIBF Favourite Moments
The recent Vancouver International Burlesque Festival was a resounding success! Each act was more dazzling than the last and the audience faces were the smilin’-est in town. Our production, Awakenings, is still vivid in our hearts and minds and it was such an honour to share it with the crowd. Now it’s time to check in! Members of Pandora, what were your favourite VIBF moments? and what are you working on now?
John Bews had a roaring good time chauffeuring our guest legend, Kitten Natividad! Her comedic spirit kept him in stitches and all her jokes were totally on point. This spring, John looks forward to re-organizing his encyclopaedic record collection.
Voracious V, Queen of Tea (Bagging) was honoured to give guest host, Judith Stein, a vocabulary lesson worthy of Urban Dictionary! Judith walked away from the Thursday afternoon tech rehearsal with a whole new understanding of a seemingly innocent innuendo. Next up for Voracious, getting ready to rock Las Vegas when she competed for “Best Début” at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender in June.
Nicky Ninedoors revelled in backstage antics while at the Vogue. Her favourite moment was racing up the back staircase with Miss Fitt to make their cue! Can you say, “Sabbatical”? This summer, Nicky plans to focus on creating ornate hairpieces, dance lessons, and re-discovering her song-writing voice.
August Wiled also had a wonderful time backstage. She really enjoyed all the chatter and excitement in the Pandora dressing room. Who doesn’t love spending time with friends? In the next few months, August plans on getting crafty by delving into the art of lingerie construction.
Miss Fitt was very pleased to share a dressing room with The Wet Spots on Thursday night. The conversations they had were heart-warming, groin-tingling, and totally invaluable. This summer, Miss Fitt is going to focus on belly dance classes!
Getting to perform at the Vogue for the first time was the highlight for Miss Kiss. After seeing heroes like Alice Cooper up on that stage, she was overjoyed to finally get her turn! As Pandora’s resident musical theatre nerd, Miss Kiss will be jetting off to New York City this month for a vacation!
Ruthe Ordare enjoyed warming up to our collective theme song, “Yankin’” by Lady, truly a fine jem of modern music! This summer, she is excited to work on new numbers as well as mentor up-and-coming burlesque babes at the Vancouver Burlesque Centre.
The improbable was made possible for Ava Lure on Saturday night of the festival. She was floored to see Perle Noire VOGUEING on stage as part of her multi-song routine. This summer, Ava is all theatre everything! She will be creating an adapted piece of site-specific work as a participant of the Fringe Onsite program, as well as hitting the books as a fourth-year student in Capilano University’s new Bachelor of Performing Arts cohort program.
Birds of a Feather
In April, we were so pleased to welcome spring chicken, Faye Havoc, to the guilt&co stage! Already a mega-talented seamstress (did you see our lace cage lingerie sets at the VIBF?), we are so excited to watch her growth into a performer. The other ladies of Pandora brought out their favourite animal-inspired numbers for your enjoyment. Peruse these gorgeous photos by Clint Trahan and journey back with us.
Coming Up Next…
Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
We will be bringing our full-length production Awakenings to the VIBF on Friday, May 2 at the Vogue Theatre. Or exploration of dreams, the moon cycle, and the ethereal world will feature some favourites from the show’s last run, but will comprise mostly of brand new, top-secret work.
and visuals by
The festival runs from May 1-3. Tickets for the VIBF can be purchased here.
Now in it’s ninth year, the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival is steadily growing into one of North America’s leading burlesque festivals. Performers bring their very best to vie for a spot on the Vogue theatre’s art deco-inspired stage. Pandora & The Locksmiths is honoured to be included again this year. Some of our members would like to share memories from their very first VIBF experience; what they saw, what they felt, and how it changed them as burlesque artists.
“My first experience was with Miss Kiss at the VIBF in..was it 2008? It was the first time we ever wore pasties on stage. Burgundy and Purrfessor had us (Miss Kiss,Carole, and myself) as dancers in their Laughedelic Love-In show. It was so much fun to be a part of it. Later that weekend I was nominated for an award for best go-go dancing and officially dubbed ‘The Queen of Go-Go’ by Evil Bastard at the awards show. I had a few gigs as stage Kitty at Kitty Nights prior to that and I guess people noticed my knack for freestyle go-go. I was touched to be recognized in the community even before I had officially made my solo burlesque debut- which I did shortly after on the Kitty Nights stage.”
“My first VIBF experience was in 2009 at Jenny Magenta’s banquet of broads show at the Wise Hall. I was volunteering at the bar helping with drinks (ie. sitting on the bar and preening) and I struck up a conversation with someone who was admiring my backseam stockings… And a loyal fan was made!”
“My first experience was a few months after my Becoming Burlesque grad in 2010. I was volunteering at the Rickshaw selling tickets at the door. When the show began I got to get up from my post and peek into the theatre where I saw Tigger! perform for the first time. I was so blown away by his performance and had never seen anything like it before so I read his bio in his class description. I noticed he had a degree in theatre and thought to myself, ‘I MUST BE THAT AWESOME TOO! I MUST GET A DEGREE IN THEATRE!’ and am now entering the final year of that degree. Overall, a hugely life-changing event.”
“My first experience with the VIBF was in 2011 when I was brand-spanking new! I had debuted in January 2011 and had met a few of my future collective-mates already. I was asked by Pandora & The Locksmiths to kitten their production and was a stage slave for Bloody Betty’s production at the Rickshaw. The next night I was taking tickets and watching the other performances. On showcase night Burgundy asked me to be a part of her “Fireball” number as they were the main sponsor. It was a group number with Lola Frost, Carole Brunette, Miss Fitt and Voracious V!
It’s hard to remember much of it because it was such a whirlwind and I really had no idea how big the community was at that point. I made so many connections at that festival and knew I wanted to be on that stage as a soloist one day. I think Burgundy and the ladies of Pandora had the biggest impact on me because they believed in me as a new performer and gave me opportunities to be involved!”
“My first experience was with “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be,” our production at the Rickshaw for 2011. We were only a cast of 9 at that time. It went by really quickly and we were left with a large keyhole prop.”
“My first VIBF experience was 2012, as a spectator. What I remember best was being blown away by Nicky Ninedoors and Sean Bayntun performing “Nude” at the Vogue. As a newbie, I felt at home there, like ‘Yes, these are all my people.'”
Get Acquainted with The Locksmiths!
For over three years, the burlesque artists of Pandora & The Locksmiths have drawn in crowds with their ornate costumes, flowing choreography, siren song, and undeniable stage presence but what has set this collective apart from the very start is the five-piece band that pulls every show together. The Locksmiths have featured talented guests but the mainstay musicians have seen the group through a great deal of artistic growth. Three band members, Alison Gorman, John Bews, and Sean Bayntun have shared a little bit about their history and why they enjoy playing music for burlesque.
Let’s get to know them better, shall we?
Alison Gorman – Trumpet
Alison plays with a number of Vancouver bands, including The Sweetpea Swing Band, The Salteens, and Pendomoja, as well as her own group, Queer As Funk. She feels so lucky to be in the Pandora and the Locksmiths’ family, and especially loves having the best seat in the house at every show! Guess what? You can celebrate New Year’s Eve with Alison and the whole Queer As Funk gang at the Capri Hall in Mount Pleasant!
John Bews – Bass
John loves working with the group. The opportunity to put on a different show each month with a troupe of dynamic performers is something he’s very grateful for. The dancers bring him so much joy through their diverse music selections, the creative arc of their routines, and with the energy they bring to rehearsals and to the stage. Sometimes the variety of music the band is given to recreate can be quite challenging, but thankfully Sean is a musical wizard and regularly saves John’s chart-making from being too simple or just blank. The other band members do all sorts of great things and all he has to do is play bass and enjoy. Lucky him!
Sean Bayntun – Keys
Sean studied and played classical piano from the age of 3 until he completed his Masters in Piano Performance. Along the way, he realized there were so many different musical genres and he wanted to play them all! Sean currently plays keyboards and synth in Facts and Synthcake, and plays keys and acts as Musical Director for theatre productions. He grew up playing for Nicky’s voice competitions and recitals, and about 4 years ago she and John asked if he was interested in playing in a jazz band for burlesque performers. Obviously he said yes! Jazz was something Sean hadn’t really explored yet and plus, who wouldn’t want to help provide the musical sass for amazing performers? With Pandora & The Locksmiths he works with dancers to help emphasize movements, transcribes 30 or so pages of music each month to turn new songs into arrangements the band can play, and plays with incredible jazz musicians where everyone listens and responds to each other. All in all, Sean just loves playing music, and playing music in collaborative settings is pretty much the best thing.
Hear them LIVE on the second Tuesday of every month at guilt&co!
Thank you Clint Trahan for the gorgeous photos!
Vancouver International Burlesque Festival 2014 Applications are Open!
Apply to hit the Vogue stage in May and check out the VIBF website for all the exciting new information!
The gears are turning in the heads of our members as we plan this year’s production submission. Unlike anything offered from Pandora at the VIBF before, we will examine the transformative nature of both classic and modern music, themes, and imagery. Godspeed our online application form!
Hmm… classic and modern. Classic? and modern? Kind of like pairing Debussy with Bjork… right?
We’ll just leave that there.
Well, that’s exciting! Our first ever show at FanClub! Wheee!! We do hope to see you there, it’s a BEAUTIFUL space with amazing sight lines and lights and sound, and we’re very thrilled to be performing on Granville Street again. Any time we can insert the burlesque counter culture into the pop culture is a good time by us! 😀
Speaking of which, some of our group members just got back from the Burlesque Hall of Fame! Brother Keys and I (Nicky) performed in the Movers, Shakers, and Innovators Showcase, Ruthe Ordare (with one of our fav performers Villainy Loveless) competed for Best Duo during the Tournament of Tease- and got a FULL standing ovation and brought many, many people to tears. And Burgundy Brixx was as dazzling as the sun in the Queen of Burlesque Category during the Tournament of Tease!
Special mention to Sweet Soul Burlesque led by sass queen Crystal Precious who also performed in the Movers, Shakers, and Innovators Showcase, as well as Lola Frost and Melody Mangler who seduced us in the Best Duo category, and Lola Frost in the Queen of Burlesque category winning 2nd Runner Up! Congratulations, girl! She was FIERCE!
We did NOT envy the decision making process the judges had to go through. Every single performer that was up on that stage was deserving of a prize. Quite literally the best of the best were showcased. I gave so many yelling, screaming, standing ovations I actually gave myself a headache. And I wasn’t the only one in that position! Damn! Amaaaazing.
So, on the tail end of the glittery performance wonder of BHoF, we come back super thrilled and inspired to up our game. We always want to up our game, but now it’s ON! We can’t wait to take this inspiration and the creativity that we’ve been offered, digest and absorb it, and put our all into our next creations! So, we really hope to see you at our next shows. We’re feeling fierce! *** Now for the eye candy…. 🙂
as part of
In honour of the fast approaching burlesque festivities, please enjoy some of the photos that were taken during the festival last year!
We are very excited about the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival! The board has been hard at work all year, but things are getting pretty intense now! Intense in the good kinda way, you know? Like when you feel you’re getting kinda werked and are like yeaaaaah… harder.
Anyhoo! The festival runs from May 2nd to May 4th, plus there is a wicked after party on the 5th at The Cellar. For reals, I’m going to be laughing my ass off all night. Or swooning 😉 -You should come too!
after the festival…
Tuesday May 14th at Guilt & Co
This coming month we are featuring the spectacular Lady Josephine! Burgundy Brixx, August Wiled, Nicky Ninedoors, Voracious V, and Carole Brunette round out the line up (uhhyeah they do), Ava Lure is our leggy stage manager for the evening and the night is hosted by the bombshell Mama Kay! Of course you’ll be treated to the musical stylings of The Locksmiths all night, so don’t miss out!
Doors 7 pm, show 9 pm, suggested donation is $10. Pretty good for a 13 person cast, right?
So mark it in your calendars, cuz sh*ts about to get real sparkly.
Now, where were we? Oh yes, dessert. Who says dessert can’t be good for you?
Please indulge in the photos that were taken by the talented Cameron Brown at our most recent show at Guilt. Isn’t his website just full of gorgeous, gorgeous photos? And his blog is pretty nifty, too! I get the feeling that you’ll be seeing lots more photos of his in the near future… 🙂
Tuesday April 9th, Show starts at 9 pm, Guilt & Co at 1 Alexander Street in Gastown. Suggested donation $10. Our regular monthly show! It’s a super fun night with cocktails and gorgeous food, a great atmosphere, and every month we prepare a different style of show for you!
We’ve been successfully running since September 2010, and since then there has been quite an evolution in our cast. Pandora has literally doubled in size, becoming what Ruthe Ordare refers to as an army of talent. We’ve all been really happy with how the show runs and the format we’ve come up with.
That being said…
Another evolution is approaching in the future. We have big plans. I’ve been plotting and budgeting and dreaming and scheming, and it’s going to happen. February 14th, 2014… Yep. Mark that in your calendar. You will want to be there.
In the meantime, if you have a friend who hasn’t been to our monthly show and isn’t terribly concerned because the monthly keeps happening… they should come out sometime. Sooner rather than later. Because evolution is inevitable, and change is good. And we want our audience to see our creative process when it comes to our productions. We don’t want you to miss out on how we’re getting where we’re going. We want you to continue to be a part of our history!
Speaking of history, fast approaching is the
Burgundy Brixx has put together a really great production that we’re a part of on the Thursday night, and our members are all over the showcases on Friday and Saturday! It’s pretty sweet. I highly recommend getting a weekend pass. Highly recommend!
and now… for set 2 of photos from our most recent show at Guilt!
Photography by Rene Blais. Colour edits by myself. I was feeling experimental this morning.
The videos are trickling their way onto Burlesque Stars, and since Voracious V is performing with us tomorrow it seemed appropriate to post a video of her.
This one, in particular, is from her solo performance at The Vogue. Naughty.
So, who’s coming to Guilt and Company Tuesday night?
Doors 7 pm, show starts at 9 pm.
Suggested donation $10.
plus the five piece music sensation The Locksmiths
Hosted by Mama Kay
with help from August Wiled