Paco Fish blogs about his Burlesque Hall of Fame experience! So many of our favourite acts are mentioned in here- and even Nicky Ninedoors and Brother Keys, plus Ruthe Ordare and Villainy Loveless make it into his review!
Week 10 – Burlesque Hall of Fame.
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…. 🙂
Paris a Minuit!
On March 29 at The Rio Theater, join some of Vancouver’s finest burlesque performers with special guests for an evening of burlesque, dance, comedy, and circus with a French flare! Produced by Miss Fitt, the evening features the diverse burlesque talents of Melody Mangler, April O’Peel, Nicky Ninedoors, Voracious V, Ruthe Ordare, Connie Cahoots, Voodoo Pixie, and August Wiled, joined by superstar variety acts, including Luciterra, The Hot Pants, Ally ‘Oop, The Funky Yukinator, and accordionist Kathryn Peterson. Get dressed up in your most chic outfits, because there’s a Parisian Photo Booth at the event, too! Tickets in advance $15, door $20. Get advance tickets at Scout Boutique or through the title link.
60s Groove at Guilt & Company
on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, we put on a live music and burlesque extravaganza! This month, we’re groovin to the tune of the 60s. Featuring performances by Miss Fitt, Ruthe Ordare, Burgundy Brixx, Nicky Ninedoors, with help from August Wiled, and scintillating music by The Locksmiths.
Suggested donation $10. Show 9 pm. 1 Alexander St in Gastown.
We’re very excited to announce that our very own Ruthe Ordare, Nicky Ninedoors, and Burgundy Brixx have been accepted into the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas! Ruthe Ordare is competing in the Best Duo category with Villainy Loveless (You’ve seen her perform with us before, she’s rad, obvs), Nicky Ninedoors is performing with Brother Keys in the Movers, Shakers, and Innovators Showcase, and Burgundy Brixx is competing for the Queen of Burlesque Title! WOW! We are incredibly honoured. We were all planning on going anyways because BHoF is such an amazing pile of glittery inspiration and love, and now we get to be right up in that pile! Special shout out to Sweet Soul Burlesque who will also be performing in the Movers, Shakers, and Innovators Showcase, Melody Mangler and Lola Frost who are in the Duos competition, and Lola Frost who is also in the Queen competition! Go Vancouver!
And now… onto photos from our Get Away! production at Guilt & Co.
Photography for the evening by Rene Blais
We thought you might enjoy this interview with our own Burgundy Brixx by 21st Century Burlesque as a part of their series profiling the competitors for this year’s title of “Reigning Queen of Burlesque” at the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s “Tournament of Tease” coming up on June 2nd 2012 in Las Vegas!
BHoF 2012 – The Road to Reigning Queen: Burgundy Brixx [7/11]
Published on May 17, 2012 by 21st Century Burlesque
As we count down to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, let’s find out more about the eleven talented temptresses competing for Reigning Queen! I have asked each of them about their lives, personalities, preparations and plans, so that those who don’t already know them well can learn a little about them and their work, and those of us who know them better can enjoy their thoughtful and entertaining responses.
Next up, Vancouver vixen, Burgundy Brixx…
Burgundy Brixx ©Shimona Henry
If I looked you up in a twinkling, rhinestone covered burlesque dictionary, what would the entry for ‘Burgundy Brixx’ say?
A born entertainer who uses her innovative mind, performance training and sense of whimsy to create unexpected burlesque magic. Works tirelessly to create sustainability for the art form of burlesque through producing, educating and performing.
Paint us a little picture of your everyday life and work in Vancouver…
I’m fortunate to be able to do what I love each and every day. Producing a weekly show is extremely time consuming, but it’s now my official job and for that I’m proud and grateful. My week’s work consists of booking my future performers, designing my weekly fliers, gathering information from my performers of the week, promoting the event(s) and seeking out new promotional angles and sponsorship opportunities. Since I perform in my show each week, I’m also constantly working on new numbers, perfecting old ones, rehearsing and creating costumes and props. I feel an obligation to both my fans and to the burlesque community at large to try to be excellent whenever and wherever I perform. There’s always someone in the audience seeing a burlesque show for the first time, and my goal is to seduce and delight and educate that person so that they’ll want to attend more burlesque shows in the future. I also teach classes to introduce women to the art and tradition of burlesque, as well as ballet for grace and style at the beautiful studio I opened with two of my colleagues – The Vancouver Burlesque Centre. Although it’s all extremely demanding and I rarely (if ever!) have a day off, I consider myself to be blessed for the opportunity to live and sustain myself by means of my own creativity and art.
What would you say is your greatest strength?
What has been the highlight or defining moment of your career to date, and also in your life overall?
A few years ago I met a former burlesque artist living in Nelson, British Columbia named Judith Stein. Not knowing anything about her except what I heard from a few of the other Legends at BHoF in 2009, I asked the other board members of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival if we could invite her to perform in our festival in 2010. Ms. Stein took the stage and grabbed hold, literally stopping the show. I was asked to introduce her onstage, so I was watching from the wings. I will never forget the thrill I felt in my heart when she turned upstage near the end of her number, head thrown back, beaming, joy pouring from her entire gorgeous body; the fact that I was a small part of making that moment happen was the most magical moment of my career to date. Right then I set my sights on trying to help Judith get to perform in Las Vegas at BHoF for Legends Night (in her long career, she had never got to play Vegas!) and although my Canadian immigration issues prevented me from seeing her hit the stage last year, the phone call I received from her right after she rocked the house was one of the most gratifying and magical moments I have ever experienced.
Judith Stein performing at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Legends Night in Las Vegas, 2011
Photo by Chris Beyond Photography
Can you tell me a bit about your chosen act? Why have you chosen it, is it an old trusted act, or a new routine? Have you made any special changes or ‘upgrades’ to it for BHoF?
This act is one I debuted exactly one year ago at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival in a show with a live R&B band, but it’s to a piece of music I’ve been planning on doing a number to since I first set foot on a burlesque stage, so it’s extremely gratifying to have my long-standing fantasy become a reality in so many ways. I designed and created every single piece of the costume myself, which I’m extremely proud of. Costuming is a huge part of my process, since I studied it fervently in college along with theatre arts. When I’m really proud of my costume, it adds profoundly to my excitement to perform. It’s a number I absolutely LOVE performing on every level, and I think the audience has a great time too. It’s just me – no props. There are some slight upgrades to the costume (of course!) and to the opening sequence, but otherwise it’s a solid number that I’m just thrilled to share with my burlesque peers on the big BHoF stage!
“…there really is so much value in healthy competition. It challenges us all to challenge ourselves to reach into the depths of our souls to create the best possible art and audience experience that we can, without settling for the comfort of mediocrity. Art will always be relative, but excellence is appreciated by all!”
Is competing something you enjoy, or that pushes or encourages you to excel?
I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with the concept of competition in the past, but this past year I’ve been able to look beyond my personal fears and inhibitions (we all have ‘em!) and into the broader scope of the idea to find that there really is so much value in healthy competition. It challenges us all to challenge ourselves to reach into the depths of our souls to create the best possible art and audience experience that we can, without settling for the comfort of mediocrity. Art will always be relative, but excellence is appreciated by all!
Why is BHoF special and important to you? What are some of your favourite memories from past years?
My first year attending BHoF was entirely overwhelming. The Thursday night showcase blew me away and I couldn’t imagine that there could be three more nights of world-class, innovative entertainment to follow! That Friday night was my very first experience witnessing Legends of Burlesque perform. You will NEVER forget your first time. It’s a life changing, invigorating, emotionally draining experience; the rest of the weekend I was teary-eyed, exhausted from applauding, and walking around like a zombie in a crazy cloud of love. The joy of the weekend, that spirit of family that Jennie Lee brought to her peers is so important for us all to take back to our individual communities. Equally important is the fund-raising mission of the weekend in support of the museum and it’s work; building awareness of our history and working to both retain our fading past while sustaining a vibrant future for all of us.
How would you spend your year as Queen – do you have any specific plans or goals if you win?
The Sustainability of Burlesque – it’s always my goal and the underlying project within all of my work. I believe there is room within the art form we define as Burlesque for a vast array of styles and flavours, as well as amazing future innovations not yet presented. But we all have a responsibility if we want to sustain our world. Understanding and respecting the past is the way we create the future. We call ourselves a community, but are we truly acting like one? If we draw on each other’s strengths, the richness of our history (both written and unwritten) and leave room for diversity, there will be a day when the umbrella of burlesque is so great that we all can work, live and love under it, side by side.
What are your dreams and hopes for burlesque in the future, and yourself as a part of it?
My goal is to see burlesque legitimately recognised as its own individual art form. Dance. Theatre. Music. Burlesque. While burlesque uses aspects of dance, music, and theatre, it cannot be categorised within any one of them. Once burlesque is recognised as its own entity, all the myriad styles and forms within our world will be able to blossom and take shape, and there WILL be room for everyone. It may not happen in my lifetime, but I’m never going to stop crusading for that goal.