Coming Up Next…
Pandora & The Locksmiths Present: “Awakenings” featuring Black Dog String Quartet and Peekaboo Pointe
On the cusp of spring and summer, celebrate the many facets of femininity as they emerge into the beckoning day and smoulder through the intoxicating evening. Fierce and beautiful burlesque unfolds to the lush interpretations of a 10 piece orchestra playing classical, jazz, and modern day music. Our first independent, full-length production, “Awakenings” is a coming of age for the group and we’d love for you to celebrate with us at the Rio Theatre this Saturday, June 20! Tickets are available here and at the theatre with doors opening at 8PM.
PEEKABOO POINTE (NYC)
FemmeC for the evening:
With special guests:
BLACK DOG STRING QUARTET
We’re so excited about the amazing artists we’re collaborating with for this production. Want to learn a little more about them? Read on!
Guiding you through the evening will be Vancouver burlesque luminary, Lola Frost. As Vancouver’s Rock’N’Roll Flapper, Lola Frost is best known for combining her anachronistic styles of vintage and modern – a true 1920’s starlet with a kiss of Ramones grit. Her pieces are a sensorial experience to behold; an elegant blend of dance, theatre, and fervent striptease.
Performer, teacher and mentor, Lola is co-director of the Vancouver Burlesque Centre and integral member of Sweet Soul Burlesque. She has been internationally recognized at Tease-o-Ramma and the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, where she was awarded “Sexy, Sultry, Sizzlin’ Striptease” (2009) and “Most Dazzling Dancer” (2013). She has, with great honor, competed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in the categories of Best Debut (2010), Best Duo (2012 & 2013), Best Troupe (2010), and in 2013 won 2nd runner up in the category of reigning Queen of Burlesque – Miss Exotic World.
A published and noted writer she has been featured on the 21st Century Burlesque Magazine site and in the Berlesker: Handcrafted Literary Journal along with keeping her own blog with a steadily growing following.
Black Dog String Quartet
Black Dog String Quartet will be joining The Locksmiths to create a 10 piece orchestra and a truly unique sound. Formed in 2007, the Black Dog String Quartet is comprised of some of Vancouver’s finest young musicians. The group has appeared on the recordings of artists such as 54-40, Marianas Trench, Bleeding Through, and many others. Individual members have performed live on stage with some of the world’s top acts, including Kanye West, Sting, Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Video Games Live.
The quartet’s excellent playing and reputation have landed them in studios with producers like Warne Livesey (Midnight Oil, The Matthew Good Band), Dave Genn (54-40, Hedley), and Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad). Recent performance highlights include appearances with Tambura Rasa, Vancouver Peace Choir, and Karen Flamenco Dance Company.They’ve been a featured ensemble at the Sonic Boom Festival of New Music and at Classical Revolution Vancouver, and all four members play regularly with multiple regional symphony orchestras.
Their solid classical background, high skill level, and collective open-mindedness set the Black Dog String Quartet apart as one of Vancouver’s most unique and versatile ensembles.
All the way from New York City, Peekaboo Pointe will be headlining this Saturday’s production! Peekaboo Pointe, known as the “Fastest Tassel-Twirler from East to West,” has graced the stage of nearly every burlesque show in New York City, and continues on her mission of “Seducing the World, one stage at a time.”
Peekaboo started out as a classically trained modern dancer studying under Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris Dance Group, and a host of other notable choreographers. With an early background in ballet and tap, she eventually ventured off on a rare and unusual tour of Cuba studying Afro-Cuban Dance with the group Cutumba. Since then, Peekaboo has applied her extensive knowledge of dance to the nightlife of New York City and turned it into striptease gold. She embodies classic burlesque glamour, but can’t resist throwing a little seductive shock into each of her performances. As if that’s not enough, Peekaboo’s talented tassels spin not only on stage but also on a higher level. Adoring audiences are left breathless as she performs her rare and impressive shows of skill on the pole!
Peekaboo and her twirling tassels have wowed crowds all over the world! Most recently touring with the highly acclaimed show “Cabaret New Burlesque” for 2 tours all over France. She has performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, headlined the Austrailian Burlesque Festival 2012 and another coast-coast tour of Australia with the Burlesque Ball 2010. She was a featured performer at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the award winning show “Vive La Cabaret”. She did a 6 week tour of the UK and Ireland and Sweden. She performed in Venice Italy for MTV, and almost every city in Spain with Los Straightjackets and the Pontani Sisters. Not to mention a US tour headlining the Dos Equis Midnight Revue, and several US tours with Burlesque-a-Pades. She has even made it all the way to Russia to perform! When at home in NYC she was a cast member of the long running shows “This is Burlesque” (2007-2009) and “Guilty Pleasures” (2006-2007) and has performed at over 100 different venues in New York City including Duane Park, Slipper Room, Highline Ballroom, and The Box, just to name a few.
The excitement is growing, make sure you don’t miss out! Let us know you’ll be catching the show by clicking “attending” on Facebook. See us step out on our own this Saturday!
Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
“Awakenings” was last seen in 2014 at the VIBF. With added material, a larger cast, and our wonderful guests, the upcoming production of the show displays the overall progression of the piece. In May of this year, we debuted another production, “Visions of Lore” at the 10th annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. Reimaging myths and legends, we brought our brand of dark magic to the stage. Take a look at these amazing photos by Fubarfoto, Cameron Brown, and WeDo Photo!
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.
Visions of Lore – VIBF 2015
That’s right people! Get yourselves ready for our next big production! Visions of Lore will debut at this year’s Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. Comprised of entirely new material, Visions of Lore explores interpretation of myth and legend from a female perspective. Join us on this quest for power, knowledge, beauty, and danger on May 2nd at the Vogue Theatre.
Now, we don’t want to give it all away but we do want to share some inspiration with you! Dive into our hearts and minds to discover the beings that will be gracing the stage.
Thought of as the first woman to be created by the gods, Pandora received many gifts of knowledge from the divine world. Her curiosity led to the releasing of all things terrible on earth when she opened that fateful box.
Known as “the divine personification of the breeze,” the Aurae command both light and blustering winds. Stunning to behold, the Aurae disappear and reappear while gliding through the air.
Represented by Eunomia, the goddess of law and order and Itzpapalotl, the skeletal warrior goddess with flint-tipped claws, the moth is forever in conflict with itself. Can she resist the flame, or will she take on its destructive power?
Curious for more? Next week we’ll be sharing three more mythical beings with you!
March at the Fox Cabaret
Wait a sec, it’s just been pictures of not us this entire blog post! Let’s get re-acquainted, shall we? Thank you, David Tresham for these sassy photos of our March show at the Fox Cabaret.
Coming Up Next…
Pandora & The Locksmiths at the Fox Cabaret
Yes, yes, y’all the whole gang is back together and ready to put on a show! We’re returning to the Fox stage with our signature brand of scintillation: a revue of slick performances, unique style, and amazing music. We can’t wait to see aaallll the friends, old and new, so make sure to get your tickets!
On stage this Friday, March 13 you will see:
Doors are at 7:30 with general admission tickets at $15 and VIP tickets at $35. See you there, lovelies!
What’s Up, Pandora?
Even though we haven’t performed together for the general public since December doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! Let’s catch up, why don’t we?
We had the opportunity to perform in smaller groups at some of Vancouver’s most lavish parties this winter. Both Gastown Gazette and Prohibition at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia celebrated new beginnings and we were there to entertain their crowds!
Ariel Helvetica has been quite the globetrotting showgirl this winter. She’s high-kicked some major butt at the Southwest Burlesque Showcase in New Mexico and Atame in Montreal last month. Coming up, she’ll be heading down to Portland for Rue Royale Burlesque.
February was full of action! Voracious V and Nicky Ninedoors both brought down the house in Burlesque Duos on February 14.
Ava Lure has been busy behind the scenes, co-producing Skin Game at The Emerald and working on the 10th Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. And guess what? She’s just been accepted to compete on the Saturday night of the Texas Burlesque Festival in Austin!
And all together, we will be debuting a brand new production, Visions of Lore, at the upcoming VIBF! Voracious V, Ruthe Ordare, Miss Fitt, Ariel Helvetica, and Ava Lure are also performing solos in the showcase sets. Here’s to another festival season!
With a winter like that, no wonder we’re bouncing into spring. Here we go!
New Year’s Eve at the Hotel Vancouver
We rang in the new year at one of the city’s most glamorous venues, the historic Hotel Vancouver! David Tresham caught the magic in his camera, relive it here:
Coming up Next…
Pandora & The Locksmiths at Guilt&Co with RAVEN VIRGINIA
Coming all the way from Calgary, Alberta, this month’s special guest is none other than RAVEN VIRGINIA. Raven is a member of the Garter Girls and has graced stages across North America, including the Burlesque Hall of Fame and our very own Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. Join us in sizzling Gastown on July 8th for a show that shouldn’t be missed!
The ladies of Pandora will be serving you two numbers each this evening.
On stage you will see:
With vocals from our stage mistress:
Our fabulous host:
And live music in an array of styles from:
Doors are at 8:00pm with the show starting at 9:00pm. Suggested $10 donation at the door, with all proceeds going to the artists.
Bring your hand fans and wear something flowy- this is sure to be a hot one!
June at Guilt&Co
Our June show kicked off the summer in style! Relive the glamour with sultry photos from Bob Ayers.
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.
Only days away from Nouveau Paris, are you excited?
We sure are!
Late November will be host to a number of other extra special events that feature some of our members… Curious?
On November 24th you can look forward to the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival Association’s first event of the year, it’s the Burlesque Bazaar! This event is the brainchild of Mama Kay, and is sure to delight! Titivate so you can titillate with goodies from over 10 amazing vendors. Did you know that four of our members are on the first all-female board of directors for the VIBF? Burgundy Brixx reigns as President, Nicky Ninedoors act as Vice President, and Mama Kay and Ava Lure sit as Members-at-Large. Busy busy!
Burlesque Long Form
Powerhouse producer April O’Peel is back with this year’s edition of Burlesque Long Form. This innovative show challenges Vancouver’s top burlesque artists to create and perform an extended piece. This year, the lineup will feature our very own Voracious V and Burgundy Brixx! Make sure to get tickets in advance here as they are sure to go fast!
Burgundy Brixx will be featured in the upcoming “Best Of” edition of PinCurl Magazine! PinCurl is one of the burlesque community’s most trusted magazines and this year’s December issue will proudly include an interview and photo spread of Ms. Brixx in all her winter-time glory. Southern P&L fans, take note- Burgundy will be performing in Viva Dallas Burlesque for the issue launch on December 6th, and also in Corpus Christi for the After Dark Revue, December 7th.
Lots of amazing information in there, maybe we don’t need eye candy this time…
Cameron Brown captured some of our ladies’ best assets last month at Sugar & Spice, take a peek!
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.
Hitting the stage at 9 pm on February 12th at Guilt & Co…
See you there!
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind! Winter is a really busy season for burlesque, what with religious holidays and all, and on top of it I just got back from performing in the 1st Annual Minneapolis Burlesque Festival with Sean! WHEEEE! We performed “Nude” in their beautiful Ritz Theatre (Ummm… Vancouver? You need a theatre like that) and just came back so overwhelmingly inspired. It was our first out of town festival, and getting to meet so many international talent machines was just incredible. I could gush for days.
Sandwiching the MBF, getting applications in for both the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival and the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Vegas, doing photo shoots and video shoots, plus now buckling down and creating the first duet between Burgundy Brixx and myself (excited!) for April O’Peel’s Burlesque Duos on Valentine’s at The Rio (Miss Fitt is also in that show!)…. it’s a little busy. I’m also going to be fan dancing in my good friend Mackenzie Gray’s Crazy 8’s film “Under The Bridge of Fear”, and I’m really excited about that. Burgundy Brixx is a part of that, too, plus many people connected to our glorious burlesque community here in Vancouver.
Did I mention that it’s also my birthday coming up? Yeah, let’s talk more about MEMEME! It’s my birthday on Sunday, Feb 17th, and I’ll be celebrating in the way that pleases me most- by shaking my stuff for tips at Kitty Nights! I’m one of those people who haaaaates to plan a party and would rather be working than plan a party… by dancing at Kitty Nights, I get to do both! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate, to be honest, than sweating all over a wad of caaaaashhh. Right? I’m going to be wearing Pants. Yes, you heard me. PANTS. And you can bet they will be your FAVOURITE PANTS EVER. They’re the only pair of pants that I actually own and wear. So clearly they are magical.
Enough of this yapping. You came here for photos.
This week we’re featuring Lotus Eater Films, who came out to our show in January.
With Summer Groove just around the corner, we felt it was time to introduce you to another new member of our collective…
But before we get to her interview (and gallery! Shazam!) let me tell you a little bit about our upcoming show. We have a craaaazy lineup in store for you, and this show is all about the groove. Burgundy Brixx and I will be performing, as per usual, and Miss Fitt will be lending her sweet voice for the show, but in addition to that we have fierce burlesque vocalist Miss Kiss, and Vancouver’s high energy sweet-heart from Sweet Soul Burlesque and the Vancouver Burlesque Centre, Cherry On Top! We’ve never performed with her before and we’ve been dying to for a long time! And with Cherry in the mix, you know there will be lots of booty groovin music abounding. Have I mentioned how hard we work our musicians? One month it’s all 1940s and classic jazz, the next month we make them do funk and soul. And they switch gears like nobodies business. NBD.
Alright. Let’s get to know Miss Kiss. And let me give you a disclaimer- this little kissing bandit is much more likely to throw you down and kiss you than wait for a knight in shining armour to come deliver one. She’s fierce. Read about her. The lady is gettin naked for you, so get to know her!
What is your performance and training background?
After being out of school for a year, my Mom said I better get doing something, so I thought, okay, I like to sing and express myself and dress up in costumes – how bout musical theatre? So I auditioned for the Capilano Musical Threatre Diploma Program. So that is three years of training which includes, but was not limited to: singing, acting, jazz, tap, ballet, film, music theory, and a lot of masterclasses! This does not mean I am a pro at all these things, but I have lots to draw on for performances should I need them! I learned that you can really disguise how terrible you are at tap if you learn to smile…ha! I was the rocker girl dressing up as Alice Cooper for first year ice breakers and not having a clue who Sondheim was. I quickly learned though! I have performed with many local theatre companies since graduating, including Gateway Threatre, Theatre Under the Stars and the Arts Club Theatre.
I also started getting into Marilyn Monroe around Grade 9. My dad bought me a Monroe lunchbox as a gift for good grades and I started watching her films and wearing red lipstick everyday – with my doc martins and bondage pants. So I have always had this mix of rock n’ roll and glamour. I also found out I make a terrible blonde and could not be Monroe.
Enter Bettie Page and the burlesque world. “Oh my gawd! So amazing! Where can I find this world?!” I asked myself as a little girl from Surrey. Well thank goodness for The Purrrfessor!!! We were in a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with TUTS in 2008 and he told me about Kitty Nights, that I should come out, and maybe Go-Go sometime. Thank you Jesus! Ha! Here are all these amazing women who come in all shapes, sizes and colours just kicking ass on stage being sexy and fun and strong! Love love love at first sight! So needless to say, I did Go-Go, and went on to start doing my own numbers. Burgundy Brixx really showed me how it is done and has always been someone who inspires me as a performer, teacher and friend.
So more on the “why burlesque”: it is a medium where I feel I get to truly express myself and my vision how I choose. It gives me a chance to be my own character instead of one already created in a script. It also has helped me be more comfortable with myself. Miss Kiss does not have body issues or insecurities – she just wants to have a good time and entertain!
We’re really stoked to work with Miss Kiss. She has a massive voice, as you may have seen during our “Night Owl Revue” production for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, or in Blue Morris’ Beatles Burlesque. With the amount of skill she has, it’s no wonder we’re all trying to get a piece!
Enjoy the photos!
okay, take two…
(wordpress ate the entry the last time I published it, sending it into nowhere….*shakes fist**prays it doesn’t happen again…*)
Heat Wave! with Pandora and The Locksmiths is when we’re officially introducing you to our newest contributors to the collective…
You’ve seen them setting up our microphones and picking up our finery while dressed to the nines, perhaps you’ve popped some of their balloons while they’ve paraded around, classic showgirl style, and you haven’t seen them while they’ve been backstage helping us get ready and organized in between acts. Sweepers or stage kittens, ladies and gentlemen, are incredibly valuable to a show. In fact, totally invaluable. We’ve done a couple shows without sweepers (or hosts) and in addition to laughing wildly at ourselves for making such a decision later on, it’s made it really apparent how much on-the-ball energy goes into this facet of our production. A f*cking lot.
Since September 2010, we’ve been utilizing various talents in the community. First it was our good friend Voracious V, and she’s moved on to do her own performing with us every few months. Next to sweep for us was the bombshell Ruthe Ordare, one of Burgundy’s students from the School of Tease (Vancouver Burlesque Centre). We took Tease II together, actually! After Ruthe, we worked with the striking Ava Lure, a student of Melody Mangler’s at Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society. And the newest addition is the magnificent August Wiled, another of Burgundy’s students. So the next series of blog entries until I come up with some new idea (just gimme some time!) is all about them, starting with…
We’ve enjoyed working with this fox since last August, and as we watch her develop as a burlesque performer we just keep getting more excited! We can’t wait to have her debut with the band in the future- date to be announced…
Read the silly Q&A I made her do!
What is your performance and training background?
I grew up doing theatre in school and was in a pre-professional dance program outside of school as a teenager, and after that I got my diploma in theatre from Douglas College where I got to work with some of the most amazing people ever! I’m now going into my third year of the BFA Theatre Performance program at SFU School for Contemporary Arts. How many times can I say “Theatre” in one paragraph?
How and when and why did you get into burlesque?
In 2009 I went to my classmate’s graduation from Screaming Chicken’s Becoming Burlesque class and immediately enrolled in the next one as an “acting challenge.” I graduated in March 2010 and have been performing part-time (alongside full-time theatre school) ever since. I have always been fascinated by the idea of the “showgirl,” or “exotic dancer” in the olde-timey sense of the word, and had watched Moulin Rouge a billion times and could quote it off the top of my head. After taking Burgundy’s Elements of Tease, I fell in love with the history of burlesque. The most fantastic thing I discovered about the art is how much freedom is possible within a seemingly basic form.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
50s and 60s music ad dresses, the early 20th century fascination with beauty, Ziegfeld and Berkley glamour, Vladimir Nabokov’s exquisite perversion, Frank Miller’s femmes fatales, and Shakespeare’s open heart.
I’m really excited to attend the Veiwpoints Training Workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts in July!
Don’t you just wanna pop some balloons off of her? You do? Perfect! July 10th at Guilt and Co is the date you’re looking for.
See you there!
While you’re anxiously awaiting our Heat Wave! production at Guilt & Company……
we’ve got a delectable stash of photos for you to enjoy in the meantime. Omnomnom!
Here is Act 2 of our most recent show at Guilt, photographed by Cameron Brown.
PS- congratulations to the new board of directors for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival– directors continuing on include Roxette Starr, Mike Cooper, Blue Morris, Sparkle Plenty, and April O’Peel. The board has welcomed Stevie Lix and Nicky Ninedoors into the sparkly workaholic fold! Let the world domination begin!
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
We’ve been very fortunate this festival to have amazing photographers left right and centre!
Today, dearest viewers, you get to see some of the best photos that WeDo Photo took of Pandora and The Locksmiths during the first two nights of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.
Note- not all our members are featured in these photos. We had fantastic performances by Burgundy Brixx, stage help by Ava Lure, Ruthe Ordare, and Callio P. Cock, a rainbow fest by Miss Fitt, that foxy Carole Brunette, Rebel Valentine and Miss Kiss helping out on vocals… but hey! These were the photos I got, and they are damn good!
In case you didn’t notice, our blog is going through a slow transformation into the land of less black and red, and more colour. Also, you can expect to see a whole lot more of our members featured on the main page in the next couple weeks. We’re also going to start featuring our most trusted designer, Messica Demolition, in “costume creation” themed blogs. And we’re going to feature our musical machine. Sean “Brother Keys” Bayntun, in a blog showcasing how he breaks down each track and charts it out like the crazy talented motherf*cker that he is. As a live music and burlesque collective we have a large team of people to keep the fabulous standards high! We feature professional singers, professional dancers, burlesque artists, and, of course, five (or more) absolutely stellar professional musicians- not to mention relying on a few very talented designers to make our custom costume dreams come true. At our shows you can always expect to hear smokin music and see variety in with top-notch tease artists. That’s just how we like it. No element is more important than the other. It’s all about quality entertainment, baby!
Our next show is on June 11th (we’re on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Guilt & Co) and our lineup is Burgundy Brixx, yours truly, Miss Fitt, Voracious V, and the newest Pandora and The Locksmiths member will be keepin us all (and our costumes) in line, August Wiled! Doors 7 pm, show 9 pm. Admission by suggested $10 donation. (In addition to bringing you the best quality, we like to be accessible, so you can still have a wonderful scotch to accompany the show without breaking your wallet!)
Here’s hoping these photos will tide you over until we get our next batch of glory in from one of the talented photographers that we’re so lucky to encounter in our performances!
Nicky Ninedoors – and the whole Pandora and The Locksmiths gang!
Well, I decided that I’m going to take a day off tomorrow, so you get lucky and get the last photos from William Stewart today!
Continuing on in the back story…
So, a little while after our first meeting, I was sad to discover that I wasn’t able to take the burlesque course that I wanted exactly when I wanted, and that I was going to have to wait until the next session. BOO. How would I continue my friendship with the mysterious little pinup with the helmet-wearing friend? Displeased! But, to be honest, it gave me time to warm my mom and dad up to what I was doing anyways. Don’t get me wrong, my parents now come to every show and sit pretty much front row whenever they can, but there was a famous quote uttered once…
“What, are you going to do burlesque as a career?”
“Well… why not? I’m good at it.” 🙂
It only took a couple shows for them to figure out where this was all coming from, and how it was actually preeeetty much what I’m made to do (ie. make a spectacle of myself), so I won their undying support in short order!
So, in January, I went to my first class…. and who walks in, but that quirky lady again! Turns out we were completely on the same page and fate decided to keep us together!
That’s pretty much it. We went through Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society’s Becoming Burlesque together, then decided we would hang out all the time, then Pandora & The Locksmiths was formed, and the rest is history in the making.
Oh yeah… hope to see you at our next show at Guilt & Co on June 11th. Voracious V is performing, and we’ve got a new naughty duet we’ll be debuting….
Where did I leave off last time? Ahhhh yes. So, we were dancing at The Lamplighter. I was already very curious about this quirky lady who was going to be going to burlesque school. Our group decided that they wanted to go somewhere else… I don’t know. Somewhere fairly pretentious/douchey. Whatever. So, we went along, and met up with her friend Karen, who had just arrived via bicycle. Upon finding out where we were going, Karen decided that no, she would not check her bicycle helmet, and that she was just going to wear it all night. For protection against douche-boys. The theory didn’t exactly work, but was absolutely hilarious. I was pretty convinced that these people, at this point, were definitely A.O.K.
Story to be continued…!
Here! Now you’ve listened to my drivel, enjoy some pretty photos by William Stewart!
Ahhh, more photos of myself and Voracious V from William Stewart.
Here’s a little backstory about how Voracious V and I came to be friends.
Back when I was working as a waitress, there was a girl I worked with whom I would occasionally go out and party with. I was kind of over the club scene at that point (I no longer really drank and that killed it for me) but every once in a while I definitely needed to dance. One night we were out at The Lamplighter and she introduced me to V, saying “She is going to do a burlesque course!”. I was really surprised, because I thought I was definitely the only person to have such a cool idea. No, not really, but to be honest I hadn’t come across anyone else who was like “I AM GOING TO STRIPPER SCHOOL! YAY!” and I was incredibly intrigued. Who was this little lady, with her super curvy body and her quirky mannerisms? WHO WAS SHE?
As I was going to do the same thing, I said “Me too!”. We proceeded to discover that we were signed up for the same session with Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society! WHOA.
There’s more to this story, obviously. But, just in case you didn’t know, I’m a professional tease. You’ll get more. When I say you’ll get more. Now, for some photos.
I’m a big fan of contrast. So imagine my delight when I discovered I could get my hands on photos of myself and Voracious V taken by William Stewart for The Straight from The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. Ummmmm, I’m not sure if you were there to witness the two acts we did, but we were VERY different. Both ended up pretty damn naked though (in custom made underthings by Messica Demolition, obviously, and our own hand made “naked” crystal pasties- very naughty!)
So, in the next few blog posts I’m going to be posting photos of both myself and my lovely purple friend Voracious V. Enjoy!
Well, I don’t have much to say, other than my hands are slowly but surely getting a hold of some really fantastic photos.
In the meantime, since I’m on my computer, and it has all the files of photos of me, you get a couple nudish photos of me by the talented Shimona Henry. Should Miss Fitt or Burgundy Brixx be so inclined (hint hint) to do the same, perhaps you will see some photos of them in the next few days too!
So, see you at Guilt & Co on Tuesday the 8th (tomorrow!) for our monthly show, right? Doors 7 pm, show 9 pm!
This past weekend with the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival has truly been out of this world. The performances were incredible, the attendance was fantastic, and the festival is just getting bigger and better every year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!
I feel very blessed to have this woman in my life. Having Burgundy Brixx‘s expertise, creativity, and professionalism to look up to has really inspired a “the sky is the limit” belief system in me, and I am forever grateful. Her guidance for the festival since she moved here from New York four years ago is evident in its evolution as one of “the” entertainment events of the year to be at. The combination of talents across our community- diverse, inspiring, multifaceted performers and producers and enthusiasts- have made the festival what it is, and continue to make the festival what it’s becoming. Glory!