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Big Burns Supper and burlesque performance

 

The Big Burns Supper in Dumfries is quite a spectacle. Around 4,500 people parade through the streets carrying lanterns, along with floats, marching bands and poetry-reciting performers. Then there’s a a supper festival and street carnival and a firework display. The whole thing kicks off in front of the Burns statue, of course.

 

One part of the festival would have delighted the rowdy poet, the very grown up cabaret show put on as part of the evening’s events. It’s a 5 star burlesque event, taking place in the huge mirrored Spiegeltent for 18+ audiences only, and those attending are invited to ‘dress up’ which could mean anything from a kilt to … well, the weather might determine just how far ‘dress up’ might be taken!

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Posted By Victoria Barber

Burlesque festival threatened by floods

 

Many businesses and individuals have been hard hit by this winter’s floods, and the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival is no exception. The show, which takes place between 28 April and 1 May, was fully planned, but now has to face the fact that all four of its venues have been badly flooded. The Festival’s producers, Heidi Bang Tidy and Lady Wildflower, commented that, “Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged in the worst floods our little corner of Yorkshire has seen in almost 70 years. Many friends and supporters of the festival lost their homes and their livelihoods when a month’s rain fell in just 24 hours.”

 

However they are determined to go ahead, even if they have to find new venues. They were planning to release tickets and the programme on 1 January, but they have delayed that process while they try to identify new venues to host shows and their Burlesque bazaar. If you haven’t been to Hebden Bridge, it’s a Burlesque Festival in its fourth year with a great range of activities and this might be the year to offer it some support, as attending will also reward the local businesses that have been so horribly affected by the bad weather.

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Posted By Victoria Barber

Sapphira desperately seeking Branson

 

Yes, she’s at it again. Miss Sapphira is after Richard Branson one more time. Not content with her Guinness World Record in 2014, she’s now attempting to get 300 burlesquers to take part in her Burlesque A Peel, yet another world record attempt, taking place on 13 February 2016 in London. What’s it in aid of this time? Well Sapphira, actually. Now she wants Branson to mentor her as she launches her self-funded music album Mistress on her own record label. In return, she’s pledging 10% of profits from sales of the album to his charity.

 

Hmmm … of course we recognise that burlesque performers are inspired by all kinds of things, people and events, but this focus on getting Richard Branson’s attention might be seen as a little needy? One of the great characteristics of burlesque is the way that it empowers its participants to take charge of their own lives, rather than waiting for others to come along and help them.

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Posted By Victoria Barber

Violet Von Riot

Vioet Von Riot was not only a finalist in last year’s UK-wide Miss Pin-up Competition but also has a real talent for portraiture. The burlesque artist is based in Frome, Somerset and it’s there that her exhibition ‘The Performers’ is currently being staged.


Violet studied art but was put off when she failed to graduate because she hadn’t completed some written course work. Later she went on to studying art therapy and this, allied to her work as a burlesque dancer, gave her access to many people who had a rebellious, passionate attitude and were pushing the boundaries of what life offered. It’s no surprise that Violet Von Riot performs a burlesque homage to artist Frida Kahlo and her art is similarly exuberant and transgressive. The exhibition features famous faces as well as performers Violet has worked alongside and self portraits and offers an interesting insight into how burlesque and other creative pursuits can often spring from the same inspiration. 

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Posted By Victoria Barber

Burlesque Christmas Decor

Burlesque Christmas Decor

Stuck for an Xmas theme this year? Why not burlesque? We’ve seen any number of gorgeous burlesque-based decors in recent years but we also think it’s a wonderful way to ramp up your burlesque for the year ahead. As an example, looking at the broad burlesque theme of our illustration, why not consider replacing the crowns with beautiful brassieres hung on the tree, their cups filled with gilded fruit and nuts, long elegant gloves laid across the branches and lacy masks illuminated by Christmas tree lights?

Obviously this isn’t a family friendly approach to Christmas decorations, but even if you have to create a little ‘bedroom tree’ for you and your loved one, this is a great way to bring burlesque to the fore over the Christmas period and beyond …

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Posted By Victoria Barber

Yes, November can be a tough month - grey, wet, cold and generally not that sexy - so we’re bringing glamour to the fore with some stories to inspire you to burlesque like a diva.

 

First up - Dita von Teese teaches us to find burlesque bargains at car boot sales!

 

Dita Von Teese went bric-a-brac shopping with LA journal Racked and we were so thrilled by her hints and tips that we decided to share them with you.

 

First off, what did Dita wear to shop?  A vintage 1950s black skirt and hat, Marc Jacobs flats, a Fifi Chacnil bodysuit, Miu Miu vintage sunglasses and MAC lipstick in Good Kisser. I'm carrying a 1950s lucite purse with a vintage polka dot scarf.

 

Second - what bargains did she spot? A 1940s embroidered hanky, a 1950s negligee, six green glass champagne coupes, a 1930s-40s card table, a box of vintage hostess place setting cards and a 100-year-old German stein, amongst other things.

 

Finally - what’s her take on vintage fashion? She goes up and down every single aisle, rejects anything reproduction and has somebody with her to spot things she misses - on this occasion, her interior designer. She’s currently focused on finding antique lingerie and vintage underwear to inspire her own lingerie line and she likes to find thing that fit with a life lived in technicolour or, as she put it, “I want to write about glamour that wasn't dependent on how pretty you are. It's more interesting to turn yourself into a Bird of Paradise.”

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Posted By Victoria Barber