Miss BruiseViolet Vents.
1) How did you discover burlesque and what about it made you want to be part of it?
Back in the late-90s I was made aware of Bettie Page and Tempest Storm through the great series “Exploitica” on Channel 4 and was just completely captivated by their performances. They showed Teaserama after the programme one night and I was hooked! I’ve always danced since I was very young; my first stage performance was as a chicken in Mother Goose when I was about 8. I danced through my teens and then was singing in a metal band but I never even considered performing burlesque until I started taking lessons in 2009. I love the theatrics of burlesque; I adore how as a performer I am totally free to create my own vision to share with an audience. Burlesque brought me the creative freedom that had eluded me previously.
2) You must be aware by now of the Cher /Christina Aguilera film ‘Burlesque’. Is it better to be misrepresented by Hollywood in order to raise awareness of your medium or would you rather the film world left your world alone entirely?
I haven’t seen it yet! My friends have said that it has bugger all to do with burlesque but they liked it nonetheless. I’ve always loved Christina Aguilera’s style, not a huge fan of her music but that girl can sing and move like no-one else on earth, she’s a very talented lady. And obviously Cher is a genius, it goes without saying. She is a lady who has a very strong sense of herself and isn’t afraid to be bold! I think we can all take inspiration from that! Personally I would like the film/tv world to leave burlesque in the clubs and theatres where it belongs. I’m so glad that there is no burlesque show on telly. T.V almost finished off variety theatre in the 60’s and it will do the same to burlesque. There is no need to raise awareness of burlesque, Dita Von Teese did that beautifully and it helped fill the clubs, which is marvellous but burlesque, should be done in clubs and theatres. You need that intimate atmosphere to appreciate it fully and you cannot get that on a cinema screen. Documentaries? Bring it on. Films? No thanks. If you want to see burlesque get your arise to a pub, club or theatre and support the people who make it happen!
3) If you had the option, what would you tell your younger self to do or not do in terms of your career?
Don’t burn out. Sleep more because you’ll need it later! I work 6 days a week at my day job and relaxation time is very rare.
4) What’s the worst post performance chat up line you’ve heard?
I’ve never been chatted up post performance!! I think a lot of men are very intimidated by a woman with the balls to go out there and do what we do. People are usually very nice and congratulate me if they liked my acts but I’ve never been chatted up, or if I have I didn’t realise it!
5) Why do you think burlesque dancing has come back into fashion in recent years? Is it merely nostalgia or something more?
People love the opulence, the theatrics, the fans, the sequins, the glitter and who can blame them? There is no doubt that burlesque is wildly popular at the moment and has been for a long time now. I think it became very unfashionable for younger people to go to the theatre or to a variety club, it’s all been about pubs and nightclubs for so long that people are only now realising what they’ve been missing. The variety out there is staggering and of course there are so many people teaching burlesque that the number of performers has gone stratospheric. This means more events get put on and the awareness grows further. Burlesque has become more accessible; it’s now in your pubs, at your gigs and on your doorstep. We’re coming for you and we have!! Are we at the peak of burlesque’s popularity? Will it be a victim of it’s own success? Only time will tell!!
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