Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
It can’t have escaped you’re notice that something new and exciting is going on in Bristol! In October, Bristol will become home to it’s latest festival – it’s first ever Burlesque Festival.
Bristol Burlesque Festival is being produced by Tuesday Laveau (CoochieCrunch) and Tiger Tiger (Burn Brightly Events), and we last caught up with them about it here. A run down of the events can be found here.
Well, we’re now excited to be able to announce on behalf of the Bristol Burlesque Festival their awesome headline acts!
Dubbed ‘Queen of Burlesque’ by numerous publications and voted regularly into the Top Stars of Burlesque in World (2009, 2010 , 2011 and 2012 consecutively), Khandie Khisses is the unstoppable tornado whose talents far exceed that of her burlesque skills. She is already an international published photographer and model, but more recently completed her first major film role. A true superstar in the making whose global reputation as a highly professional and talented artiste is building rapidly.
Previously serving in the Royal Air Force, Khandie’s ability to captivate audiences with her riotous and spectacular routines has drawn a following worldwide as her reputation continues to sky rocket. Appearances by invitation at the Australian Burlesque (and subsequent 12 day tour), Paris Burlesque and British Science Festivals, not to mention numerous show stopping, audience captivating performances cross the globe, have seen her step out from the ranks and cement her place in the limelight.
Khandie will be performing with a live band at the Bristol Burlesque Festival show Live Music, Live Girls, Love Burlesque on Thursday 17th October at The Exchange.
Diva first burst onto the stage in 2005 at New York’s infamous Slipper Room! She has gone on to perform burlesque around the world headlining in the top burlesque clubs in Paris, New York, Milan, Geneva and San Francisco and has won awards for her stunning burlesque acts.
Her acts are filled with cheeky attitude and ooze with her love of dark satire! Each of her acts has the feel of a classic Hollywood epic with wonderful stories, props, costumes and music, and in the last year she has honed more than her dancing skills. She now expertly performs routines with dual bullwhips of various sizes. Diva has been voted one of the World’s top 100 burlesque performers by the authoritative 21st Century Burlesque, two years running
Diva will be performing at the Bristol Burlesque Festival show Down & Dirty Divas on Friday 18th October at The Polish Club.
The Lilly of the Valleys / Making the historical hysterical
Lilly has been performing for 20+ years, fronting bands, acting and enjoyed a four-year sentence at the London Dungeon, where she performed, devised shows and ran the actors company. As she always says, ‘you can take the girl out of the Dungeon but you can’t take the Dungeon out of the girl’ some of that camp humor can be found in routines which include a ‘bloody’ tribute to Jack the Ripper’s second victim. She is know for her Victorian-themed act including Queen Victoria, who has been ‘amusing’ audiences all over the UK and also acts with an Arabian influence.Lilly is one of the only Arabic sword balancers on the UK burlesque scene, a skill taken from belly dance; she performs with scimitar and Indian sword, balancing up to three. She is also a professional costumier, belly dancer and runs burlesque workshops for Bluestocking Lounge.
Lilly will be performing at the Bristol Burlesque Festival show Down & Dirty Divas on Friday 18th October at The Polish Club.
Rubyyy Jones is an all singing, all dancing, all stripping, comedic-shock Divaaa! One third drag queen, one third Broadway baby and one third alien, Rubyyy has performed all her life; a graduate of the illustrious Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance program she has worked with some of the top theatre performers and educators in Canada and some of the sleaziest and sexiest cabaret and burlesque performers in the world. Before attending college, Rubyyy made her professional acting debut at sixteen in The Vagina Monologues and was ranked one of Ontario’s top Triple Threat performers, as she competed in all disciplines of dance (specializing in jazz, contemporary and music theatre) and won a number of titles and awards in her dance career.
After moving to London to discover the sexier side of life, Rubyyy made her burlesque debut at the final Tournament of Tease in 2010 where she received an honourable mention and was nominated for an Erotic Award for Performer of the Year 2011. Since her debut, Rubyyy has gone from strength to strength as a ‘Burlesque Sex Education Performer’, and is especially known for her work on the London Drag circuit. She is a well loved compere and producer in London, as well as a successful voice actor.
Rubyyy will be hosting the Bristol Burlesque Festival show Down & Dirty Divas on Friday 18th October at The Polish Club.
It was the inspiration they take from Bristol’s edgy, diverse and rich arts scene that led the festival’s producers to create Bristol’s first ever burlesque festival. Organiser and locally based performer Tiger Tiger, explains – “We wanted to create an event that would showcase amazing local talent as well as bring in non-local performers that audiences might not always have the chance to see, who also embody the same attitude and style as burlesque in Bristol.” Her co-producer, international performer Tuesday Laveau, adds that burlesque is a wide genre and that it was important to her to “create a show that I would want to dance at”. With performers having applied from all over the UK and beyond it’s clearly an event many want to take part in. The festival is excited to be presenting performances from celebrated UK headliners Diva Hollywood, Khandie Khisses and Lilly Laudanum as well as a variety of amazing performers from all over England, Wales and even from as far afield as Canada!
A main aim of the Festival has been to bring the local burlesque scene together in celebration. To do this, they were keen to work with other local artistic individuals and organisations such as Dawn Wilkins Photography, Dr Sketchy’s (Bristol branch) and the Pink Kitten Dance School. Tiger explains “we felt it was important to get involved with other organisations who support the local burlesque community and who we in turn wish to support, in order to ensure they are around for future generations of performers.”
It is Dawn Wilkins, photographer and designer and one of the Festival’s sponsors, who is responsible for the Festival’s Bristol-centric artwork. Tiger and Tuesday wanted to create an image for the Festival that related the event immediately to Bristol and the city’s cultural setting. With that in mind, they collaborated with Dawn recreate renowned Bristolian Banksy’s Flower Thrower with Tuesday as the model and the flowers swapped out for a tub of glitter.
The Bristol branch of the International anti-art school, Dr Sketchy’s, will be taking by hosting a Saturday afternoon burlesque event as part of the Festival. Dr. Sketchy’s is the setting for life drawing classes with a difference. Fusing classic drawing techniques with contemporary trends and styles, it allows artists to express themselves in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Dr Sketchy’s was founded in New York City in 2005 by Ms Molly Crabapple, and since then has spread to more than 100 cities in 16 countries – with Bristol being a recent new addition. Bristol’s branch was established in 2013 by renowned burlesque performer and freelance photographer Lou-Leigh Blue, with the Festival being only one of many Dr Sketchy events in Bristol this year.
The Pink Kitten Dance School is one of the Festival’s sponsors, with performers and teachers from the School will be taking part in some of the Festival’s shows. Pink Kitten offers alternative and fun forms of fitness and dance, such as pole dancing, aerial work and burlesque. It is a strong and well established part of the local scene, having been set up in 2004, at which some well respected local performers teach. The school is run by Tabitha Tease a burlesque and pole performer of many years experience, and is a real female business success story!
Bristol Burlesque Festival will be host to a variety of burlesque and cabaret acts, most modern, but with some classical nods thrown in, including many modern interpretations of traditional vaudevillian burlesque. Expect to see: theatrical epics; tap dancing; exotic acts – think Isis wings and beds of nails; Boylesque performers representing for the men folk!; whip cracking (literally); the beautiful, the grotesque and everything in between!
With burlesque festivals already an established part of the performance scene in the United States, they have taken off in a big way in the UK in the last couple of years. Such events are a great way to celebrate local culture and creativity, at the same time as opening up burlesque and cabaret to new audiences – the Bristol Burlesque Festival plans to do just that!