Wednesday 24 December 2008
The other day I saw an interview with two of The Rockettes on GMTV. I was instantly in love! These girls are part of a dance company who perform in Radio City music Hall in Manhattan. What struck me apart from the fact that they are all six foot tall with legs that go on for miles and dress in the cutest red and white festive outfits, is that their Christmas show has been performed for the past 75 years, five shows a day seven days a week during the holiday season!
Which I think goes to show that you can't beat a bit of old fashioned glamour and showmaship!
Hooray for high kicks!!!!
Tuesday 23 December 2008
Anyway, last week was the private view and last phase of my burlesque art residency in Sunderland. The exhibition went really well. It was housed in The Place and was one of the first art shows to be held in the mutli million pound arts venue! At the private view I met some of Sunderland's art and burlesque crowd, including the lovely Miss Gretchen Tice a member of the North East based burlesque troup, The Coquette Collective.
The character you see here is Margaret Turnbull a widowed school mistress who lived at number 13 Norfolk St in 1861.
Women were not allowed out of the house during the first year of mourning and were obliged to wear all black and a weeping veil. Some would even go so far as to dress the entire household including staff in black. Here we see Margaret outside her address which is now a picture framers
Margaret was 40 years old when the 1861 census was taken and lived with her general servant.
With a high death rate during the Victorian era mourning was a part of everyday life which encouraged a melodramatic obsession with morbidity and went on to influence the gothis movement of later years.
To read more about the project see older posts of this blog or go to my Myspace blog for a blow by blow account as the work progressed
The private view also included a fabulous live V.J set from artist Carl Gregg.
On the day of the photoshoot we all acted and reacted with eachother in character. All this was filmed on several video cameras. We performed and hammed it up in Sunniside gardens while the public gathered around filming us all on there mobile phones. I'm pretty certain we entertained a few local buliders too as they watched from their scaffolding! All the footage was then taken and edited by Carl who projected and overlayed the images to music on the walls of the gallery.
The final product was fantastic and I was pleasantly surprised as I felt a right idiot acting cheesy and pouting while the camera was rolling, but the finished thing looked so effective! I only wish Carl would release some of his amazing work onto the internet to show you!
Now I'm winding down for Christmas and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! I intend to indulge my chocolate habit to the MAX!
Until next week, Merry Christmas! xxx
Tuesday 16 December 2008
Directed by Gemma and working with Art-wave, local artists and Sunderland University students the project 'What do you think you're looking at... The Sunniside of burlesque' is a collaborative work designed to highlight one of Sunderland's most overlooked areas currently undergoing a major redevelopment including the building of multi million pound art venue The Place.
A saucy dressmaker with a dark secret (that's me!), a radical freethinking minister, a French shipbroker, and a gothic widow in all her mournful glory all star in this provocatice and unique exhibition along with a selection of Gemma's burlesque paintings.
Tomorrow is the exhibiton's last day so if you're in the area please get down to see it before it ends! We will be having a live V.J set about the work and I will be in my character's costume, here's a sneaky peek of what to expect;
Photo by Square Photography
Photograph by Photogracky
Friday 12 December 2008
I've just found out that fifities pin-up and fetish model Bettie Page passed away last night at the age of 85. This is truely the passing of a great 20th Century icon.
I can't explain how inspirational she has become to people around the world, not only for her style but for her sexy poses that caused an outcry back in the day. Although I knew she was getting on in years I'm stil shocked that this legend has actually gone and I know for a fact we will never she such a unique personality in popular culture again.
I love Bettie because she celebrated her femininity unashamedly. As she put it:
"God approves of nudity. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were naked as jaybirds."
Tuesday 9 December 2008
My burlesque art residency in Sunderland is coming to an end next week. The final exhibition of burlesque characters from Sunniside's past and paintings by myself will be on show at The Place from tomorrow! The private view will be happening on the last day next week on 17th December.
On other news:
Last Saturday saw myself and Rene le Rouge performing at The Silk Stocking in Birmingham. We had an absolute blast and the night went extremely well. We performed two acts: The Lonely Goatherd and our new act, Never Outfox the Fox. We got recordings of both but unfortunately are having trouble getting Outfox onto the computer. Luckily though our great friend Tony Fever (husband of burlesque star Scarlet Fever!) has managed to upload his video of The Lonely Goatherd onto Youtube!
She also captured some great images of Never Outfox the Fox!
When we're performing as The Chantilly Belles we've found that Birmingham has some of the best burlesque audiences, and Saturday was no execption! The crowd were such fun and all the other acts on that night were lovely to work with and share a dressing room with. It was really organised night, and that means a lot when you're busy behind the scenes stressing about glitter and straight stocking seams so thanks to Angel and Gehenna for making it run so smooth.
'FROM SPACE' is located at 142 Chapel Street Salford M3 6AF