Saturday, 12 March 2016


Stepping onto stage in our duet act at HelBF16.
Photo by Tuomas Lairila.

I've never really written that much about burlesque in my blog, at least not compared to how big a part of my life it really is. I think that's partly because I have always thought that it's not really of an top-interest to many that come here (which may be part to some of the misconceptions about what burlesque is and is not), and partly because it is after all more a job than a lifestyle and I then just don't tend to write about "work" all that much. But then again considering I perform pretty much weekly; and work is pretty much all I do nowadays, constantly; I might have to start letting some more sequins in here too.

Last weekend was the time of the yearly Helsinki Burlesque Festival, the 9th in it's order and the 7th I was performing at -  I attended the very first festival in 2008 as a spectacor and then performed at the one there after, every year except for in 2010 (when we just partied).

It is a very intense weekend and as it is our "home festival" Finnish performers usually tend to produce new acts for it, which means lots of I-though-I-was-in-good-time-this-year-but-alas-once-again-I-am-not-sewing and rhinestoning. And such. The Helsinki festival is very prestigious, and there's a reason for it being one of the best in the world - it works by invite only, is very well produced and organised and, not to forget - has a fabulous audience. There is a strong community over here that involves both performers and a loyal audience. Most of the Finnish performers perform for free at the yearly burlesque gala to raise money for the festival, which has always featured performers covering the whole spectrum of burlesque. Even though every year has been great this year was perhaps the most awesome so far!

Whenever you see photos from events it is usually, apart from the shots from on-stage, a bunch of people in ecessive make up posing with or hugging each other backstage. (Here we are posing with fabulous Luminous Paraiah before our group extravaganza). And well yup, that's pretty much what it is, at events like this, because it's fab to work with fab people and especially if you don't see them that often because they are located elsewhere than you, but, and let's make that a BUT - there also is a lot of work before and during any show (especially backstage too, apart from the hugging and selfie-taking) which does not always show to the other side of the curtain - and that's also part of the illusion.

So as usual,  there was a lot of work and little sleep before a lot of things were debuted last weekend. In our soon five years of marriage, this was actually the first time I could hear my husband say, with perhaps a little hint of discontent in his voice "you know, there really are glitters everywhere here at home now".
Yes and there sure were. Not only that but glue and thread and pieces of tulle and cut-off strips of fabric and what nots. In not only one but two homes (but he never goes to the other, so he doesn't know. Phew).

But well yeah, this is what came of it! Our new duet act which we came up with pretty much exactly one year earlier when driving home a grey March day from a gig in Turku.
The dresses are designed and made for us by Ira's studio.

We are going to have to perform so much with this number in order to pay the costumes back to ourselves. Hastags: broke, wildanceforfood.

Here are four weeks of modifying and embellishing corsets, which are then visible for about 22 seconds of the show.

We also did a nine-person strong Queen bitches- pageant-title craving- act (that suitably fit the Ballroom Blitz / Prom Night theme of the festival rather well) as The xxx-ettes.  It was such a hilarious process to work on.

Here posing for imaginary selfies.

Apart from klass (yes yes with a K),  we also possess etheral grace, as you can see.
The xxx-ettes is a mash up between The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret and Thee Dizzy Daisies.

Posing for the annual Atelieri O.Haapala group photo. Can't wait to see the photo sets of this year!

The emptiest glance I could make.
Both pictures above from @ksenix's instagram.

Tonight -I was planning to post this before so some of you cold have still made it, but I didn't and turns out it was sold out anyway- we performed at Orion before the dress & sing-along screening of Moulin Rouge.

And here is the mandatory post-show selfie on the way home. People with heavy make up hugging one another. But awesome people after doing an awesome job.

Tomorrow night -well, today by now I guess - it's time for more, when our own Rubies Klubit turns one year! At Masco from 20hrs onwards.  Do come and bring a friend or two!

On-stage photos by John Paul Bichard, Tuomas Lairila and Tulla Ylikorpi.


Anonymous said...

I love when you talk about your job, which does not look like one (not an "average" one), but I'm sure you have loads of things to do between rehearsals, logistics and of course sequin sewing :-).
I can see you really enjoy yourselves doing burlesque. People should know more about this art and this article is a contribution to get it known by people. Thanks for that!
I must accept I miss toddler and cats posts!

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