As Nocte Covina Burlesque gears up to make its Norfolk debut at O’Connor Brewing Company with The Witch’s Ball: A St. Valentine’s Day Masquerade, we thought it would be important to educate newcomers and seasoned audience members on burlesque as a historically situated art form.
Here are five things to expect at a burlesque show.
1. The Sexual Tension of Self Love
Burlesque in-and-of-itself is an art form that emphasizes the sexual tension of the tease. Strip tease in today’s era has the ability to take no time at all, or all the time in the world — it truly depends on the performer up on stage. At Nocte Covina Burlesque our audiences can look forward to four amazing women who really take their time with the art of the tease. It is important for audience members to realize and acknowledge that a lot of the crafting of our performances involves a long process of self love and self acceptance, and that for many of us the act of removing a glove or a stocking is an act of complete and total self love. Part of the tease, part of what makes it so agonizing and delicious to watch, it seeing the performer perform this act of total self acceptance and love. (By Isabel Astrum)
2. We’re Not All Dita Von Teese: Body Positivity in the Modern Burlesque Movement
When thinking of burlesque it is easy to envision her or possibly Betty Page, but on the stages of today you will see a variety of different acts. Starting with style, both of these ladies are very classic in their performance style. While we here try to stick with a classic foundation, we work hard to make sure our routines are modern enough to maintain the art of the tease, while connecting with today’s audiences. You may be surprised to hear a familiar song, or see a more current dance added into a routine. Another way we are different is within our own troupe we encourage body positivity, and welcome performers of all different shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and abilities to work with us. You will see a collection of very different ladies coming together to showcase for you what makes them a dynamic and unique addition to the lineup of this show. The Witch’s Ball: A St. Valentine’s Day Masquerade will feature some acts more on the sultry side, some that will be heavy in dance, a few full of sass, and one or two that will be sure to leave you stunned. (By Salem Sirene)
3. A Variety Show For A Variety of Tastes
Burlesque is an art form where performers are encouraged to explore what makes them stand out. In my case, I am a classically trained opera singer, and a singer/songwriter. My very first burlesque routine consisted of me singing the Habanera aria from the opera Carmen while I stripped. The excitement from the audience was palpable. I had never before felt so captivating. It was powerful and truly life-changing. A career doing what I loved–everything I loved–suddenly seemed possible. Every time you see a burlesque performance, remember that it’s more than “just” stripping. It’s a culmination of all of our various passions, struggles, stories, talents, and abilities. Each performance is unique because each performer is unique and when you find yourself unable to keep from clapping or cheering or screaming “TAKE IT OFF,” that’s why. The passion exudes out of us and into you, dear audience member, and that is what makes burlesque so special, so fun, and so important. (By Bree MaDonna)
4. More than a Striptease, It’s a Full Production
Kittening is a rite of passage that every performer must take part in. As the dedicated Kitten of Nocte Covina Burlesque, it is part of my job to set up stage props before and after each performer. The most important job a Kitten has is something we like to call Burletiquette. This is something that happens in the beginning of every show where the Kitten demonstrates just a little of what the audience is in store for that night. Burletiqutte is the first impression the audience will get of you, your character and the show itself. So it’s very important to ham it up, so to speak. Wearing something sexy always helps; I personally tend to go for lingerie that shows off my shape, but really anything you feel confident in will work. Your first burletiquette reveal should be something small, just a taste, a glove peel, a shimmy, anything to get the audience excited.
Your second peel should be the whole shebang; I like to go big for the second one. I might turn around and give the audience a flash of my fantastically cute panties, or I might open and close my robe and then step out of it completely. What I really like to do is pick someone out of the front row and stand directly in front on them, as if I’m giving them their own private peek at burlesque. The point is that you have the audience’s attention, so be your fun, sexy, daring self. Above all else treat yourself like a Goddess and everyone else will follow suit. (By Dahlia Kennedy)
5. Burlesque is an Interactive Experience
A newcomer to a burlesque show should expect tasteful titillation. Through our performances we promote body positivity and earnest expressions of sexuality. While Virginia State Law strictly prohibits full on-stage nudity, you will see beautiful women of all shapes and sizes stripping down to their pasties and panties. We strive to put something for all tastes on our stage and audiences should anticipate elegance, eroticism and provocative showmanship as we educate you on the art of the tease. A good audience is everything in burlesque. Our performers dedicate their every waking moment to choreographing routines, costuming, traveling to shows and honing their craft. Audience engagement is a much needed stamp of approval to the hard work they’ve put in and in building the comfort necessary for them to reveal themselves in front of a crowd. We’re bringing our best to O’Connor and we hope you’ll do the same. (By Dick Case)
Nocte Covina Burlesque is a Norfolk, Virginia based troupe of performers, classically trained in the art of the tease. Fierce warriors of the body positive movement, we provide a safe space for performers and audience members of all shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. Bringing back the Art of the Tease with traditional bumps, grinds, and shimmies these ladies know how to get a crowd on their feet. With each of our girls bringing their own stylized flare, we make each show perfectly balanced with just enough glamour, elegance and raw sex appeal. This troupe is one to watch out for. Our troupe consists of founding members: Salem Sirene, the Spellbinding Bitch of Burlesque; Bree MaDonna, the Vocal Vixen; and Isabel Astrum, the Tutor of Tease; as well as our loyal kitten extraordinaire, the Black Widow, Dahlia Kennedy.
For more info on the event, click here.