If anyone ever asks me about trying a new style and being concerned about their branding, I can’t ever tell them to stick to what they know. Maybe its better from a marketing standpoint but I think if what you represent is quality then you shouldn’t bar yourself from trying anything! I have had a very rewarding career thanks to my willingness to try everything and anything that I haven’t already. It brings me a lot of joy to succeed at things I didn’t know I could be good at- and has been the BEST way for me to learn.
This being said, I hadn’t done a fan dance. This, ladies and gentlemen, was my first! The largest barrier to this being that fans are usually quite costly so this became a project that would have to be something I waited and saved and worked towards. I am happy to say that I am so proud of what I have created and it was so fulfilling to see those months and months of dreams and ideas come together.
This act came to be because I think its tres hilarious that I want every bird to be my hat. BE MY HAT!! Obviously your feathers aren’t for flying.. no no.. they are for my hat. I worked up from this concept that I could create an act around feather theft. My dreams coming true.
I was also inspired by several iconic photos I had found in my research of Lily St Cyr and her Leda and the Swan act. Apparently this was a very popular type of act! I found pictures of Sally Rand, Rose La Rose and Faith Arlen all performing their version of Leda and the Swan. The story of Leda and the Swan have been a very popular means for inspiration in Burlesque and other art for years and years! It is a greek myth that tells the tale of Zeus seducing Leda in the form of a Swan. There are so many classical paintings of this story! Apparently this is because in the 16th century it was, confusingly, more socially acceptable to show a woman copulating with a swan than with a man. Ok then..
This piece has also been inspired by watching the legendary Kitten Deville work her magic with her fans (thanks youtube)! There is definitely something to be said about not having heavy, giant staves; you get to be much wilder with your movements! This relates better to what my vision of “sexy” is. I prefer to feel untamed but I do hope that by showcasing my dance background, the piece still had a certain amount of grace.
This piece was performed at Burlesque Long Form- My first go at producing a large scale event by myself. I was so happy with the turnout and people, let me tell you- you get what you pay for! Hiring the city’s best, whom I could trust implicitly to create something magical, was the best decision I could have made. This show came to be because I was so impressed watching Dita Von Teese and her accompanying acts Angie Pontani and Ava Garter during their tour in Seattle some years back. I was really impressed that they only needed 4 people (including awesome host Murray Hill) to put on a killer show. The idea of doing a 10 minute act seemed absolutely impossible to me at the time but I never forgot about their ability to entertain for an entire 10 minutes.
This act went really well in my mind for a first showing on stage. There are a few snafus (stupid leg ribbon of stupidness), but overall I am very pleased with the concept and execution. I was even happy with how I recovered from the issues that arose on stage. I feel (hope!) that I have managed to combine classic with comedy to create something uniquely April. I am in the process of editing the number to be under 4 minutes but in the meantime, I hope you will enjoy my version of Leda and the Swan. :)
My adventures in Burlesque Choreography!