Bouquet of Rosebuds: A Textured Performance

Playing catch-up with the last couple of shows I’ve been to as we get the blog rolling, so I thought I’d take some time today to write about the annual Valentine’s Day show put on by the club: A Bouquet of Rosebuds.

Reviewing this show in my mind, one word keeps surfacing: Texture. From an opening musical number titled “Leather” to a closing piece titled “Feathers and Lace” it is easy to see how texture can play such a big role in a night of burlesque. Burlesque is a sensual experience, and the range of materials used in its costumes reflects that. Feathers, fur, leather, silk, lace, nylon, fringe, sequins, tassles, sparkles in all of the colors of the rainbow — all of this is drawn together in endless combinations to titillate the audience. Although the sense of touch is not usually directly stimulated in a burlesque performance, the overabundant presence of texture can stimulate from a distance.

Some costumes that particularly stimulated and surprised:

Zar Redlips Phoenix and her boa bustle

Zar Redlips Phoenix’s excellent showgirl boa bustle. So many feathers! I must learn how this is done. The boa bustle looks like it provides endless opportunities to tease. It also looks like a bada$$ unicorn tail, so who can argue with that? Also, the interplay between Zar Redlips and Mr. Phoenix, who was the MC for the evening, was fun to watch.

Miss Mandy’s costumes for her two pieces were similarly stimulating, her “Fringe with Benefits” piece being carried by a simple costume that was fringe and red velvet and not a whole lot more, and her “Feathers and Lace” making use of these classic burlesque textures in a retro inspired piece that was at once airy and irresistible.

The recently returned Jane Marie’s “Space Kitten” costume provided some fun surprises and exciting textures. Moving like an android’s dream girl, her shiny metallic costume seemed to have the texture of liquid mercury, providing a break in the textural action from the richness of feathers and leather and lace. The LED component hiding underneath the dress was a great addition, and her makeup was perfectly done, perhaps a spin on Daryl Hannah’s Pris from Bladerunner.

Spinja and the cloak of many surprises

Spinja’s costume was also full of surprises. Audible gasps were heard from the audience every time a new prop appeared from seemingly nowhere. Probably the most surprising element of this costume was that what appeared to be a striped tailcoat was in fact a pair of scarves, with which she performed one of her trademark dizzying dances.

One final note on the texture of the night:

The Bouquet of Rosebuds show was not just a Burlesque show. The evening featured music by Pat Megroin on piano and Serena Starlight’s sultry vocals, raunchy (and beautifully read) homoerotic fiction by Conrad Fusion and some sexy and downright hilarious poetry by Scarlett Foxx.  The variety-show feeling of the evening was rounded out by the carnival-esque kinesthetic prop-work of Spinja and the gravity-defying acro-yoga of Helika, all three of whom were inducted into the troupe on this evening. The variety of the acts added a different type of texture to the Bouquet, tying Burlesque back to its Vaudeville roots. Thank you to all who were involved in organizing this wonderful night.

The amazing Helika!

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