Link Roundup: At the Circus

This photo gives you a bit of the flavor of Free Flow Dance’s body paint cabaret on April 7th. The event was held at LB Distillers, which provided a fabulously dark carnival-esque backdrop to the circus-themed art show.

I tend to enjoy this sort of thing–a mixed media of performance art, dance, and visual art. The winning piece by dancer Alex Hartshorn and painter Neaera Deptuch was absolutely heart-rending. Alex used the power of her gaze to incredible effect, expressing the deep sadness of a young woman forced to live an unhappy life behind a smiling facade. But what really inspired me about this event was the way it seems to have caught the imagination of my husband. My husband is a software engineer and doesn’t usually go in for anything overly artsy–but the entire feeling of the event left an impression on him, and for the past week our house has been a haven for electro-swing, books about fantastical circuses, and bizarro-world films.

So, I’ve decided to share with you a few circus-y links, starting with the hubby’s top inspirations, and then a few of my own, which may in turn inspire you in your own burlesque pursuits.

  • The first thing hubby said of the body paint cabaret, was that it reminded him of Erin Morgenster’s Nanowrimo hit “The Night Circus“. Set in Victorian London, the novel centers around a magical and mysterious circus that only appears at night, never in the same place twice, and vanishes at sunrise. The circus is called Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams), and that could very well have been a subtitle for the body paint show, as well.
  • Next up is electro-swing, a genre of music known for its eclectic combinations of vintage or modern swing and jazz mixed with house, hip hop, and EDM. You can find a nice taste of the style in this Youtube playlist. There is something undeniably carnival about the sounds of electro-swing, which could be why Spinja (pictured as an adorable stripey kitty above) frequently chooses it for her flow art routines.
  • Once on to electro-swing, hubby picked this song as a likely routine piece for Roxanne Ready. Give it a listen!
  • This Betty Boop remix also turned up on his computer screen. I’m not sure how to tie it to the circus, but any burlesquer will recognize the action at 1:40. Also this would be a great song to do a themed piece to!
  • Speaking of burlesque and circuses, why not check out this gallery on Denmark’s International Burlesque Circus website? The sites a little dated, but the photos are full of tons of great ideas.
  • This piece on reclaiming the freakshow about a project by Bristol based circus troupe called Cirque Bijou called Extraordinary Bodies which featured a variety of differently-abled performers. One performer said of the show : “Circus can be done by anybody and interesting bodies make more interesting circus,” and I think the same is very true of the burlesque world.
  • How to make a mini top hat
  • Clown hat tutorial

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