This weekend will mark the first year of the Virginia Burlesque and Sideshow Festival, a weekend-long event featuring panels, a film viewing, and performers from around the world. The festival will combine entertainment with historical education about the Burlesque arts.
This weekend will mark the first year of the Virginia Burlesque and Sideshow Festival, a weekend-long event featuring panels, a film viewing, and performers from around the world. The festival will combine entertainment with historical education about the Burlesque arts. After bringing 1,200 attendees to last weekend’s American Burlesque and Sideshow Festival in Asheville, NC, producer Onca O’Leary looks forward to the expansion of the festival in Richmond.
“Burlesque has become very progressive, feminist and self-aware,” said O’Leary.”[This weekend] is an opportunity to enjoy hilarity while addressing serious social issues.” O’Leary also said that by forming an alliance with Safe Harbor, a group that “empowers survivors of sexual and domestic violence to transform their lives, and promotes healthy relationships for all,” the festival will inform attendees about empowerment, domestic abuse and sexuality.
The Festival will begin on Friday, May 31 with a meet and greet at New York Deli (2920 W. Cary St). This event, hosted by Deanna Danger, will offer attendees a chance to meet the many out of town artists that will be performing over the course of the weekend. Then, at midnight, the Byrd Theatre (2908 W. Cary St) will present a showing of The Burlesque Assassins. This 2012 Canadian film, written and directed by Jonathan Joffe, focuses on the titular elite crew of burlesque dancers turned warriors, as they foil Nazis and fight for the free world during the dawn of the rock n’ roll era. There will be a costume contest at the screening, as well as a post-film Q&A with Burlesque Assassins star Armitage Shanks, the self-described “carny preacher” from Seattle.
Saturday night will feature two different performances of the Saturday Night Spectacular gala event, hosted by Armitage Shanks and taking place at the Dogtown Dance Theatre (109 W. 15th St). The events begin at 8 and 10:30 PM, is hosted by Armitage Shanks, and will feature performances by Atlanta burlesque aerialist Sadie Hawkins. There will be plenty of other vaudeville-style performances happening throughout the evening, featuring both local and out-of-town performers. Tickets are $15 for each show, or $25 for both.
Then on Sunday at 1 PM, The Camel (1621 W. Broad St) will host brunch with RVA’s own Slomski Family Cabaret. With the Camel’s excellent brunch menu acting as an excellent hangover cure, this slightly calmer event will offer networking opportunities and entertaining performances as a perfect way to cap off the entire weekend.
In addition to all of the performances, workshops detailing the various artistic and business aspects of the burlesque world, from fire performing to stagecraft, circus arts, and more, will be taking place at Illumination Dance Studio and Dogtown Dance Theatre throughout the weekend. Featuring opportunities for training with such performers as Paolo Garbanzo, a juggler at England’s Muncaster Castle, as well as Armitage Shanks, Deanna Danger, Sadie Hawkins, and more, these workshops are sure to be both informative and entertaining.
To purchase tickets to any of the events taking place during the Virginia Burlesque & Sideshow Festival, click here: http://www.virginiaburlesque.com/tickets/
For more information about the Festival, click here: http://www.virginiaburlesque.com/