Heroes and Villains: Cosplay Burlesque
When Cosplay Gets A Little Naughty
By Lynnette Adams
I wasn’t certain what to expect from a Cosplay or Burlesque show, with this being my first
experience for both. The best way to describe it is when fandom gets a little naughty. What
better way to understand you’re heroes and villains than through a little naughty tease with
amazing burlesque performers.
Syntax Physic Opera describes themselves as a multi-sensory, music venue, eatery and art bar.
The minute you walk in, you realize you are in for a special treat. Burlesque Nouveau and their
theme for the night; Heroes and Villains was perfectly set in a venue that was the ideal
space for conversation, and appreciation of the arts.
Opening the show was An Hobbes. Spoken word, comics and a little bit of rap energized the audience and prepared them for the lovely ladies of Burlesque Nouveau.
Featuring Burlesque from Kitty Crimson, Anabella Lafontaine, Carmen Ghia, Jigi Deluge, Cherry Pop Pop Poppins, DeeDee Derriere and their Stage Klingon: Chi Chi Chiola! These ladies gave a show stopping tribute to all things cosplay and comic con.
Deirdre Von Derriere kept the show going with her wit, and enthusiasm. From the Star Wars music, to guest’s costume; there was even Ash from Evil Dead with a real chainsaw!
If I had to pick my favorite part of the show, it would be that these women were in all shapes and sizes of beautiful and they were FABULOUS. I took away much more than new knowledge of the cosplay world. I left the performance feeling empowered and beautiful just the way I was. Seeing women who embraced their body types, and delivered sensual and inspiring performances left me impressed. The performance screamed we define sexy, we define cool, and we define beautiful. Each performer was amazing in their own right and the crowd loved each and every one of them.
Coollivin had a chance to sit down and talk with Deirdre Von Derriere one of the troops founders.
Coollivin: How did you get into Burlesque?
Deirdre Von Derriere:
When I moved down to Denver from the mountains, it became apparent that I would benefit from having a few more female friends. My husband and I discussed many options including roller derby before we eventually found ourselves sitting in the audience at one of Vivienne Vavoom’s burlesque shows. As I watched the show, I found myself thinking ” I should totally do this” and my husband kept nudging me and saying “You should totally do this”. So I totally did it! I got my start in burlesque by taking classes with Vivienne Vavoom’s School of Burlesque and following graduation from her school, I was recruited to perform in a couple local shows before auditioning for and becoming an official member of Ooh La La, a local troupe that performs on a weekly basis. I eventually went on to be a featured performer at several regional burlesque festivals before my former instructor tapped me to help her produce.
Coollivin: What does burlesque mean to you?
Deirdre Von Derriere: Burlesque is an outlet for artistic expression. My background is in musical theater so most of the acts I create tell a story. Burlesque for me is a place where I can become someone or something that I may not be comfortable with or able to openly embody in my everyday life. Just like theater, burlesque allows me to try on a different persona or character for a temporary time frame in a non-permanent and safe way.
Coollivin: How is the Burlesque scene in Denver? Where would you like it to be?
Deirdre Von Derriere: The local burlesque scene in Denver is perpetually changing with a seemingly constant ebb and flow. Right now, you can see a burlesque show almost any night in Denver and this is very cool as it provides lots of performers lots of opportunities to perform. I think our local scene is fairly well balanced right now with great professional and non-professional weekly shows available.
Coollivin: Who is your style Icon?
Deirdre Von Derriere: Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball because both of these women used humor to make their fame. They did not fit the typical “pretty starlet” mold and rather than trying to squeeze into that mold, they shattered the mold and made their own unique road to fame.
Coollivin: Are there any Performers that you would love to work with?
Deirdre Von Derriere: Oh God yeah! I don’t necessarily have a “wish list” of performers that I’d like to work with but I always try to stay open to any opportunities that may come my way. Our show is only bi-monthly so it is sometimes hard to book bigger names that may be traveling through Denver as their schedules may not synch up with our show dates.
Coollivin: Do you have any beauty or fitness tips?
Deirdre Von Derriere: Haha! I have to giggle at this as my biggest struggle as a burlesque performer is doing my hair and makeup. Prior to getting involved in burlesque, my makeup routine consisted of concealer and powder, maybe some mascara if I was going out on the town. My best beauty tip would be getting you a few good wigs. Bad hair days can be a major deal breaker and may even ruin your whole night. I have saved myself a lot of heart ache by slapping on one of my favorite wigs and avoiding the battle with my hair altogether on more than one occasion. As for fitness, I swear by running and yoga although I just had a baby so we’ll see how I do with losing this extra baby weight! I may have to explore some new fitness options!
Coollivin: What sets your shows apart from others?
Deirdre Von Derriere:My shows are curated meaning each and every performer is hand selected by the producers of the show for specific acts they perform that fit into our theme. Some shows are produced on a “first come first serve” basis which is really great for new performers trying to get their feet wet. A curated show is nice because, as an audience member, you know that you are not paying to see experimental performance pieces but rather “tried and true” acts that are well polished and prepared. Experimental performance can be fun but when you are paying $15 to see a show, you typically want to see something a little more polished and that is what Burlesque Nouveau aims to provide.
Coollivin: Tell us about your troupe? How often do you perform? How did it come about?
Deirdre Von Derriere: Burlesque Nouveau was born when Vivienne Vavoom decided that she wanted to produce a show that featured nontraditional, neo-burlesque. She felt that the local scene provided only limited access to some of the more Avant garde burlesque that was present and she wanted to produce a show that focused on the edgier, neo burlesque performance styles. Burlesque Nouveau is a curated burlesque review that happens at Syntax Physic Opera every other month. We are not a formal troupe with a cemented cast and we try to feature different performers in every show to keep the show fresh and exciting.
After talking to Deidre Von Derriere it was no question she nailed it on channeling her icons Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball. She was hilarious, and kept the crowd smiling. We even got to see a nice selection of pictures of her new baby – – hanging from her pasties of course.
The show was beyond creative, well organized and performed. Vivienne Vavoom and Deirdre Von Derriere are definitely movers in the Burlesque world; we wish them all the success! Head over to their Facebook page so you can find out when to catch their next show.