It’s a word that get’s a little over-used these days, but just for fun, let’s chew on it a bit and let the flavor really sink in.
Yesterday I was at a cupcake shop with my best friend and soul sister Vivi Le Voix, planning our June 1st event “A Night of Opera, Seduction and Burlesque”. We were talking about what makes this event different from just going to the opera, or a burlesque show, or a class. What we discovered is that this event is not just an observation of the arts. It is a chance for a person to EMBODY the arts.
|Vivi performing Tosca|
One of the things I love about going to see a performance is that it opens my senses to a whole new experience. However, sitting in an opera audience involves a lot of…sitting. Hearing the different languages is beautiful but can cause the mind to wander. I always have the desire to know: what is the story behind the story? Ok, so this woman gets killed by this guy for the sake of her true love. Got it. But what was the writer really trying to express in telling that story through opera?
Similarly, when I see burlesque, it lights me up and changes my life every single time. But it goes by so fast! I want to know, when one pastie is a different color than the other, why did the performer choose that? Was it a nod to the artist who wrote the song, like the way Carol Burnett used to tug on her ear for her Grandma at the close of every show? Or is it a secret far more personal? These things keep me up at night.
Photo by Beth Mayesh
When Vivi and I designed this event, we wanted to take these art forms that are often observed from far away and allow the audience to cradle them in their hands. For example, have you ever stood 5 feet away from a real opera singer? Your bones, your heart and your soul tremble at the vibrations of her voice. For most people, when they first hear Vivi sing, they get tears in the corners of their eyes and they have no idea why. This is why we all love art so much. It awakens us to a mysterious yearning that comes from a part of ourselves that can never quite be “figured out”. With all the things that can be figured out nowadays, this is a code we wouldn’t dare try to crack. That, my friends, is a miracle in the flesh.
The same goes for burlesque. Watching a burlesque act is like witnessing an entire lifetime in three to five minutes. Burlesque uses the power of the physical body to manifest the most significant, intense emotions a person can feel. The way the energy changes in the room when even a glove comes off of a forearm is like switching the channel on a television. Whenever we get naked, literally or metaphorically, we are risking it all. We are telling the full truth - showing up in our greatest vulnerability, which ultimately represents our greatest power.
|Nipples of Venus Cakerie|
Photo by Beth Mayesh
On this evening that Vivi and I have planned, we intend to take you through a sensory tour of living art. There will be Nipples of Venus Cakerie delights, beautiful wines and bubbly beverages to tease your taste buds. Your ears will experience every sensation imaginable; from the lightest tickle to the deepest massage stroke by hearing opera up close. Your eyes will take you on a journey of the heart with every conceal and reveal you witness. Hearing the story behind each story will touch your very soul, and add a whole new layer of meaning to the experience.
Most of all, you will learn how to take this experience and apply it to every encounter you have with the arts after this one. Whether you are front row at a concert or reading “Poetry In Motion” on the subway, this experience will be something your body will never forget.
We invite you to embody the arts with us, Saturday June 1st.
For a sample of what you will hear at the event, click here to listen to Vivi singing one of her favorite arias.