Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jan 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Femmes Fatales

ae Sirens1The Santa Cruz Sirens are set to cast a spell over the Fringe Festival

Greek mythology has painted the Sirens as seductive female creatures who lured unsuspecting sailors to shipwrecks and death at a rocky shore by captivating them with the sweetness of their song. Taking inspiration and a moniker from those commanding femmes fatales, artistic director Laina Copley formed the Santa Cruz Sirens Neo-burlesque troupe in April. “Our interpretation of the Sirens doesn’t intend to destroy the audience,” assures Copley, “but our goal is to expose them to different expressions of sexuality.”

The seven-member dance troupe will unveil its first production, entitled “Deep Waters,” as part of the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival on July 14, 19, 21, and 22 at The 418 Project.

“Burlesque is an important genre to be represented, as it embodies the fun and edginess that a Fringe Festival typically is,” says Dixie FunLee Shulman, director of the Fringe Festival. “The Sirens were the strongest burlesque applicants [and] we were pleased the burlesque slot could be filled with local talent.”

Staying true to the objectives of the Fringe Festival—to present audiences with unconventional forms of performance—the Sirens put a unique spin on classic burlesque. “I want folks to understand that we are offering something different,” explains Copley. “Almost as a disclaimer—if you’re expecting traditional burlesque, you’ll leave disappointed.” In an area with a number of burlesque troupes, the Sirens set themselves apart by performing a fusion of dance styles that explores sexuality, relationships, and the interplay between the masculine and the feminine.

“Deep Waters” features five solo and seven group pieces set to contemporary music. Each performance features a different type of dance—from modern, to hip-hop, to cancan, to Jamaican dance hall, to a Broadway-style piece.

ae Sirens2“My favorite thing about being in this group is that it [gives] me a chance to work with my own choreography in a way that is comfortable,” says dancer Rachael Hawkins, a.k.a. Coco Rouge. “In the past, as a dancer in other genres, [I] have felt worried about being judged by others. This group of women is uniquely accepting in a way that I don't believe would be possible in another context.”

 The Sirens are big advocates for embracing all body types in their dance and creating a safe space for women to connect around sensitive issues involving sexuality and body image. “It’s more than just sexy ladies dancing in lingerie,” says Copley. “It has a lot of substance because it is so intentional and empowered and tells a story from the dancer’s perspective, rather than just showing somebody something they would like to see.” Copley intends to provide a versatile show for audiences; one that’s perfect for those who simply want to be entertained, but with enough substance to interest those who have their own questions about sexuality.

The Sirens have maintained the character element of classic burlesque, in which each dancer has the opportunity to create her own unique persona. Madame Honey Divine (Copley) is the ringleader, spanking along her seven counterparts: Coco Rouge, Rose Wilde, Roxy DaBout, Valentina, Dylan, Sherione Shaw and their personal “kitten,” Sweet Tea Sassafras. “I would love for the audience members to feel connected [to] the different characters, and for each person to have their favorites,” says Wilde. “I hope we are endearing to people.”

The troupe says it is always looking for new talent—male and female—and intends to hold auditions in September. Copley has also expressed an interest in holding workshops for those interested in burlesque-type modes of sexual expression, but don’t have the time to dedicate to a troupe.

Those who can’t make it to the Fringe Festival can see the Sirens live at The Reef in Downtown Santa Cruz and at San Francisco’s Exotic Erotic Ball in the near future. A documentary about the Sirens is also in the works, under the direction of UC Santa Cruz student, Eric Hernandez.

“We get to dance around in lingerie,”

Copley says with a laugh. “What could be better  than that?”  Photo: Kaydin  Carlsen


The Sirens will hold a meet and greet in Abbott Square at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 12. “Deep Waters” runs from July 14-22 at The 418 Project, 418 Front St., Santa Cruz. $10. For tickets, visit scfringe.com.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by Sandra, July 11, 2012
Burlesque is such a creative art form. Looking forward to the performances. Sounds like this troupe is unique and I know you've all been working hard. Break a leg!
...
written by Cathy Wright, July 11, 2012
Wow! This sounds really intriguing...more power to you, Ladies! One question: what makes you "Neo-burlesque" rather than "classic burlesque"? (I guess I don't know that much about burlesque)

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots