Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
May 29th
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

 

Ocean Odyssey

Sailing the high seas from Santa Cruz to French Polynesia, Sally-Christine Rodgers documents the trials, tribulations and joys of exploring the world by boat

 

Gemini Festival of Goodwill, World Invocation Day

This entire week is a preparation by the New Group of World Servers (NGWS) for the June full moon (Tuesday) and to welcome the Forces of Reconstruction, great outer planetary forces streaming into the Earth at the Gemini Solar Festival. The Gemini Festival at the June full moon is called the Festival of Goodwill and World Invocation Day (recitation of the Great Invocation, the mantram of direction for humanity, hourly around the world). During the (12 degrees) Gemini festival, the Wesak blessing of the will-to-good is released and radiated (Gemini distributes) to humanity. When the will-to-good is received, humanity is then able to radiate goodwill to each other and to the kingdoms. The Gemini Festival is the third of the Three Spring Festivals (triangle of Force), setting the spiritual template and resources for Earth for the rest of the year (‘til next spring). This festival recognizes the true spirit of humanity—aspiring toward and seeking the will of God, dedicated to right human relation. At the full moon, the Divine nature of humanity is recognized. Christ stands with humanity, leader of his people, “the Eldest in a great family of brothers” (Romans VIII, 29.) Each year at the Gemini festival, Christ preaches the last sermon of Buddha, His brother, a sermon calling forth human and spiritual unity, represented by an outflow of love (work of the Christ) and wisdom (work of the Buddha). The forces of reconstruction stream in during the Festival, ushering in an era of pronounced creative activity, rebuilding the tangible world on new creative lines. This necessitates the total destruction of the old forms no longer useful for the new world era. Everyone is invited. Join us everyone for this Festival of Goodwill by reciting the Great Invocation.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 29

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

The Main Avant

Jozseph Schultz caters New Music Works’ 35th annual Avant Garden Party, plus brews for a cause

 

What will Santa Cruz be like in the future?

 society that is more awakened and realizes its own value and the beauty of the stunning Earth. Marguerite Clifford, Felton, Nutrition Health Care

 

Chesebro Wines

Piedras Blancas-Roussanne 2011

 

Real Thai Kitchen

Ratana Bowden on why Thai cuisine isn’t as spicy as everyone thinks