Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Sep 21st
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

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.