The Burlesque Ball 2010 Performance
'Watch Out For' Exclusive Interview
Photo From Lola's Official Site (love the Tricorn hat)
"Burlesque uses the body and sexuality like a musician uses an instrument and sound - to see where else it can go. To say all burlesque always says the same thing about women and sex is like saying that music is all about instruments and sounds, it is to deny the wealth and richness of meanings and ideas in burlesque today" - Lola the Vamp
This ephemeral classic beauty prances en pointe with many influences, from Ballet, to Art Nouveau, to Symbolism, Dark Gothic glamour and Pure Intuition. She is Sexy, and she is Smart. I first met Lola at Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School at the Glass Bar, only a couple of months ago. I went to brush up on my sketching powers and also to meet new people, and artists are, of course, the most interesting people to meet. She was wearing a wonderful punkish tartan gown, was soft spoken and velvet eyed. I loved her already, and hadn't even seen her perform or even that she did Burlesque!
"Lola, the vamp, a woman so in control of her art form as to be more dominant the greater her state of undress, was magnetic. We are fish on hooks!" Miss Victoria Mist, review of Sugartime, Sydney.
She did introduce me to La Viola Vixen that night who I went on to take lessons from. Anyone who knows me knows that Google is my friend, and I researched Burlesque, and the influences and intelligence that has gone into Lola's routines are well above the norm and usually over the audiences head. But she knows. This gives her a Mona Lisa type of quirky charm, that she has shadows swirling underneath the surface about to break, but never quite doing so.
"My shows are about my ideal striptease performer and I am equally influenced by French Cabaret showgirls who go topless with amazing costumes, as I am by American burlesque dancers who wear pasties (and amazing costumes!)." - Lola the Vamp
I had seen you tube videos of her performances, usually poor quality and not showing all of her, and often cutting out her footwork altogether, So I was extremely excited to see her perform at Ric's Bar last night. I am a punctual person and so climbed the long flight upstairs into an intimate, smoky room. The balcony allowed smokers, the Bar Tender wore glitter, a vest and bow tie, and had 'tips' scrawled on his abs. The women's bathrooms has magazine cutouts plastering the walls with clever and crude graffiti. The drinks were cheap, the wait went quickly. Lola, La Viola Vixen and Amelie Lu Lu went downstairs for 5 minutes and came up with a rowdy bunch of, how shall I put this? Bogans. It was only 9pm and already people were slurring drunk.
Lola took to the stage in all black, with a black sequined wire frame which made her look as though she had just stepped out of an Alphonse Mucha poster from Paris. Her movements were refined, her face was both at times demure and at other times, sassy. Her poise and dignity was in sharp contrast with the bawdy crowd, but that was part of the appeal. I felt as though her movements were only being appreciated by a select few, and that a secret was being passed along those few that really valued what Lola was doing.
The culmination of her routine was sliding around in a glass half dome, filled with water. It did bring to mind the Martini Glass routine, so popular in the United States. The element of water has so many symbolic connotations, being one of the 'Classical Elements' of Air, Water, Earth and Fire. Greek Philosophers attributed water to having powers of emotion and intuition. In Indian Mythology, Water is attached to the Moon, and Venus and also imagination. In astrology, the 'water signs', are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
"Water personalities tend to be emotional, deep, nurturing, sympathetic, empathetic, imaginative and intuitive; however, they can also be sentimental, over-sensitive, escapistic and irrational." Water - Wikipedia
Water is essentially a feminine symbol of intuition, of feeling. It also helps that the wet shine on her legs, herself being immersed in the bowl (the womb, if you will) simulates sex. She is sweat, she is penetrating. And the climax of course, is splashing the bowl empty onto the crowd and floor, simulating the point of completion and ejaculation.
“I am always creating shows for the PHD submissions, then writing about that process and creative theory, design, movement, costume. There’s a level of fetishism, in the psycho-analytic sense of the word, it’s broader than the sex shop theory. I use antique pieces in the show; I find it ties the show to something before me” Lola the Vamp
The night quickly degenerated from there, with regular house music being played, regular drunks grabbing too much, but the sleaze and the darkness only highlighted the glamour and the light even more. To Lola; you are an inspiration to me, only a beginner in this world, and I thank you for that.
“It’s a flight of fantasy; it’s supposed to take you into another world, an alternate reality. I am aiming for a spectacle; it’s not the kind of thing you see every day…” Lola the Vamp