The Montreal Burlesque Festival is back with three days of food and champagne, workshops, and a dazzling array of shows performed by the best burlesque performers in the world.
If you've never had the chance to catch a burlesque show, this festival is the best time to get a taste of what it offers; glamour, sensuality, seduction, and humor. The shows range from the extravagance of the 20s, to the elegance of the 40s, to cosplay and fetish. And it's all done with an exceptional eye for detail and a tongue in cheek persona. Burlesque tends to be a wink more than a kiss.
The festival opens October 17 with a meet-and-greet dinner where attendees will be treated to an intimate performance before mingling with the artists.
October 18 and 19, at Club Soda, are the shows not to be missed. Friday night, artists from around the world will regale the audience with dances while competing for the Lili St Cyr award for the best burlesque act. And this is really where they pull out all the stops.
Saturday night will also see Montreal's very own burlesque legend Scarlett James take to the stage in a brand new and "grandiose" act. Shows by Scarlett Martini, Lily Lynx and Kitty Kin Evil (to name a few!) are also on the schedule. It should be hot!
The parties don't stop when the stage empties. Guests are invited for cocktails at the aptly named Wiggle Room, after the performances.
There are six themed workshops you can also take part in. For $40 per class (get a free class if you purchase them all) you can learn everything from the fundamentals of the burlesque strut to boa techniques at the Boa Werk class. Note, boa not included.
There are also floor work classes that teach you a small routine and how best to engage with the audience. It's recommended to bring knee pads, and I can't figure out if that makes it sexier or possibly less sexy.
Not only will the performers be dressed in stunning costumes. Attendees are asked to bring their A-game in attire too; wearing jeans, running shoes or a baseball cap will get you a quick turn away at the door.
It's not all just glamour, dancing and entertainment. You can support a few good causes while being titillated. For each pair of tickets that are sold, a tree will be planted in the Amazon forest, courtesy of onetreeplanted.org.
You can also support performer Scarlett James in her anti-bullying efforts by joining her Facebook page and sharing the hashtag #themanyfacesofbullyism.