Saturday 23 August 2014

Pandora's Box Burlesque Show Tonight!

Photographer Stuey Hamilton and digital illustration by Pantayra creative. 
As you all know I want to about new upcoming shows to see and this is one I am very much looking forward to.
Pandora’s Box is an innovative show unlike anything currently seen in the UK. Based on the epic stories of Greek Mythology, the show is an enchanting display of high class entertainment.
Incorporating contemporary dance, ballet, aerial displays, fire, original song & comedy with striptease, Pandora’s Box is an erotic, sensual display of skin and skill.
Taking the audience member on a journey that is playful, provocative, and highly enthralling. Pandora’s Box will leave you spellbound….
Produced by, Directed & starring Lady Catalina, and hosted by the witty, exuberant, compelling Divine Miss Em.
The Hippodrome is a brilliant venue, very easy to find and right in the heart of London’s West End. It’s very grand inside, open 24 hours and has a real buzz and elegance about it. This is a very exciting show to see.

Here is a taster ahead of tonight’s show!

Ahead of tonight's show I have spoken to director and Cream Tease producer Lady Catalina about what you can expect from this new production. To get your tickets ahead of tonight’s show click here:

Image from Skinny Mammoth
I am looking forward to seeing Pandora’s Box Burlesque Show tonight. Tell me a bit more about it…

Myself and the cast are so pleased that you're coming to the launch. We're very excited as you can imagine! Pandora's Box is an innovative new show, incorporating contemporary dance, ballet, aerial, fire, original music and comedy with striptease and tells the epic stories of Greek mythology. The show is sensual and passionate. It is a real celebration of skin & skill.

How would you describe your concept for the show?

I'd known in my mind for quite a few years exactly the kind of show I desperately wanted to create. I'd had choreography ideas swarming around in my brain that I was dying to get to work on.
The concept really lies in my passion for dance and performance art, and how beautiful the human body is. I wanted to create something where yes, the removal of costumes is still a key factor, but where the choreography and story line is so gripping, and the scene so visually captivating that some of the costumes are gone before the audience member has even noticed.
My creative brain was working overtime on this idea for this passionate, sensual show.
I absolutely love Greek mythology and the stories were just there, perfect, waiting to be recreated. They fitted perfectly what I longed to create. The only problem was choosing from so many incredible stories. But that's the great thing, as it means the show can constantly evolve and we have no shortage of acts we will add at a later stage...
I also knew that as my husband writes music, I wanted original music for this production.
I feel very lucky that I was able to sit with Stu and build music to fit with the storyline/dance I was creating. He was incredible!!

How did the show come about?
Image by Skinny Mammoth

Well I started my company The Cream Tease back in 2008, booking in performers etc. Then in 2012 I got a set group of performers together, choreographed a show, and we've been together ever since performing our traditional burlesque show. As they're all such beautiful, trained dancers in many styles they were all 100% into the concept. They totally got it and they've worked very, very hard.

How long has the show be in the making?

Ooh I'd say a year. From the point of initial idea, to first drafts of music and first character choices, to lots of meetings, lots of disappointments, near fatal contract signings (thank you John Giddings for saving me from that) I can't really tell you quite how trying the journey has been. But after every let down, I'd seriously just have to think of the rest of the cast and I felt a HUGE obligation to not give up!

How much involvement in the direction of this show have you had?

100%. I don't have any help. I've always run the show myself and everything that goes with that.
I think I'd like an agent, or somebody to help promote the show/bookings etc as it gets a bit too much choreographing it, making props, making costumes, meetings, emails. I'm quite tired haha! But that's the same for anybody who runs their own business isn't it. Or show, as you must know.
I did have a choreographer for the first time, who worked on 3 group numbers and they're great.
It was hard for me and the girls though, as we knew the vision so well. And so we decided to stick with my choreography, and plus the girls are great too. A couple of them have some incredible choreography ideas. And so we can incorporate that into their solos. I couldn't have had a director. I felt really passionate about the direction.
That's not to say that if somebody came along who could improve it, that I wouldn't want that. Of course I would. I'd just like to think I could work alongside that person and not have them take over, that's all. As I've invested a year of my life, and practically every penny that I have in to this production.
Image by Skinny Mammoth
Talk me through the creation process of this show…

Well, choosing the characters and stories came first. Obviously it was important to find stories that had a reason for removal of items of clothing. Or a strong character with a symbol we could build a routine around. A lot of thought went into the storyline/structure of each character and why they were in the show.
Then  for music. Originally I wanted it to be 100% original. As it was incredible being able to say "his heart would be pounding here. So we need fear now. Crescendo for a grande Jete here please" it was great. But just not within the budget. So currently it's 50/50. But that's my aim, getting it to 100% original music.....
Then for costumes. Again, that was tricky as I knew I wanted them to be removed effortlessly, in a sensual, fluid way and yet also exciting. Once the choreography begins, the costumes tend to change a fair bit which was very annoying for my Mum who helps make the costumes.
Sometimes something just won't work out as you envisaged it, and yet you don't want to jeopardise the choreography. I think that's always a hard call. You can love the costume, and love the dance, but one just has to change.
And then obviously rehearsing and rehearsing, in amongst me nearly signing with a producer. Which I feel now, would definitely have been a bad move.

Your host for the evening is Divine Miss Em. How does she fit into the concept behind Pandora’s Box Burlesque Show?

I knew we had to have Miss Em in the production. She has such vast experience in the West End and along with her killer voice; she also brings the comedy element to the production. This brings that much needed equilibrium. Her character is phenomenal, so strong with many levels.
Sitting down together to write the dialogue was so much fun. We knew it couldn't be ad lib, there had to be set pieces of dialogue and information about each story/character that was crucial to share with the audience. At the same time, we wanted her to have room to grow within her character and leave some room for creative freedom.

Image by Skinny Mammoth
Why did you choose the Hippodrome Casino as the venue?

The Hippodrome is a beautiful venue in the heart of the West End!! Could you ask for anything better?
I was offered quite a few venues, that were all lovely, or current, but we are very limited in our choices as we need a good sized stage. One venue I was tempted by, but I knew I would have to change choreography in order to fit it on the stage. And after a lot of thought, I wasn't willing to jeopardise the quality of choreography after the girls had worked so hard on it. I LOVE the Hippodrome. It's perfect and I'm beyond proud to have Pandora's Box launching there.

What’s different about your show to others?

I'd say it's a lot more dance based. Obviously there's aerial, fire, comedy etc but the level of dancing is something we really focused on. It's very sensual and erotic and it doesn't have many of the usual/expected acts you may see at a traditional burlesque show. There's no fan dance, balloon pop or boas. I think possibly if you wanted to watch traditional burlesque, you may be disappointed. If you love theatre, dance, original music, and something a bit different, then I'd hope that you'd love Pandora's Box.

What can your audience expect from the evening?

Well to quote Immodesty Blaize "Refreshing to see a different style of classic Burlesque. Tres sexy"
So I'd say they can expect something a little bit different and I'd hope they can expect to laugh, nearly cry, and be totally spellbound.

Have you planned any further shows?

Well this will be the first of our London dates, and I'll confirm the next dates shortly. We're taking Pandora's Box to Amsterdam on Sept 26th and on Friday Oct 10th. I'm honoured to say that I'm putting on a show in Haslemere at Haslemere Hall, with the Queen of Burlesque Immodesty Blaize guest staring. Myself and the Cream Tease girls are beyond excited to perform with such an incredible performer!!

Image by Skinny Mammoth
I would like to give a huge thank you to Lady Catalina and the Cream Tease for this wonderful interview in the run up to tonight’s show. I hope you are all as excited as I am to go and see this production later on. Again don’t forget to get your tickets if you haven’t already and come and say hi if you’re at the show!


No comments:

Post a Comment