Burlesque show marks world's end and transformation

CorrespondentDecember 20, 2012 

The Arts Center is hosting a variety show called Apocalesque! based on the end of the world and transformation.

COURTESY OF ERICK DAVIS

  • More information What: Apocalesque: A cabaret and variety show at the end of the world When: 8 p.m. Friday Where: The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro Cost: $12 in advance, $16 at the door Details: 919-929-2787 or artscenterlive.org

If you’re reading this, it’s probably not your last day on Earth and the Mayans were wrong about Dec. 21 marking the end of the world.

But they could still be right about this marking the beginning of a new era, and that begs the question: What better way to begin anew than by going to a local cabaret and burlesque show?

“Apocalesque” – a one-time-only live show of music, dance and comedy – will hit the stage at Carrboro’s ArtsCenter at 8 p.m. Friday. Produced by local dancer and burlesque performer Sirona von Sirius (known to her mail carrier as Kim Herold), the show will feature regional performers from Asheville, Virginia and Washington, D.C., as well as Triangle-area artists.

The lovely and talented Ms. Sirius recently spoke about transformation, Celtic goddesses and art versus the end of the world.

Q: What can people expect to see?

A: It’s a variety show, so there will be a lot of different kinds of acts. You’ll be seeing burlesque, cabaret, singers, aerial dance, hoop dance, modern dance, poetry. It’s a pretty wide range of creative expression.

Q: Is there a story behind your stage name, Sirona von Sirius?

A: I originally came up with the name while dreaming of a career as a performance artist. She is a reference to both the Celtic goddess of healing springs, fertility, and astronomy, Sirona, and the star system, Sirius. I see performance as an opportunity to embody and give honor to something larger than oneself. So why not an alien love goddess?

Q: You’re bringing in these musicians, belly dancers and cabaret performers from all over the region – how do you know all these people?

A: Mostly through doing workshops in those cities.That’s how I got my start, going to the Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival in Asheville.

Q: What is your particular act for the show?

A: I’m doing a partner-dance burlesque and acting and singing cabaret along with the live band. It’s going to be fun.

Q: Apocalesque is being billed as “a cabaret and variety show based on transformation and the end of the world.” Can you talk a little more about how the show addresses this theme?

A: I asked performers to access some element of transformation from their own life stories and bring it to their act. Whether it be the transition from man to woman, overcoming addiction, or surviving the death of a loved one – we all experience the death and birth of worlds in every moment, whether or not we’re conscious of it. Life itself is transformation.

Q: I suspect I know the answer to this already, but your burlesque show at the end of the world – is it kid-friendly?

A: Hmm, I would say it’s 18-plus. I mean, your kids aren’t gonna be scarred for life. I think kids would find it fun, actually, but there will be some burlesque and some tease elements. There’s no full nudity; the most you’ll see is pasties. But if you don’t want your children to see mostly naked women, then don’t bring your kids.

Q: There’s been a revival recently of this kind of “New Burlesque” or “Neo-Burlesque” that focuses on artfulness and stagecraft. Is it fair to say that your show in this tradition?

A: Sure, yeah. Until we come up with a better term, like Quantum Burlesque!

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