Burlesque tour breezes into Vermont

When most people think “burlesque,” the word “geeky” usually does not come to mind. However, the world’s geekiest burlesque yet, will take over Higher Ground Oct. 16. The show is performed by SuicideGirls, a community of “alternatively beautiful” women that exists both online and performs across the country. SuicideGirls, a mostly-online collective, has a number of burlesque shows under its belt. But this show, Blackheart Burlesque, is like no other before it. It strays from the punk vibe SuicideGirls usually strives for and has a unique twist: It’s full of pop culture references that will lock the audience in and hit home. These include numbers with references to TV and movies such as Star Wars, Sailor Moon and even Planet of the Apes. “Not everyone will get every reference. But those who do will really have the time of their lives,” co-founder of SuicideGirls Selena Mooney, who goes by Missy Suicide, said. SuicideGirls was inspired to change their approach to the show after they took a hiatus from performing. In the meantime, the burlesque world had become less traditional and more abstract. Therefore, SuicideGirls needed to bring something new to the table in order to maintain their status and attract a wide audience. Blackheart Burlesque will include new costumes, music and choreography in addition to a new theme: pop culture. By including popular themes from TV, movies, etc., people can find an angle that they enjoy. UVM student Samantha Spencer expressed her excitement for an Orange is the New Black number. “I love the characters so much, I would go to the burlesque just to see that,” said Spencer. Audience participation will be a key part of the show, which is sure to keep people engaged in an interesting way. Cassie Szogas, a freshman at UVM, is intrigued by the audience participation in the show. “It makes me curious! I think it’ll really add to the experience,” Szogas said. For Blackheart Burlesque, SuicideGirls worked with choreographer Manwe-Sauls Addison for the first time. Addison, who has worked with Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, adds a new artistic angle. “He has been amazing,” Mooney said. “He’s the other half of my brain and thinks of new themes and artistic ideas to the table. He brings it to life in a way I could’ve never imagined.” SuicideGirl’s goal for the show was to bring an original live experience that will captivate the audience by sparking their interest, getting them involved, and showing the new artistic side of burlesque. With its unexpected twists and obscure references, Blackheart Burlesque will be irresistibly entertaining.