Worthy of celebration: Seattle Erotic Art Festival at 10 and Waxie Moon’s “Bolero”.

Seattle Erotic Art Festival in 2011, Installation by Derek Gores, Photo by Adam Harrison

The stars align in one glorious, stripped down and gussied up weekend as Seattle Erotic Art Festival celebrates “ten years of love and lust” with opening festivities at Fremont Studios, while across town at On The Boards Waxie Moon launches his pièce de résistance Boléro at NW New Works Festival – all on the same  weekend of June 16-17.  Be still my heart.

Seattle Erotic Art Festival- one of the many jewels in Seattle’s wanton crown- was pictured HERE in a nod to Seattle’s erotic history (along with Lily Verlaine, Gypsy Rose Lee, and The Lusty Lady).  The festival’s adventurous and delightfully lascivious audience is probably why their relationship with Seattle burlesque’s best and brightest works so well.  Everything In Between, curated by Festival Performance Director David Crellin (aka Armitage Shanks), will be featured on Grand Finale weekend’s main stage June 22-23, and what a finale it will be: Tigger! The Shanghai Pearl.  Waxie Moon. Miss Indigo Blue.  Tamara the Trapeze Lady.  Heidi Von Haught. The Wet Spots.

But much more than burlesque will be on offer.  There will be short films that shine a light into provocative corners (first forays into BDSM, unforgettable one night stands, sex with your ex), lively lectures (“An Intimate Evening with Christopher Ryan”, co-author of bestseller Sex At Dawn), and tempting workshops (“Real Sex in Front of a Camera? A Demonstration Photo Shoot”).  Art installations include fetish furnishings, a steel cable spider web on which bondage and aerial performances take place, and “HomoPhotoArt: A Sixty Year rEvolution” illustrating the radical changes in gay erotic art and photography.

Seattle Erotic Art Festival takes place June 16-24 at Fremont Studios and beyond.


Waxie Moon performs new work “Bolero” June 16-17 at On the Boards (Photo ©Tim Summers, gown by Mark Mitchell)

Meanwhile at On the Boards, the Northwest New Works Festival is taking place and among its many worthy performances will be a brand new masterpiece from Seattle’s “gender-blending queer lady boylesque performance-art stripping sensation” Waxie Moon.  Inclusion in the festival is a very big deal – only 17 new performances were chosen this year by a panel of regional artists and administrators.  Waxie’s Boléro dynamically fuses Ravel’s 17 minute orchestral magnum opus, a couture gown by Mark Mitchell, and sublime moments of striptease distinction that may mark a slight shift in Waxie’s work.  Boléro has been described as “endurance striptease” by witnesses of an advance performance.

In discussing his new creation, Waxie and I touched on the uniquely voyeuristic element certain performers convey in their work (Dita Von Teese’s recent suite of longer-than-average modern burlesque acts for Strip Strip Hooray! came up in our conversation).  Although 20 minute, elaborately produced striptease isn’t the prevalent format anymore, such acts distinctly evoke the feeling of being permitted to watch a beautiful woman (or man) reveal themselves in a deliberately slow, private show.

As a performer, Waxie is interested in playing with the possibilities inherent in slowing things down. The speed of movement isn’t so much the key, but the time taken to reveal oneself and how much can be conveyed in doing very little – or in doing so gradually.

Both costume and music make Boléro a challenging work to perform in a typical burlesque environment. Not only would the act’s length be prohibitive to most variety formats, but the gown’s obscene amount of tulle wouldn’t fit on most small stages.  As for why he selected Ravel’s “Boléroto build this performance:  “The song builds on a melody…and transfers to different instruments as it gains momentum,” Waxie says.  “It’s very sexual. I always thought it was built on sex,” he laughs. “Apparently it’s not.  But I always thought it was a highly sexual song, so I’m happy to explore sexual art forms with it.”

An act of this ambitious scope may well be part of a larger future work in process.  Waxie spoke of his fascination with Ibsen’s three-act play A Doll’s House, and of the inspiration he felt in being a part of Naked Boys Reading a few years back.  Starting with a spectacle, and revealing who you are – this seems to be the driving force behind the work of Waxie Moon.

“I wanted to make something beautiful and transcendent- that was my goal.  I don’t know if I achieved that,” he laughs. “But that was the goal.”

Boléro, created and performed by Waxie Moon, premieres at the Northwest New Works Festival, On The Boards, June 16th and 17th.

Photo ©Tim Summers

~ by angrytruffle on 06/10/2012.

One Response to “Worthy of celebration: Seattle Erotic Art Festival at 10 and Waxie Moon’s “Bolero”.”

  1. […] performer can be this past year. Last June he gave an amazing performance at On The Boards with his 17 minute endurance strip, “Boléro”. (Please do this again Waxie). He choreographed “Miracle!” (a re-envisioning of […]

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