A look back at ‘Everything In Between’.
Editor’s Note (~Jessica Price): Though the Seattle Erotic Art Festival took place last month, the festival’s 10th anniversary celebration won’t fade from memory any time soon. The art was outstanding (my personal favorites included Jim Wilkinson’s “Homophotoart” collection; Lillian Mary Elizabeth Ripley’s digital art merry-go-round of strippers on poles; Jeff Palmer’s extraordinary, sexually-charged black and white photos; and Linda Marsh’s beautiful triptych “Ties That Bind”) and so were the off-site extras (Christopher Ryan’s humorous lecture for Sex At Dawn – complete with a PowerPoint of copulating bonobos). The 2012 fete will be a tough year to top. Luckily the Seattle Erotic Art Festival is a growing, ever- shifting jewel in Seattle’s carnal crown and will return June 15-23, 2013. I can hardly wait to see what their eleventh year will bring.
In case you missed out on the festival this year, I wanted to draw some attention to the 800 photos of the grand finale weekend that are now live and posted HERE, plus there’s links to various photos, videos, and reviews that were posted on the 10th anniversary HERE. To follow is a recap of grand finale weekend’s Everything In Between show, written by Seattle photographer Paul Swortz.
~ Written by Special Guest Contributor, Paul Swortz
If you are going to offer burlesque at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, you better bring a damn fine show to get the attention of an audience surrounded by sexy distractions of every – and I mean every – taste. When the lights dimmed and the music rose inside Fremont Studios on June 22, the burlesque-focused Everything In Between finale weekend show managed to keep the crowd awed and thoroughly entertained with a world-class lineup of performers.
Armitage Shanks was the masterful emcee, introducing performances with his usual flair for humor and wit – he peeled off triple-entendres and subtle sexy puns as sweetly as Miss Indigo Blue peels off stockings. One of the acts was Miss Indigo Blue herself, “Queen of Burlesque/Miss Exotic World 2011”, who transformed from a dainty Navy Nurse to a sexy Wonder Woman and dizzyingly demonstrated her mastery of tassel twirling.
Opening the show was New York City boylesque star Tigger!, who has been making regular appearances in Seattle lately. Tigger’s energy, acrobatics, and flair for the dirty/nasty/sexy quieted the crowd: first as a demure bride and in his second number, peeling from one gender to the next to the strains of the Cheap Trick classic ”Surrender” (Mama’s all right, Daddy’s all right, they just seem a little weird…”).
With Kevin MacDonald’s 40-foot x 20-foot steel spider web in the entrance of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival space (which featured separate aerial performances choreographed by Aerialista Elizabeth Rose), Everything In Between included two acrobatic and sexy live numbers performed over the stage. Seattle burlesque legend Tamara the Trapeze Lady rose over the stage in aerial silks and climbed, wrapped, dropped – and got mostly naked – with grace, power, and beauty; she was erotic artistry incarnate.
The other aerial number had Elizabeth Rose performing acrobatic gymnastics with a clawfoot bathtub and shower ring (complete with working shower). No cleaning lady I’ve ever seen made removing bathtub rings more sexy. Tubs may be slippery when wet, but Elizabeth managed to clean things up with power and grace (and just a touch of dirty).
Other performers included:
– The Shanghai Pearl – who performed with her usual beauty, class, and gorgeous costumes
– Lusty Zins – dizzying pole dancing with feats of strength and balance
– Adra Boo and the Wet Spots — kept things humming during breaks and stage cleanup with Adra’s powerful pipes and the Wet Spots’ dirty lyrics (“Do You Take it in the Ass?”) keeping the audience entertained.
Closing the Friday show was a reprise of an ingenious, hilarious number by Waxie Moon that I first saw at That’s F*cked Up! 3! Waxie danced and was joined onstage by a handful of dashing sidekicks in tighty whiteys and gym socks, performing to a pair of classic Beatles numbers: “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun.” Two words and I’ll say no more: glitter bukkake. Quite a finish (and I’d wager you can watch for some variation of that number in this year’s “Hump!” competition).
Other Seattle Erotic Art Festival items of note (not on the main stage):
– Heidi Von Haught reprised a chillingly beautiful and haunting performance from That’s F*cked Up! 3! Dressed as a clown, she seduces and finishes off an innocent boy to the haunting words and music of “John Wayne Gacy Jr.” by Sufjan Stevens. (I’ve always found clowns a little disturbing, and now my dreams will become even more confusing, as my psyche will include images of mostly naked clowns with boobs and “Sissy Boy” written on their bodies…)
– Sinner Saint Burlesque shared a work of performance art called “Sculpture Garden”. This was a complex and thoughtful piece, with the women being posed in turn by one another according to a single word. Here’s Sinner Saint’s Jesse Belle-Jones’ description of the work:
‘Sculpture Garden’ explores erotic language and the power of touch. Dancers physically manipulate each others’ bodies, using one another as our canvas for painting our interpretation of words like ‘restraint’, ‘lust’, ‘ecstasy’, ‘initiation’, etc. This is done taking into consideration creative, intimate and sensual ways that the Sculptor might use her own body to manipulate the Sculpture.
Seattle Erotic’s next big event will be Seduction, “Seattle’s sexiest Halloween party”, on Saturday October 27.
Paul Swortz is an avid fan and dedicated follower of all things burlesque. He can be found behind the camera at Paul Swortz Photography, and online at www.paulswortz.com