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ESSENTIAL TEASE: A Burlesque Student Showcase| JUN 16 | 8PM
Jacqueline Boxx: Award-Winning Burlesque Performer and Essential Tease Founding Member
I’ve been performing in some sense since I was about five years old because I always felt a drive to tell stories and spin more creativity into the world. The Essential Tease classes and showcases encourage storytelling through a subversive medium that provides a perfect framework for self-growth. We tell the stories we want to tell, when and how we want to tell them, and many of those stories are about the actualization of power. Burlesque has enabled me to come into my power and I love to watch it do the same for others.
Ruby Rockafella: Award-Winning Burlesque Performer and Essential Tease Founding Member
When Jacqueline Boxx, Cherie Nuit, and I developed these classes, we knew we had to dig deeper than just teaching people how to create an act and bump ‘n’ grind. We want students to really explore why they want to do burlesque, examine blocks they might be experiencing, and work on undoing what society has told them they should or shouldn’t be. We provide students with tools that they can use not only on stage, but in their every day lives. Burlesque is about transformation and power, and in every iteration of this class we have taught, we see humans transform, reclaim their power, and become themselves more fully. It may sound dramatic, but I truly believe burlesque is life-changing. Take it from someone who had two traumatic child-birthing experiences, survived a pandemic with very young children, and thought she would never perform again…teaching this class and being part of these showcases has saved me time and again, and I am forever grateful to do this work.
Alison Crockett Presents Echoes of an Era: The Jazz Sides of Chaka Khan | NOV 3 | 8pm
Alison Crockett: Singer, Songwriter, Pianist
“I consider myself a musician who comes out of the jazz tradition, the Black music tradition where jazz people take established forms and reimagine them in new and different ways,” she says, eschewing strict genre categorizations for herself and her responsive, ever-evolving artistry.
Alison Crockett has forged a groundbreaking, deliriously unpredictable path as a visionary and fiercely independent artist. She is perhaps the quintessential nu jazz/progressive soul singer of her generation and yet you may not have heard of her—but you’ve no doubt heard her voice.
Awkward Sex… and The City | MAR 3 | 7:30pm
Natalie Wall: Creator/producer/headliner of Awkward Sex… and the City
In a country where cis men still dictate attitudes around sexuality and dominate the topic in comedy, comedian Natalie Wall encourages people, especially women, to be open and unapologetic about their sexuality. By highlighting unique and cringeworthy sexual encounters, told by women comedians, she subverts the notion that sex should be secretive and that women can’t be funny. Wall is the co-founder of Bad Assery: A Women and Comedy Conference, and she is not just “funny for a girl.” Watch a bit of her story in this video filmed at Paste Studios in New York.
Daughters of the Dust | MAR 9 | 7PM | Part of the Blackscope Cinema Series
Daughters of the Dust tells the story of little-known African-American history and is the first feature by an African-American woman director to earn a mainstream theatrical release in this country. Decades after the release of her “film of spellbinding visual beauty,” Julie Dash, writer and director, highlights the lasting impacts that the stories we tell can have over generations. Originally released in 1991, Daughters of the Dust was re-released after 25 years, inspired by none other than Beyoncé, who borrowed imagery and aesthetics of the film for her visual album Lemonade.
“Whenever I do a film, it has to take us one step further to making the world safe for everyone.” –Julie Dash
After she had written and directed several shorts, her 1991 feature Daughters of the Dust became the first full-length film directed by an African-American woman to obtain general theatrical release in the United States. Hear more from Julie Dash in her Interview with Vogue.
The High & Wides w/ Hannah Lee Thompson | MAR 31 | 8PM
Hannah Lee Thompson: Organizer & Musician
“I’m not someone who can write about things unless I’ve experienced them. I’m always jealous of people who can get their inspiration from stuff like nature or other art. My process is more like: go through something, process it for a few months, then write about it. Once you have the initial idea down though, it’s important to me to edit it from a perspective of ‘how do I make this a better song’, as opposed to ‘how do I best represent my personal narrative.’”