Vancouver International Burlesque Festival tantalizes once again

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Freaky Candy (Photo by Marco Felix)

The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival (VIBF) is Canada’s longest running burlesque festival and it hits The Vancouver Playhouse and Hot Art Wet City May 5 through 7, 2016.

This year’s events brings performers from around the world including New York based couple Julie Altas Muz and Mat Fraser, and “The First Lady of Burlesque,” April March.

Vancouver’s burlesque scene is not only vibrant and sensational, but it is also rooted in the city’s developmental history. At the turn of the 20th century, vaudeville gained popularity as the main form of entertainment for the Klondike gold rushers. It evolved over the decades from a means to stimulate the Vancouver post-war economy and is now seen to be a refined practice that is both amusing and vital.

While burlesque is commonly thought of to be solely striptease, it draws on theatricality and the womanly wit, beauty, and sass. It empowers both performers and audiences to embrace the feminine and the seriousness of the art. VIBF animates and progresses this history through its various performances and workshops.

On May 5, TIT TALKS: TEACH. INSPIRE. TRANSCEND. is a n evening of TED-style talks presented by extraordinary performers, academics, and producers at Hot Art Wet City. Ideas, stories, and views will be shared that centre around the art of burlesque.

THE INTERNATIONAL CABARET on May 6 at the Vancouver Playhouse features international talent with classic showgirls to nerd-core strippers all bringing their tassel twirling and unique sense of sensuality, sex appeal, and satire.

The festival ends on a high note with VANCOUVER UNCOVERED where the best of burlesque brings an evening of boundary-pushing, ground-breaking, and new striptease on the Vancouver Playhouse stage.

The festival is also giving two, full-day workshops on May 6 and 7 featuring classes on the art of balloon popping, burlesque cabaret hosting, elegant striptease, and Pariah style dance. Registration closes on May 5.

Be sure to grab your tickets quick as shows are sure to be packed full of admirers, performers, and key figures of the international burlesque scene.

Vancouver International Burlesque Festival 2016

When: May 5 to 7

Where: The Vancouver Playhouse and Hot Art Wet City

Cost: Tickets range from $20-$65 and workshops are $20-$25 per class. For more information and tickets check out the official VIBF website here.

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Ileanna Cheladyn Ileanna is a Vancouver based dance artist, writer, and coffee consumer.
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