Enjoy burlesque? Enjoy ice-skating? Well how about a combination of both..? This is where the new production of Burlesque On Ice comes in, a unique show coming to West London this month. Fans of Dancing On Ice or Madame JoJo’s will love this fusion of the two arts in the stunning setting of the Edwardian Bush Hall. The show runs from 4-8 February 2014 with two performances nightly.
Ahead of the world première of this exciting new concept, Metro Girl spoke to the team behind the show.
1) How did the concept of Burlesque On Ice come about?
Burlesque On Ice is the brain-child of lawyer, ice skater and burlesque enthusiast Sam Jenkins. Sam had enjoyed going to burlesque shows for some years, so when she was asked to put together a routine for an ice test, she decided to put skating with a burlesque fan dance. The routine went so well that Sam approached West End burlesque star Polly Rae to help her develop it as an act for a Christmas ice show. It was here that the first sparklings of Burlesque On Ice began.
2) What’s the biggest challenge of combining ice-skating with burlesque?
First of all, training burlesque performers to skate is no small task! Sam really wanted to use professional burlesque performers in the show, because you can’t have an authentic burlesque show without burlesquers! The performers the show has employed are at the top of their game, but with the exception of the ethereal Vicky Butterfly, none of the performers had trained in skating. So began six months of intensive training, in the capable hands of principal skater Hollie Deller and pro-skater Sarah Christou, who are both coaches. As for training the pro-skaters to perform burlesque, Sam turned to castmember and burlesque expert Gwendoline Lamour, who spent time with the skaters to introduce them to the world of burlesque and share her infinite wisdom on the subject. As you can imagine, all this has led to some interesting mash-up sessions!
3) What’s the most important quality the show looks for when it comes to the performers?
For a show like this, the performers have to simply burst with personality and stage presence; that is the essence of a burlesque show. Additionally, It was important to have skilled ice skaters with show experience and experience skating on synthetic ice, as this is what the show will be performed upon. The skaters that were chosen perfectly combined the skill with the sparkle. The burlesque performers were cast to show the variety of the burlesque world; from the ridiculously glamorous to the dreamlike to the absurdly comedic. The performers also needed to be able to work as a group, and most have a dance background as well as a burlesque performance background. When the casting call went out, there were many expressions of interest but not all the burlesquers were willing to get on the ice, so the cast that was eventually chosen were those who were willing to learn and able to keep their dynamic stage presence while skating; something which skaters know is not always easy!
Cast: Burlesque performers – Gwendoline Lamour, Vicky Butterfly, Joe Morose, Glorian Gray, Mia Merode, Ruby Deshabille, Bonnie Fleur, Jasz Vegas, Trixie Kixx with guest acts from Polly Rae, Betsy Rose and Crys Columbine, Miss Danni Dee
Skaters: Hollie Deller, Sarah Cristou, Jess Ashby, Kerri-Ann Thomas, Rosie Van Someren.
- Burlesque On Ice runs from 4-8 February 2014 with performances at 7pm and 9.15pm. Tickets range from £28-£60. Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ. Nearest tube: Shepherd’s Bush Market (Circle or Hammersmith & City line) or Shepherd’s Bush (Central Line). For more information and tickets, visit the Burlesque On Ice website.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.