Stocking Surprise a.k.a. The Diva: The Process

Solo debut: October 2012, Red Hots Burlesque
I’ll be performing this – my favorite solo! – along with my ridiculous Dancing Leprechaun solo (which debuted in March 2013 at Bootie SF!) tonight – Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at Red Hots Burlesque at El Rio as part of my month as their Featured Performer. I already wrote about the process of creating the Leprechaun solo here. (Why am I blogging about process? Read my explanation here.)
June 2012 marked my first trip to the lovely insanity that is the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend. I was dazzled and inspired by the quality of the performances and became more determined than ever to create crisp, original numbers of my own. I had never tried “traditional” burlesque; my numbers up to that point had been very clearly character or genre based: a matador, a girl on the rebound, a librarian with a curious love of books. Could I really just be a glam girl and get away with it?
I decided the challenge was worth it.
What resulted was a number that I think is truly the most “Ada” of any of my numbers. It conveys (or actually, I hope it conveys) a ferocity, a confidence, a strength that…ok, I don’t always carry with me, but that I’m working on.
Before the BHoF weekend was out, I’d already found music that was buried in my iPod, in an anthology of big band tunes: Bear Mash Bluesby Erskine Hawkins. (Why it’s called “Bear Mash Blues,” I have no idea…) And I knew just one thing about the costume: I’d need a short dress that unzipped completely from top to bottom…I imagined shaking myself out of the dress, and I needed that zipper to accomplish it. As opposed to my Matadora solo, this one is much less choreographed, with much more slow and sultry audience connection (also kind of a stretch for me at first, but now that I’m more comfortable with the solo, I dig it!). That just seemed to fit the style of music. But the stocking removal. How did that happen?
You see, I remove my stockings, at the same time, criss-crossed, while doing a headstand. Ahem:

Rockin’ photo for Red Hots Burlesque taken by Michelle Yoder.

It was an accident, actually. I knew I wanted to do some kind of cool stocking removal, but wasn’t sure what. I tried undoing the stockings from the garter belt and holding them during a headstand, but they were too short, my legs too long…it just didn’t read. I realized that unhooking the whole garter belt – not the individual garters – would make for a longer costume piece, and a more visually striking removal. The first time I tried it at home, the garter belt got twisted and when I stretched my legs in the headstand, they came off in a criss-cross…much more visually striking than I’d intended! I retraced my steps to figure out how it happened, memorized it, and voila! The stocking surprise!

Anyway, just like my other process post – what about you? What are your “cool accidents” while creating?

Published by adalavender

Burlesque dancer. Showgirl. Poet. Both lover and fighter.

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