Friday, 17 December 2010

Re-Vamped : The beginning.

Having been asked to help promote this show, I viewed the teaser trailers for this show on BIO channel’s website and I have to admit I was a little unsure about the potential “revenge” motive of this series. However, after viewing the first two episodes, I am fully appreciative of the way that burlesque can help transform many women’s lives – especially as I have first hand experience of learning the art which has enhanced my own life – in fact, turned it around.

The opening show saw a group of eight broken-hearted women, from diverse backgrounds who were feeling pretty down about themselves after being “dumped” by the men in their lives, men who they had previously had unshakeable faith in. The “dumpings” were done by various methods, but one which beggars belief was by email! I couldn’t believe it! I was sucked in…..the way the show has been produced leaves you anticipating what happens next.

The burlesque “journey” (I hate that cliché!) started with the women opening up, telling their stories and attempting to dump their own baggage and bottled up feelings, with the obligatory tears that seem so necessary in today’s television. I can remember a time when cameras would stop rolling when people got upset on TV, but as this sort of thing is commonplace now, I could see that the “Re-Vamp”-ing clearly becomes an emotional and spiritual thing as well as a physical one – making a much more compelling show than a simple “pretty makeover” which would significantly lack in substance.

The women were also introduced to a healthy lifestyle change, with some of them not too impressed with the choice of diet, with certain foods being banned. This element of the show was potentially informative, and I would have appreciated a bit more detail here. Perhaps a Re-Vamped website would be a good idea, to make such information accessible.
The best piece of advice given was; “Living well and looking good is the best revenge.” This set the tone.

On this note, the team of experts set about whipping them into shape, on the first stage of the transformation into burlesque queens. The boot-camp approach was in direct contrast with the studio training required for burlesque choreography, which some of the women struggled with (tears again).

Different tasks and challenges are to be set throughout the series, from an aerial rope assault course which tested the women’s nerve, confidence and physical strength, to a photography project and song writing task which helped nurture their creative side. (How many hoops do people have to jump through to make good TV?) These contrasting tasks are hoped to be character building, but I wondered why the women didn’t get to choose their own burlesque character – instead it was chosen for them. I thought that with a little research, they could have managed this. From my point of view, a burlesque character can take quite some time to develop- okay, so you have a name, costumes, also some routines, but I for one am still developing as “Miss Helene Bach”. This aspect of the show was slightly disappointing, I have to admit.
As a reality show, it works well. Potential conflict and upset makes these shows into “good TV”, also the anticipated outcome where the women perform in a burlesque show “sticking it” to their exes, who will be in the audience. When all this has been taken into account, I have to say I have enjoyed watching it so far, despite a couple of minor misgivings, which will hopefully disappear as the series progresses. We will see….
Worth a watch!

Re-Vamped is on BIO channel on Tuesday, 8.00pm and 11.00pm,
Repeated Friday at 9pm, also Saturday at 6pm.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Find out about Re-Vamped

Find out about Re-Vamped (Click here to see more!)

Tuesday 7th December will see the next episode of Re-vamped on Bio Channel. Be sure not to miss this compelling show as a group of eight women get revamped through learning the art of burlesque. In this episode, some of the women struggle with the choreography for the show.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A visit to Burlesque Salon!

Burlesque Salon is a hidden gem of a shop, tucked away in the fashion mecca that is the Oasis on Corporation Street, Birmingham.
Opened by Ella Young, this welcoming little shop is an absolute aladdin's cave of burlesque goodies, with something to tempt everyone. There is a range of excellent corsets in an array of colours and patterns, also a selection of pretty ruffled knickers, bustles, and hosiery, costume details such as hats and wigs can also be found, in fact everything you need to kit yourself out for burlesque.

You can even find my tassels stocked there, with a christmas range coming soon!

Well worth a visit as you do your christmas shopping in Birmingham.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Hallowe'en Masquerade Show at THE PUBLIC, West Bromwich, Saturday October 30th 2010

The setting for this well attended burlesque show was the "long room" rather than the theatre. This could have had an effect on the atmosphere due to its dimensions which sometimes meant that the audience energy was not so concentrated towards the stage Nonetheless, there were a variety of performance styles on show which meant that any audience newcomers to burlesque saw an almost complete spectrum.

I am usually a traditionalist as I like to see a male compere, but I was delighted with Gigi Golightly's elegant turn, she gave each act, including mine, a lovely introduction. However, as there were indeed a lot of newcomers (who knew little about burlesque) in the audience, she had her work cut out when it came to encouraging them to cheer the acts on.

Plenty of people turned up to see some real scary glamour. Black Country Burlesque regulars such as Delilah Cherry Blossom, Ava Quinzel and Lola Pops showed their finely honed skills and fabulous costumes in neo and gorelesque performances, taking delight in "freaking out" some of the ladies on the front row! Another thing which struck me was the expertly applied make up of these performers. The great amount of work that had gone into these performances was all too apparent. The stage manager for the evening was Celeste Chiffon who did sterling work in her own inimitable style, with horror make up and a fluorescent green wig.

Other performers to appear were trained by Maggie Palmer at Wolverhampton's Burlesque Academy. Blue Bell Noir and Starr Rouge, are a sister act who performed in perfect synchronisation in a traditional cabaret style. Tiger Lilley was another academy girl who made her debut with a sensual performance to the music "Teach me, Tiger".

I myself did two performances which included my debut act and a new one which used Robert Plant's "Fortune Teller" to tell my tale.

The evening had a couple of departures from burlesque with the Jawahir Belly Dance Troupe from Kingswinford dazzling us with their stunning costumes and routines.

Another part of the evening was an appearance by "Angel Eyes Helen" a medium who did readings for randomly selected memebers of the audience. Not everyone's cup of tea, but a different act which added to the variety of the evening.
As always, it is difficult to rate a show you have appeared in yourself, but I would recommend this show as worth a visit should there be another one, but I might suggest some format changes.
(Many thanks to Robin Lowe from Black Country Burlesque for the use of photographs from the night.)

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Burlesque Workshop that's worth giving a twirl....

Ladies enjoying themselves at the Burlesque Academy.

By popular demand, there will be another Beginner's Burlesque Academy workshop at DANCE BY DESIGN STUDIOS, Blyth House, 130 Hordern Road, Wolverhampton WV6 OHS. It will take place on 28th November 2010, starting at 10 am and lasting all day until approximately 5pm with an hour's break for lunch.
This intensive day-long course is aimed at beginners who have little or no experience in Burlesque, but in my opinion it could also be a useful refresher for ladies wanting to brush up their technique.

You will be expertly taught by professional dance instructor Miss Maggie Palmer, a.k.a Divine Destiny who will teach you the basics of walking, posing, posture and some choreographed routines in vintage and modern styles. The basics of "peeling" and "teasing" are also covered so you will be able to go home and give hubby a demo!

Although there are elements of striptease included in this course, no nudity is required, so your blushes are spared. You will need to bring some items with you, but you will be advised of this when you pre-book your place.

Miss Maggie Palmer teaching at the Burlesque Academy

I would highly recommend this course, although only a day long, burlesque is well worth a try just for a fun day out or it can be a life enhancing experience for those ladies wishing to learn more and take it further. (Like me) I wouldn't have dreamed I would be doing this two years ago. It is a real confidence boost and can also provide a toning workout, very good for the legs, back and abdominal muscles.

So, why not get a little glamour in your life, if only just for one day and try this marvellous course?

Cost for the day - £20

For details and essential pre-booking please ring Maggie Palmer on 07881 538780

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Burlesque designs for Hallowe'en!

Many apologies for the delay in posting. It is a very busy time for me as I am training to be a fitness instructor as well as continuing with my burlesque!

I thought I would give you some pretty pictures to look at, courtesy of my good friends at Lady K's just in time for Hallowe'en!
to buy these designs.

Spooky spiders web pasties

Skull and bones tassels

Skull pasties with holographic effect

Monday, 20 September 2010

Cosplay Burlesque, 18 September 2010 at THE PUBLIC

I won't say I am wary of burlesque shows with unusual themes, but I was waiting to see what sort of show this would be. From a performer's point of view I wondered what kind of act I would create when faced with this brief. I actually like old sci-fi films, B-movies and even found the X-men films entertaining, so I was looking forward to viewing this show as part of the audience.

My seat was reserved, one of the best in the house. As the show opened we were treated to a parody of the title sequence from the star wars movies, which raised a few laughs from the audience and set the scene for the show to begin.

There were 12 performers on the bill, all providing their own interpretation of the show theme. Their skills in character work were put to good use as they were mostly dressed as characters from films or comic books.

Velma Von Bonbon provided us with a good likeness to the character Velma from Scooby Doo, coupled with traditional burlesque technique this was an extremely characterful act.

A contemporary dance tribute to "Storm" from X-men was performed with artistic grace by Fleur Tayshuss, who professionally overcame a prop malfunction that wasn't even noticeable until mentioned later.

Coca Lola performed as an art deco vampire lady from the TV series "True Blood" with music expertly mixed to add to her entertaining act which involved a somewhat willing volunteer. The fake blood and fangs were put to effective use, as well as being a dead ringer for the TV character.

Delilah Lilac made 2 appearances, both with favourite cat-based acts which appear to be her forte. The first was "Thundercats" which I will admit challenged my sense of burlesque, but I rated her performance highly, as it could have been a potential props nightmare for some performers! Her second act was a "Catwoman" performance where she demonstrated her natural agility, turning cartwheels around the stage with as much ease as walking. The costuming for both of these acts merits a mention for their creativity.

Ally Katte then treated us to some "Geek Girl" antics with an act that was amusing yet still managed to provide the necessary tease with her superhero costume and superb facial expressions.

Seasoned performer Ditzy Diamond turned in another thought provoking performance in celebration of womanhood, a feminist piece of performing art whilst dressed as "She-Hulk". Fascinating as ever.

Ginger La Rouge performed a feat of skill and agility as "Sonic" the Hedgehog in classic burlesque blue, managing to peel whilst keeping a hula hoop turning continuously. Perhaps the most unusual act, but successfully executed.

Luli Blue put in an effortless performance in a stunning "wonderwoman" costume. A real departure from her bellydancing, a truly versatile performer who I have had the pleasure of viewing several times at different shows. I hope she continues to grow in confidence and creativity.

A highlight of the evening for me was the "Star trek" act by Phoenix Snow and Frank Diaablo. I love this pair! Again, an act I hope will continue to develop in creativity, they are definitely ones to watch for the future. The combination of a singer and a burlesque performer is for me a traditional idea with a modern twist. So entertaining!

Ivy Wilde's "Poison Ivy" performance was another example of a classic burlesque perfromance which fulfilled the brief perfectly in my eyes. Costume, character work and excellent dance skills as she used the stage to it's best advantage, relating to the audience with great effect.

Finally we were treated to the star and co-producer of the show, Felicia Noir, with her "Superwoman" routine with spectacular isis wings forming the red cape of a beautifully detailed costume. Again, her training in dance stood her in good stead for this commanding performance which raised the roof.

All in all, this was a show which I would rate highly for such a "neo" theme. In addition, I will say that it deserved an even bigger audience.

The show was ably compered by Decadent Gent and the stage maid was Amber Glow dressed as Harly Quin who both did sterling work.

A hidden gem - **** 4 stars!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Roxy's Rendezvous - On a Night Like This 22nd August 2010

The venue for this show was The Talking Heads in Southampton, with it's friendly ambiance and rustic charm. Once filled with an audience of regulars and newcomers to burlesque, the atmosphere from a performers point of view was encouraging and filled with energy generated from their responsive feedback. Tickets were for both seated and standing, with a vip area included.
In preparing for this show as a performer, I was consideringthe idea of a burlesque show themed around the music of Kylie Minogue. Do themed shows restrict creative expression or do they stimulate an artistes creativity? My perspective was also slightly altered by my taking part in the show.
At least, Kylie provides a popular, well-known output of music which is familiar and above all entertaining - and the audience clearly responded to this. Paired with a variety of performance styles, a fun atmosphere was generated and people seemed thoroughly entertained. It was however, extremely difficult to single out a favourite act of the evening as the performers were of a consistently high quality.
The leading lady of the night was Roxy Twirls who made a spectacular showgirl entrance in her blue beaded fringed costume and ostrich feather plumes making a fitting visual tribute to the queen of pop.
On the whole this was a professionally produced, well organised show which I would thoroughly recommend. Being a fan of Kylie was not a pre-requisite!
I award 5 stars *****

Friday, 27 August 2010

Happy Burlesque Birthday to me…..and THANK YOU!

I am sure every burlesque artiste remembers their first ever performance, I certainly hope to be no exception. My debut took place on Sunday at “Roxy’s Rendezvous” in Southampton, with a very friendly group of people who instantly made me feel welcome.

Under the guidance of my teacher, friend and mentor, Divine Destiny, I had been choreographing and rehearsing my act for several weeks leading up to this event, whilst sourcing my costume on a budget from charity shops and E-bay – It CAN BE DONE! I didn’t work with lots of props, just a pair of silk veil fans in red with black tips. You can’t go wrong with the classic red and black colour scheme, in fact I didn’t choose the costume, and it seemed to choose me when I saw it in a charity shop! I feel as though it was put there for me by fate. Together with the fans, underwear and stockings from Ebay and my old faithful dancing shoes, gloves and own made red-rose pasties, I felt ready to present myself to an audience. I was so aware of other performers’ tales of costume malfunctions and ill fitting items so it was a bit of a learning curve as I continued with my first experience of preparing and performing in a burlesque show.

It’s not me, it’s HER! – Introducing Miss Helene Bach ….

I only had a slight concern about stage nerves. In fact, it doesn’t seem real - it is almost as though the whole thing has happened to someone else – my alter ego took over! Turning points for me were the times when I first showed my routine to someone else, then the time I rehearsed with Roxy and the Rockets, getting ready in a dressing room with other real, experienced performers, and of course the stage performance itself where I faced a live audience comprising of people I didn’t know and people I had only just met.
The whole time, I’ve had this really weird mental block – that’s the only way I can describe it, where I was thinking “It’s okay, I’m covered!” When I say this, I am referring to the pasties that we wear in burlesque. I can only compare them to a kind of armour that stops a girl feeling quite so naked. It was a very strange sensation indeed which extends into the stage performance (for me anyway), I can only describe it as similar to having a sheet of thick clear glass between you and the audience.
Even though I was nervous, (well it’s only natural) nerves didn’t get the better of me and I managed to look directly at some of them, when I thought I would struggle with picking people out and giving them the eye. Somehow though, the alter ego takes over and you manage to turn it on on the night, becoming somebody else for three minutes or so. Knowing the routine inside out helps you do this. I am a firm believer that an audience can somehow tell if you are ad-libbing too much, especially if they are regulars at burlesque shows and they have some knowledge of the genre.

As I was staying over the weekend, I saw much of the hard work behind the scenes that goes into the production of a burlesque show, the work which largely goes un-noticed by the majority of folks who attend these shows. There is far, far more involved than just turning up, swanning around onstage and then going home at the end of the night. If it wasn’t for a stable, core group of helpful people like this, it would be nigh impossible to stage an event such as this.

It is so important that they are thanked with great sincerity from my point of

To Roxy Twirls and Mr Peter Vert for their kind hospitality and the opportunity to debut at this prestigious event.

Kris Head (DJ Trash) for making my music work so beautifully and right on cue.

Stage maid Truly Scrumptious for her calming influence backstage and superb organisational skills.

Burlesque Artistes Lotte Lovin and Cherry Rocks (who I spent the most time with) Thank you both for being a friend to Helene Bach!

All of the other “Rockets” including Alabama Love, Cookie Noir, Dolly Sparkles, Violet Delight, Kitty Loveless, Cinnamon D’Lacey, Voulez Vous, for being so friendly and making me feel so at home.

Miss Beulah Bell for lacing me up!

Cherry Pop for sporting my tassels so wonderfully.

Jodie Nicola Parker for her cheerful willingness to help anyone in need.

Claire from “The Talking Heads” for helping look after my tassel stall while it was unattended. Also thanks to the guys at the venue who lit the stage to perfection. What a nice friendly place!

And finally…
Thanks to my lovely husband Glenn for selling so many sets of tassels and putting up with all the glitter! Love you xx

Also great thanks and respect to my burlesque teacher, mentor and friend, Divine Destiny (Miss Maggie Palmer) whose help has been invaluable.
Show review coming soon.....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sequins, stage nerves and slip-ups!

Well, its finally here....the last few days before Miss Helene Bach makes her stage debut. It's been said before, but I will say it again; people do not realise just how much effort is put into creating a burlesque performance. Lots of artistes make it look easy, but believe me - it's not!
Rehearsals are going well, and I now know where my feet should be, the timing of the peels, and all the technical stuff - I think! What I am still working on is how to put the character into the routine. How do you "be sexy" in front of an audience of mostly strangers? All at the same time you are remembering your choreography, making sure things "come off" without getting hooked on anything, and then on top of that, you are supposed to smoulder!
Well I'm sure I will pull it off in the end (pardon the pun).....

Friday, 6 August 2010

Helene Bach as show vendor.

Just a quick post today, to show some of the new designs I have come up with, ready to sell on my stall as I take my products to the people! I will be appearing as show vendor at:

Black Country Burlesque's EXTREME show at "The Public" in West Bromwich on 13/8/10,

also at:
Roxy's Rendezvous "On a night like this" at The Talking Heads in Southampton on 22/8/10. (Where I will be making my stage debut.)

Here are a few of the new designs I have created for sale at these events. I will also be writing show reviews. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

The famous flying eyeball logo has been transformed into a pastie design!

Some variants on my juicy cherry designs, very pretty and vibrant.

A nude effect pastie, made from ivory satin topped with black lace and a sequin spot border.

Monday, 2 August 2010

It's all in the eyes.....

With rehearsals for my stage debut going well and only three weeks to go, I haven't really had time to feel any nerves yet. On friday I will be revealing my first routine to my burlesque teacher and mentor, so maybe the nerves will kick in then? I don't know. I'm interested in finding ways to cope with stage nerves as I will probably be a nervous wreck on the big night and don't really want to rely on alcohol to get me through it.

Friends of mine who have never even been to a burlesque show have even tried advising me on how to play it! Apparently it's "all in the eyes" - of course, I have had a good teacher so I already kind of know that. Thanks for telling me anyway, but I think it takes more than "eyes". Until you have tried it, believe me, you do not realise all the work that goes into burlesque....still, it's fun.

Apart from my hair needing a trim, and the tan lines needing a little help, I am more or less kitted out for the event. This week I can recommend these pretty lashes that I bought from, believe it or not, my local market!
Made by a company called QVS, this is the "Bedazzled" lash duo, a day to night lash kit. They are easy to apply and remove, the case is superb to store them in - and they come with glue and tweezers. As you blink, the gems give a subtle sparkle which looks great. I have bought some other lashes which are more like caterpillars, but which might look good onstage as I do a bit of fluttering! After all, it IS all in the eyes!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Workouts, Choreography and Glitter!

This week is an endless round of workouts, living room choreography and glitter! I am at the apex of a strict training programme to be in good shape and ready for my burlesque debut at "Roxy's Rendezvous" in August. The show has a Kylie theme to it, and I've chosen a lesser known song to perform to, but I will let you wait and see what it is! My pasties are ready,self made of course -which I am also keeping under wraps until the big night. Well you need to keep some things to yourself, don't you?

I went to my usual aerobics class last night and maybe this is too much info, but I could wring out my top when I got back! I did wear a terrific sports bra though. I've recommended it before, but the new model is much easier to put on and remove with an extra set of hooks having been added. The shock absorber bra, in black with white edging. You will not budge in this bra, even in a super-energetic workout!

I'm also testing deodorants, as I've yet to find one that ticks all my boxes - so my results will appear here soon.

The living room choreography isn't an ideal situation as I'm rehearsing with veil fans and my decor is not exactly minimalistic! I manage okay with the sofa pushed back anyway. I think though, a visit to my local dance studio might be benficial as I've only a month left. The routine is written out as a script, as I find that the easiest way to work, as I have been taught by my burlesque teacher and mentor, Divine Destiny.

The other problem is, there's glitter everywhere, although I feel as though I've only used a small amount! How does it get into my husband's dinner and stuck to his back?

Ooops.....That's just an occcupational hazard, I guess!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Black Country Burlesque at The Public July 10th, 2010

Last Saturday's show saw an array of performers all giving their time for free in aid of Macmillan cancer support. The comperes were Tobi James and The Decadent Gent. All kinds of different burlesque performing styles were on offer, ranging from traditional glamour and cheesecake, to more outrageous neo burlesque acts.
For anyone who has never been to a burlesque show, this event would therefore have been well worth a visit. It was a shame there were still seats spare at this venue which is usually a complete sell-out. Nevertheless, the performers were able to feel the energy coming back at them from the crowd, and it was a great intimate atmosphere.
The first act was "Fleur Tayshuss" who performed with great energy to the track "Shut up and drive" by Rihanna. This entertaining opening was followed by Talullah Cherry who did some comedic entertaining with an act that pleasantly reminded me of a variety hall act. Angel LaVey showed an amusing 60's influenced "Charlie's angels" persona followed by Luli Blue with her stunning "poison ivy" costuming and choreography. Twinkel Pink and her "top gun" dance proved that she can always come up with different and inventive ideas. Tempest DeVyne made an hilarious and clever twist to her version of "Toy story" with Honey Wilde concluding the first part of the evening with her take on the Minogue sisters, lampooning their overemphasised australian accents to great effect.
Following the interval, we were treated to two different takes on the balloon dance, firstly by the petite and pretty Miss Von Vamp who overcame a slight mishap with great professionalism. The other ballooon dance was by Jubilee Swoon who gave us a portrayal of Freddy Krueger! Bizarre, but very effective. Satine Di Monte's slick routine showed her showgirl expertise and a favourite at BCB, Ditzy Diamond showed her "scissor happy sally" vodka-fuelled persona. Later, there was a lovely double act by Talullah Cherry and Tobi James, which was apparently a last minute idea- Hard to believe as it was so professional! Dani California brought the second act to a close with a scintillating butterfly performance completely on point shoes!
After a further interval, we were further entertained by a superb band - The Road house cruisers who were accompanied on selected songs by burlesque performances by Twinkel Pink and Felicia Noir. This added an extra dimension of entertainment to the evening which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The concluding part of the evening (as if we hadn't already had more than our money's worth) saw some beautiful dances by Tobi James, Satine Di Monte, Delilah Dufoe, also Willow Blue (complete with snake) who personified Cleopatra to great effect. I couldnt have asked for anything more as singer Coco Malone came onto the stage. Her rendition of "All that Jazz" from Chicago was impeccable, making me feel quite emotional and nostalgic.
Following on from this, Khandie Kisses showed some inventive character work as she entered dressed as a "wabbit", and Red Sarah introduced the audience to her drag-king persona in a very clever way. With the final act being the magnificent Millie Dollar, I was reminded of a young Rita Hayworth.
All in all, this was a great value evening of entertainment all for an extremely worthy cause. Thanks to all concerned from this member of the audience - I couldn't have wished for a better birthday.

Friday, 9 July 2010

The birthday starts here!

I intend to enjoy my birthday weekend with a visit to the Black Country Burlesque show at the PUBLIC in West Bromwich. If you are local, you know the building, very modern and all PINK neon lit at night. It's the perfect location for burlesque and with 22 peformer's names on the bill (count 'em) it is sure to be an entertaining evening.

Pictured below: a very modern interior view (of the ladies' toilets of all places!) in the "Public" arts centre. Although I am very much an old fashioned girl, I am in love with this venue, it's so big, shiny and glam, (They have some great exhibitions too!)

Shopping: Miss Helene Bach Recommends....

Earlier this week I went on a shopping trip for cosmetics for my stage debut in August. I'm gradually gathering a selection of make up for use on stage. I don't want to look like a frightened rabbit in the headlights, or to have this brown body and pale face! I had two makeovers, one with a foundation demo from N0.7 in Boots, the other with Isabelle from Benefit in the same store.

I'm not really into having someone else do my make up, but could get used to it! I ended up buying a No.7 foundation in almond (which looks really dark, but it matches my tan) after a demo by Nadine. Then I bought a bottle of "Moon Beam" by Benefit which is a very pretty highlighter and illuminator for the face. I'm really impressed with this product and I ended up spending a bit more than I planned, at £18.50, (thanks to Isabelle) but I am sure it will be worth it!

Moon Beam by Benefit - £18.50

Boots No.7 Intelligent balance mousse foundation in almond - £11

I'm now off to practice my burlesque make up, I will be back in a few days with a review of saturday's show......

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Miss Helene Bach recommends....Jo Weldon's Burlesque Handbook

With my birthday being this saturday, my lovely husband has already begun showering me with gifts! He returned home with a copy of this fantastic little book, with which I am delighted. It covers all you need to know about burlesque, with a lot of behind-the-scenes information.
As an aspiring performer, I know I am going to find it very useful. Although I haven't read it from cover to cover yet, I have only "dipped in" -but I can see there is a lot of information including some very handy costuming tips, advice on choreographing and even how to use feather fans in an elegant way. The chapter on pasties and tassels includes several different techniques for how to twirl tassels, complete with photos of them in action. The only thing I could possibly suggest is that the book be released with a tutorial dvd, perhaps in a special edition.

It's written in a friendly, almost conversational tone which makes burlesque an accessible artform to anyone who would like to give it a try. It will appeal to beginners and experienced performers alike, or to anyone who has a passing interest in this fascinating artform.

Priced at £9.99, this book is an absolute must have, which I highly recommend!
During my birthday weekend, I will be attending a burlesque show by "Black Country Burlesque" which is going to be held at "The Public" arts centre in West Bromwich. They always put on a great show and this one is for a worthy cause, Macmillan's. The artistes will all be giving their time for free. Tickets are priced at £12.50 standard, or £20 V.I.P. I've heard there will also be an auction of items donated by well known burlesque stars to raise yet more funds.
Visit their website which is ably run by Mr Robin Lowe at: for future dates and events. Tickets for this saturday's show are available from the BCB website, or you can ring the PUBLIC box office on 0121 533 7161.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Welcome to my new location!

Hello, my name is Miss Helene Bach. I am a burlesque designer and aspiring performer. I started making pasties and tassels for other performers and was quite happy doing this until I started attending burlesque classes. I hope you enjoy following my experiences as I enter the world of burlesque onstage!
This is the last post I made earlier this year on my myspace blog. I now resolve to continue blogging and I look forward to hearing your comments and sharing experiences.
Visit my website to see my designs:

The gloves are off!

Week three of the burlesque course is upon us and I’ve learned two new routines which taught me some “peeling” techniques. The glove routine, which was started the previous week, was completed. I love the cheesecake style of burlesque! I think it’s going to suit my character if I ever get the bottle to give it a proper go!

The gloves came off no problem this week, and I was delighted to start learning a “coat” routine, which to be honest made more sense once the music was playing. Very slow paced but so effective! Really, any woman could enjoy doing burlesque classes, I keep saying it, but it is such fun!

It’s been yet another pulverising week for me what with two core fitness classes besides burlesque- and a meeting about a respectable day job. I don’t mind confessing that this weekend I feel well and truly knackered!
What can Helene Bach recommend this week? Hmm… what about Radox salts? Sounds good to me!

I’ve tried and tested the “Shock absorber” range of sports bras and come across a really firm control one recently, it looks like a crop top with a bra attached inside it - a feat of engineering, but so effective when that aerobics routine really kicks off. You will not budge in this bra! They wash well and dry quite quickly even over a radiator which is always a bonus.
Speaking of bras, this week I will be learning how to remove a bra the burlesque way. No doubt this will be incorporated into a routine which I’m really looking forward to. Now this is PROPER burlesque, every week adds a little bit more to our armoury of technique. Thing is though, us beginners will look like a load of superheroes gone wrong with bras over the top of our clothes to spare the modesty of the shyer ladies. No wonder there are a lot of dog walkers outside Dance by design! see

Since posting this, I have completed course 1 and 2 in burlesque classes, also some improver's classes. I have been very busy making tassels and pasties for other performers and I am also getting ready to make my stage debut at "Roxy's Rendezvous" in Southampton in August.