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.