Belle de Beauvoir photographed by Terry Mendoza Retro Photostudio

Who are you/ what’s your project? 

My name is Belle de Beauvoir, I’m a queer burlesque dancer and cabaret producer. I have two projects coming up.  The first is Big Band Burlesque on the 30th May. The show hearkens back to the golden age of burlesque and translates it into a modern context. Usually, we have a full band playing along with the dancers and singers but for this online edition we’ll be using jazz tracks with a little surprise from the band! 

The second is 26Cabarets which is a cabaret marathon show with 26 performers! We’re raising money for Cabaret VS Cancer and asking the audience for donations to the charity. We have some of the best performers in the UK performing!! 

What’s your gender identity? 

I identify as she/her. 

What’s your art? 

Burlesque and cabaret; I love the immediate relationship with the audience and the space it creates for queering the narrative. 

How does your queerness influence your art ( if it does)? 

For me, being queer is about much more than just sexuality or gender identity, its your place in the world. ’To queer’ used to mean ’to trouble’, I’ve always liked that. For me, that’s what creating burlesque and cabaret is all about. In some acts or shows, I use political pieces to make a statement. In others, I believe its just as political to be a queer woman on stage taking up space and demanding peoples time and attention.

How has lockdown/ quarantine influenced your artistic creation? 

It certainly hasn’t been easy; a lot of ups and downs. I’ve found it really useful as a human being. I’ve had a lot more time to consider the ways in which I use my energy and where it’s best placed. I’ve created a new act about being in quarantine, Lazy, and had plenty of time to work on my dance technique and strengthening my body ready for the great entertainment comeback of 2021!  

How would you describe what your art is about or what the purpose of it is ( if there is a particular one)? 
Burlesque is about taking up space, about owning who you are, your body, your dreams and your fears in front of a room full of people. It’s a declaration that I am worthy and I am demanding your attention.

I’m also offering Act Reviews, signed prints, burlesque lessons and personalised requests at my website!

Here’s another interview by a queer female in the Arts.