Many of you know Dolores Daiquiri as one of our amazing instructors at Maison Burlesque, but did you know she is also considered to be a pioneer of the burlesque revival in Australia? She is the director and co-founder of the worlds largest touring burlesque festival (The Australian Burlesque Festival), a producer of a vast number of successful events & shows, a mentor, and of course a much loved performer!
We had a chat to her to find out a little bit more about her life, her passions and some advice she has for budding burlesque performers...
Tell us when you first discovered burlesque? What were your initial thoughts & feelings?
I cannot remember the first time I discovered burlesque but it was in my late teens... I have always loved vintage aesthetics and have a big collection of '1940s to 1960s' girlie, pinup and striptease ephemera. My love of burlesque stemmed from my lifestyle really! I am into collecting 1950s vintage clothing, mid-century modern and listen to rocking music. My very first feelings about burlesque was, "WOW' that's for me!" I really was blown away and intrigued by these sensational strippers who had incredible stage presence and stories... I was hooked immediately!
How would you describe your unique style? Has it always been like that?
I am known as a 'classic' burlesque artist but do dabble in comedy these days as well. For years I only did vintage flavoured burlesque but did do some fetish in the early days as a side note. High glamour and sassy numbers were and are "me". Now I do some comedy and am branching into some more modern burlesque. I have some exciting acts coming up that is so different from what I usually do. It will be nice to explore my other side!
Image by 3 Fates Media
What's the funniest things that has ever happened to you during a performance or on a tour or in class?
Gosh I have so many! I remember in the early days I did a huge show with my burlesque troupe and we were so popular that we had to climb off stage through a small door, run down the lane-way in our knickers and into the dressing room...The looks we got! And then the police turned up as there were so many people lining up the street to see us.
I have had so many funny times backstage with performers, just laughing and being outrageously silly - there are too many to tell! Some of the most special times have been on tour with headliners during The Australian Burlesque Festival. Everyone has so much fun when we are on the road and just hanging out and relaxing after the shows.
How did you decide upon your burlesque/performer name?
I founded a burlesque troupe about 16 years ago and we all loved 50s vintage style, go figure! We decided on names based on 1950s cocktail culture. I love Daiquiri's and an actress called Dolores Del Rio so I put them together and came up with Dolores Daiquiri.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to start burlesque?
Take classes, workshops and see as many shows you can. Learn from the professionals and understand the history of burlesque. It is a very unique industry and there is so much to know and learn. Don't be too quick to jump up on stage, unless you are a student in a showcase, as you need time to prepare and see if its for you. Burlesque is very difficult and is not for everyone. For some it is about going to classes, for others its about wanting to progress outside of the classroom. Whilst it is so much fun it takes time to master and requires a lot of energy, money and investment. Chat to someone in the industry you trust who can give you some objective realities of what its like. Its not all roses, but can be!
Describe your average Saturday night!
Mmmm well I am often found dancing on stage somewhere in Melbourne or elsewhere. If not I am working on shows, classes or socialising. Sometimes though I stay home and cuddle my cat, watch old movies, read or just unwind. Whatever takes my fancy!
Tell us a bit more about your non-performer self!
Other than performing I am a Festival Director, Producer, Event Manager and teacher. Outside of this I work at a local theatre on occasion. I collect vintage clothing and am heavily into music. I read, garden, sew when I can, travel. I love rummaging through antique barns! I love watching film noir, 40s/50s movies and nature documentaries (Shhh! I am a huge fan of David Attenborough!) My favourite foods are chocolate, cheese, Mexican and Italian. I Don't mind a good pizza!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from all facets of my life but I am influenced by the burlesque golden gals of yesteryear. I am equally drawn to B Grade movies, Scopitones and Something Weird films. I find so many performers inspiring as well. You can learn something from just about anyone!
Have you faced any challenges in starting burlesque or developing your burlesque career?
To be honest, not really! I was lucky that when I started burlesque there were not many performers around and it was new so the opportunities were endless. The only issue I have had is maintaining my 'mojo'. Sometimes I get lost with were to go or cannot think of new material but it always comes back to me.
Tell us a bit about your classes at Maison and what they're all about!
I love my classes at Maison. I have been part of the family since the beginning. I started doing my own classes and workshops but the natural progression was to be part of this wonderful collaborative. I get excited about each term and what I can bring into the studio. My students are just wonderful and so loyal. They are funny, entertaining, willing to learn, enthusiastic and make me smile each week. I have had many budding burlesque darlings with me for so long now so I feel I must be doing something right and we are a little family!
My classes are mostly about paying homage to traditional burlesque but I do love to teach gritty raunchy burlesque, showgirl dancing and some modern styles. I am good at teaching basic beginners and intermediate students. I focus on Solo Development every other term and love to see my students go from classes to 'Solo Development' to stage. I feel very proud of my students. They are amazing and I thank them all for supporting my passion.
Image by 3 Fates Media
If you would like to know more about The Australian Burlesque Festival which is touring nationally in October then head to the website HERE! You can also stay up to date with all the exciting news on performer announcements, ticket sales and much more via the Facebook page HERE.
For more information on all the wonderful classes Dolores Daiquiri teaches at Maison Burlesque head to the class descriptions page of our website HERE.
The Team at Maison Burlesque Xx