Profiles

My Other Life: Anna Mayrhofer, burlesque performer

Burlesque is a performance. It’s empowerment, it’s self-awareness, it’s comfort in sexuality. It’s the art of classic striptease — with emphasis on the tease.  So says burlesque performer Ruby Kitten, also known as Anna Mayrhofer, owner of Exalted Nail and Body in Errington on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Burlesque is a performance. It’s empowerment, it’s self-awareness, it’s comfort in sexuality. It’s the art of classic striptease — with emphasis on the tease.  So says burlesque performer Ruby Kitten, also known as Anna Mayrhofer, owner of Exalted Nail and Body in Errington on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Her interest in burlesque began innocently enough. “Locally we have an annual fundraiser for our little country community hall, a classic Vaudeville and burlesque show. Years ago a friend asked if I would be part of a backup crew in a piece in the show and the bug stuck,” says Mayrhofer. “Shortly after that I took a class with the infamous Miss Rosie Bitts. Her introductory classes help potential performers with character development and give you some history of the burlesque movement. At the end of the class you perform a 30-second piece for your peers.”

Despite being something of a veteran now, new routines are always challenging. “Sometimes I feel like my body and my brain have a disconnect and I have to work on the same move over and over. That said, it’s a great work out,” she says.

Mayrhofer performs with a local troupe called The Damsels in DisDress. “We perform classic Vaudevillian-style (1850-1940) burlesque,” she says. “Many performers are solo, but for me, part of the appeal of the art is that it also allows me to perform with an amazing group of women. We all have the same vision for our troupe — we stick fairly closely to the authentic, vintage routines, outfits, and performance subject matter.

“If you’re wondering right now if burlesque may be a little too risqué for you, go and see a classic burlesque or vaudeville show. Yes, it’s going to have a few reveals, but it’s also generally a fantastic evening of music, comedy, laughs, and, of course, sequins, sparkles, and feathers.”

Keywords:   My Other Life  

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