Sugar Du Joure sits down with part-time journalist/long –time burlesque fan Laura Young to discuss what to expect in her next 6 week course Robo-A-Gogo at Lady Velvet Cabaret.
Sugar Du Joure’s perfume is a mixture of confusion and arousal. It is the smell of buttery popcorn and a hint of mint that I just can’t put my finger on. She is wearing several large ponytails and is holding two small dogs.
“I’m sorry the house is such a mess.” She explains as we move to sit on her large lip-shaped couch. Sugar moves her two crowns and three sashes aside so her dogs can have a place.
Sugar Du Joure’s classes have been quite popular at Lady Velvet Cabaret during the 7 years she has been teaching burlesque. I ask her what makes Robo-A-Gogo different from the rest?
“Well mostly all the gears and switches we have to install”, She winks “The Sixties were such a fun, new era. People living within it couldn’t stop thinking about the future and what it may hold. Space was a massive fascination and the race to reach the Moon was publicized like crazy! It’s no wonder people couldn’t stop thinking about flying cars, robots and living in space. Soon that started to leak into pop culture, and what came out were fantasies of alien-robot strippers in silver lipstick who could shimmy and shake on spaceships to groovy go-go music. I want to re-create the hype and fun of that time on stage!
I blush as I gear myself up for the next question. What do you hope your students will get out of a class like this? I am worried she will say world domination.
“Exactly what the Sixties were all about baby, FUN. I want my students to have fun! There is nothing more relaxing than having a laugh, breaking a sweat to some groovy go-go music and learning you can be sexy and silly at the same time”.
She takes a sip of her Ribena in a martini glass…
“And World Domination.”
Sugar throws back her head and laughs robustly. One of her ponytails falls off. I begin to feel both shaken and stirred.
The theme seems exciting enough, but we haven’t touched yet on the aspect of costuming. As a self-taught costume creator I ask Miss Du Joure how she intends to costume her students?
“Take the Fem-Bots from the film Austin Powers, mix them with characters from The Jetsons, and add a hell of a lot of fringing. That’s the look I am going for.” Somewhere in France Thierry Mugler squeals with excitement.
“I encourage all my students to make and design their own costumes with a rough outline of the look we are going for. You’d be amazed what you can achieve with a good base set of lingerie, and a hot glue gun! The reason I like to work this into my classes is because not everyone is the same size. I want my students to feel comfortable on-stage and wear what they feel sexy in. Be that as more- or as little as you want.” She insists I put a happy face and a peach emoji next to that sentence upon publishing.
The day is getting late and I feel my energy start to drain. With a last push I ask her if she wishes to say anything else about Robo-A-Gogo before we wrap the interview up.
“I have the best job in the world”. She says “Whenever I have a bad day I can go and see my friends and students at Lady Velvet Cabaret and I feel amazing. This world is sometimes really hard to live in, and if we can escape for a while to the swingin sixties and have a bit of a dance, put on some costumes and makeup, I am positive you will have a brilliant time and learn a little bit about burlesque, and a lot about yourself.”
Sugar smiles and reaches for the Power button behind my head. A familiar sound signaling shut-down rings in my ears. I have fulfilled my purpose for the day and am ready to be charged. She programs me to start up again on June 11th at 8:15pm
“See you in class Laura Young” She whispers.