A new Saints & Sinners burlesque show is happening this weekend.
Burlesque is alive and well in Fredericton. For the past decade Amanda Steeves has been promoting, organizing, performing, directing and producing some of the sexiest shows this city has ever seen.
“Originally I started an all-girl group and we performed to raise money for breast cancer research,” said Steeves. “I started that group in 2005. And then in 2011 I changed it to a male/female format and we now support a different charity with every performance.”
Steeves got her first taste of performing burlesque style shows at downtown nightclubs. At one point, both BOOM! and iROCK hosted her troupe’s performances.
“We were getting really good turnouts,” said Steeves, “but we eventually found that less people were coming out to the bars so we switched to doing our shows at St. Thomas University.”
The troupe’s last performance this past April proved to be one of their most popular.
The Saint & Sinners Burlesque Troupe are now preparing to produce their next major performance, Indulge Your Fantasies, scheduled to take place this weekend at STU’s Black Box Theatre with plans of raising money for Chrysalis House.
“For this show, we’ve based all of the dance numbers and songs on different typical fantasies,” said Steeves. “We’ve got a sleepover number and an S&M number and it’s all just light and fun. We’ve also got a super hero number. It’s a silly, fun show with a lot of sexy to it.”
While it might not be accurate to say there is a “burlesque scene” in Fredericton, there is certainly growing interest in performing these sexy events. According to Steeves, many performers involved in the upcoming show gravitated towards burlesque performance for reasons involving confidence and community.
“People have an assumption when they hear the word burlesque. They think it’s going to be seedy or something like a strip club but that’s not what we do,” she said. “It’s really just a sexy, fun dance show more than anything. People see the show and they think ‘I want to do this’. About half of the cast for this show became involved after having seen one of the earlier shows we did.
“The reason I started doing this is to show that everybody is sexy and it doesn’t matter what you look like. Your size, your colour, your gender; it doesn’t matter because somebody finds everything attractive. What I really try and do is actually focus less about the show we put on and more about how the people doing the show feel about themselves. What I really want is for it to help people realise their own ‘sexy’ and to become more confident in who they are. That’s why I do it.”