Ephemera: Witches, Britches, & Bad Bitches

The keystone of a decade and a half of my life was ballet. I was entirely devoted, and I still have the dancer’s feet to prove said devotion.Being a muscular country kid, and on the short side, I didn’t fit the lead roles occupied by the Primas. Instead, as a plucky Sujet Danseur, I played the far cooler character parts commonly referred to as witches, britches and bitches.

I landed these roles because I loved hopping around the stage as Rumplstistik, making an audience literally hate me as the Black Swan, Odile, in Swan Lake. By becoming a languid fantasy as Coffee in the Nutcracker, and if need be, slapping on a wig and playing the male lead’s bro when they didn’t have enough boys.Other character dancers pined for the centre stage but not me, I had moustaches to glue, and poison vials to conceal for my nefarious plots (not much has changed). As I looked around the ephemera of another month, I couldn’t help but see witches, britches, and bad bitches still are part of my life and wanted to celebrate them.

Witches

  • Light_Witch: If you are going to follow an artist on Instagram, follow Light_Witch, aka Courtney Brooke. It’s hard to describe her work…it fills the space, it’s atmospheric, feminine, and feminist. It all looks organic, almost commonplace, but also otherworldly “Oh look a human moth, just a mermaid nothing to see, leave the river nymph alone kids”. I’ve never been inclined to wander a forest naked, but if the mood hits, I’m bringing her along to capture the moment.

lightwitch

  • Sixteen92: named in honour of the year of the Salem Witch Trials Sixteen92 is an artisan perfume line that I’ve recently become enthralled by, clearly due to their black magic. I Saw Goody Proctor with the Devil! is my favourite of the general catalogue. I am also intrigued by the Riot Grrl/90s Girl Rock themed Summer collection. Doll Parts stands out as a favourite in that genre.

GoodyProctor30ml

Britches

  • Gender Roles in the Art of Dance: Is an excellent introductory blog on how we define and redefine feminine and masculine in dance. It’s a great read if you can get over the brightness of the layout. Keep in mind this critique is coming from someone that has a favourite shade of beige.

men-pointe.jpg

  • The Making of a King: Long before RuPaul’s Drag Race I would have my singles ready for a night of high glamour and low camp at the drag club. I love drag, but I always wrote off drag kings as boring. Which is a bit hypocritical given how many times I’ve “duded-up” for a performance. I’ve been reassessing my stance lately and I think I haven’t given drag kings enough of a shot. That is why I’m looking forward to The Making of a King documentary that will be out in a few months. It documents the lives of female to male performers and looks fascinating. What kind of boob magic do you possess Landon Cider?!

dragking.jpg

Bad Bitches

Young Woman in the Synagogue I Kaufman

  • Zenaida Yanowsky: For those not familiar with the world of ballet, Yanowsky is an incredibly beautiful and versatile dancer. In her 2013 rendition of the Queen of Hearts for the Royal Opera House’s Alice in Wonderland, she spins a character that is funny, camp, intimidating, beautiful, terrifying and danced to perfection. She’s the kind of villainess you can’t help but love. The centrepiece of her performance is the Tart Adagio a play on the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty. See the behind the scenes here to get an idea how technically challenging this funny scene is. If your kids (or you) are interested in dance, it is worth it to buy the DVD. The stagecraft alone will blow your mind.

 

  • She Walks in Shadows Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles:  This collection of short stories was a birthday gift from my husband that, clearly, knows me well. I have a cultish love of the Cthulu Mythos, but like most modern readers I get hampered by Lovecraft’s sexism and racism. The great thing about the Mythos, however, is that anyone can pick up where H. P. stopped and write in the world of Cthulu and the Elder Gods. This collection features all female writers that give unique and unsettling perspectives on the classic tropes of weird fiction. It’s a great read for any Cthulu fan.she walks in shadows.jpeg

 

 

Header art from another total badass Sarah K. Diesel for the She Walks in Shadows book cover

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