In 2005 Duchess Dubois and Virginia Valentine had a meeting which resulted in many a splendored thing, namely Stockholm and Sweden's most vibrant and prolific burlesque venue to date - Hootchy Kootchy Club, and the Amazing Knicker Kittens Burlesque Revue! After about a year of fruitful collaboration, Virginia moved on with the club and Duchess moved on with the troupe and all its fabulous subdivisions: the school http://www.burleskakademien.se/, the club Kittenville, the Swedish chapter of Molly Crabapple's Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, the Swedish burlesque social network http://www.burlesk.se/ and the international Stockholm Burlesque Festival.
Before that meeting there was no burlesque scene in Sweden and since that meeting it has grown to great proportions and is teeming with activity all over the country. Five years down the road and Hootchy Kootchy Club is still packing in the crowds, and the Amazing Knicker Kittens Burlesque Revue has gone on to international awardwinning heights. And we couldn't have done it without YOU!
The troupe has varied in size from seven to ten dancers and seen several generations of performers come and go, and we'd like to take this time to thank all of you who have been part of our road to stardom:
Virginia Valentine 2005 – 2006
Jungle Jane 2005 – 2006
Elbows Malone 2005 -2006
Della Delicious 2005 – 2007
Coco Berlin 2005 -2007
Tiny O'Reilly 2005 – 2007
Baby Bonaparte 2005 – 2010
Trouble McKenzie 2006
The Arabian Rack 2006
Contessa d'Fancy Pants 2006 – 2010
Royal Rascal 2007
Pepper Potemkin 2007 – 2010
Ingrid Ignition 2007 – 2010
Lola van Dyke 2007 – 2010
Miss Diamond 2009 – 2010
Hannah the Heartbreaker 2010
I don't think we realized when we started out that we would be looking back at five years of shows, international appearances, international traveling, newspaper articles, radio show stripteases, TV appearances, international burlesque trophies, Rolling Stones music videos, shaking hands with the superstars of yesteryear, making friends with those of today and sharing stages all over the world with the people we admire most, and above all: Having. So. Much. Fun! It's been incredible! And we look forward to at the very least five more years of the same, only bigger, better, faster, more!
2010 has been a year of changes. It's inevitable, when something grows so much and goes on for so long that changes occur. In 2010, one big change was the slew of babies. We've had one before, in fact, the first one was Baby Bonaparte's baby in 2006, but 2010 saw the advent of not one but three more miniature showpersons, Contessa became a mother for the first time, as did Dixie Belle, and Baby squeezed out another one. Yvette Les Fesses also brought two more already exsisting babies to the nest, and Hannah the Heartbreaker one. Ten showgirls, seven kids! How about that!
Also, we outsourced Dr. Sketchy's to have enough time to do all the other things we do, so it now rests in the very capable hands of one Evy Maroon, creative genius extraordinaire, aided by none other than Lola.
Another big change was sizing down the troupe considerably. As of now, we are five showgirls instead of ten, which is much more manageable, albeit a little new and odd ;-) we keep asking ourselves who hasn't shown up yet, and so on, but it turns out we're all here. Five ex-Kittens have gone on to form the sister-troupe Blackbirds, and are bound to bring a lot of quality and energy to the scene - we are super-thrilled for them, and wish them the best of luck in their future doings! We know they are terrific, after all, they all became born again burlesquians in our midst!
The first ever Stockholm Burlesque Festival also happened in 2010. It was a magical feeling standing there by the main stage at Berns, watching Monkey and Trixie flicking those flashlights on and off like we had seen them do that first time we went to Miss Exotic World in 2007 and think, they are her now. Here! And all these people are here! It's not hard to remember a time when all we seemed to do was to educate people about what the hell we were doing. When the first question out of anybody's mouth was "What is burlesque?". But those days are gone. People know now. (At least sort of...)
And we feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of that educating process. To have been a troupe that has inspired others to take to the stage. To have run a school that is responsible for getting over twenty of the SBF performers started on stage in the first place. To have been an instrumental part in the process that founded the scene we see beginning to blossom today. It's bordering on religious, people! And it's very humbling!
On Thursday, December 16th, we had our Christmas show at Fasching. It was an amazing night, not only due to the strong line-up, the magical acts and the wine. Not only due to Yvette's MAD ass-jiggling skills, Donna's scorching hot moustasche-peel, Dixie Belle's long awaited return to the stage or Duchess' children's level sewing project 'the christmas stocking'. Not only due to the fabulous crowd, or the fact that Madame Magduschka was a little bit more on fire than last time (as she tends to be). Not only because it was a bit sentimental, since it was the last show with some of the girls. All those thing, definitely, but also the fact that when we passed through the crowd between sets there were friends everywhere! And not friends who were friends before and came because of that, but friends who have become friends over the last five years due to a common interest in the thing we all love the most: BURLESQUE!
There were wonderful Glam-o Drama Gals, there were lots of old students from Burleskakademien, there were ex-Kittens - and there were die-hard fans like Björn and Jessica who are always there supporting us, who have an unwavering interest in the artform and its artists despite the fact that they are not performers themselves, and who make getting on that stage something extraordinary! We love you guys! You are the cat's meow! <3 <3 <3
This whole note is to say Happy Birthday Knicker Kittens, and Happy Birthday Swedish Burlesque, and a big ole' heartfelt thank you from us to you friends and fans out there who have made it all possible! In the audience, as mentors and friends, as skilled seamstresses, photographers and general helpers on som many different levels, as inspiration and support! We are looking forward to a new year, full of challenges, hard work and good, good times! We all feel confident that 2011 will be special and bring us and Swedish burlesque to all new heights, and we sure do hope to see you up there!
With much love and our undying devotion,
Yvette Les Fesses, Donna Delight, Madame Magduschka, Dixie Belle & Duchess Dubois
The Amazing Knicker Kittens Burlesque Revue
Putting the Oh! in Showbiz since 2005