Feature A & E Stories

Calgary International Burlesque Festival to vamp-up city’s burlesque scene

Fans of alternative dance can expect a rise in popularity

thumb AKBurlesqueIMG2EDITEDCompared to some other Canadian cities, Calgary's burlesque scene is lagging behind. Supporters of the city's burlesque community are hoping the new Calgary International Burlesque Festival – which debuted last month – will help change that in the future.

The festival kicked off with a bang at Dicken's Pub, showcasing a two-act performance of dazzling burlesque from local and international talent. Other events of the festival included a main stage performance at the Epcor Centre, interactive burlesque workshops, and a finale burlesque brunch at Hyatt Regency Calgary.

While this is the first time the festival has been held, performers and supporters in the city have been reviving the sensual art form for about ten years.


Kensington café expands live music options for minors

Local music venue remains mindful of the next generation

thumb Mark-Mills-2-by-Paul-RodgersOn a cold Saturday night in Calgary, local indie-pop acts performed to an unusual audience, ranging in age from toddlers to senior citizens.

While a backing track of danceable beats plays from his iPhone, self-proclaimed "sex-pop" act Mark Mills alternated between playing his buzzing keyboard and crunchy electric guitar to the packed performance room at Vendome Café in Kensington.

"I love Mark Mills. I always try to come to his shows," said fan Trish Dribnenke.
"He has a really positive energy that is remarkable in a live show... Everyone gets into that."

While the night's entertainment was open to minors, all-ages options have dwindled in the past few years, a fact not lost on 18-year-old Aleem Khan who also performed at the event on November 29th with his band Shaani Cage.


American belly dancer brought to the Rockies to mentor local dancers

Belly Dance in Banff features Suhaila Salimpour


thumb Belly Dance1As an actress, dancer and mother, Christy Greene's introduction to belly dance was unorthodox.

Greene began belly dancing in 1998 while at the University of Calgary studying theatre. Although dance wasn't her main focus, a class assignment required her to add a new skill to her resume and indirectly sparked her interest in belly dance.

Now Greene owns her own belly dance studio, Eighth Wonder, and hosts belly dancing showcases, drawing on her experience as an actress in these performances.

In 2007, almost a decade after she started belly dancing, she was introduced to internationally renowned belly dancer and teacher, Suhaila Salimpour who became her greatest dance influence.


Wacken Metal Battle Canada returns for third year

Canadian metal bands compete for a shot to play at German music festival

thumb WackenCrowd1EDITEDFor the third year in a row, heavy metal bands from across the country will battle for a chance to play at Wacken Open Air, the largest metal festival in the world.

The competition, which takes place north of Hamburg, Germany, is the brainchild of JJ Tartaglia; long-time Canadian metal drummer and label owner.

"(It's the) third year it's going on. Really happy about that," says Tartaglia. "It's been going strong ever since the first year and we're just kind of rolling off that steam."