29
Nov

Ballet Meets Burlesque

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work, Tear Sheets

The Nutcracker is a serious holiday tradition here in Seattle.  People seem to get pretty excited about it, and it’s a big deal.  I went to see it with my family several years ago as a Christmas present I believe.  I can’t remember how long ago exactly that was, but then again, I can’t remember much about the Nutcracker either.  I fell asleep…  I guess it was just not my cup of tea.
What’s that?  The Burlesque Nutcracker?  Now that might hold my attention.  It may not be a show grandma and grandpa are going to take you to for Christmas, but at least now I’m intrigued.

City Arts has been doing some really great things in Seattle with the arts for the past few years, and I have enjoyed working with them recently.  For this assignment, I was tasked with photographing classically trained ballet dancer turned burlesque artist, Lily Verlaine.  She is co-producer and Artistic Director of Land Of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker.

I had the opportunity to meet with her the day before the shoot to go over wardrobe options, and while we had some great pieces to work with, I wasn’t seeing exactly what I was hoping for.  I briefly described my idea of something that says Burlesque, classy, and Holiday’s at the same without coming off too costume’y, but no luck.  The next day, Lily showed up to the shoot arm in arm with designer Danial Hellman and this beautiful piece that he custom made the night before.  It was exactly what I had described the day before.  Wow!  That never happens.  That’s what you get when you work with professionals.

I really enjoyed showing something a little more sassy and pretty in this shoot, and I think the cover turned out perfectly.  It says Burlesque and Holidays at the same time without being too loud or flashy.

Big thanks to City Arts Art Director Dan Paulus, and Editor in Chief Leah Baltus of City Arts for working with us on this.  Thanks as always to Gigantic Squid for the beautiful color grading and retouching.  Beautiful.