The Velvet Creepers: Sexy/Weird Burlesque Circus at Ballhaus Berlin
By Sarah Magill . October 27, 2023
The queens of dark cabaret are back at Ballhaus with their wild Burlesque Circus.
If you want to see a show that captures the essence of Berlin club and cabaret culture, one that’s crammed with skills, thrills and surprises, then look no further than The Velvet Creepers’ Burlesque Circus.
On November the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, this obscenely talented trio’s 90-minute show sees them doing it all: burlesque, cabaret, acrobatics and performance art.
Since forming in 2018, the Creepers have managed to give the well-loved genre of cabaret a wholly unique twist. They combine velvety glamour with, well, their creepy side, creating a show that pushes the boundaries of the genre in dark, new directions.
The allure of the dark side has always been a powerful magnet for these three performers. It’s what brought them together in the first place.
“I always preferred the unconventional and mysterious path within the art form,” says Dunja, an experience shaped by during her time performing in London’s cabaret scene, which was “just saturated with rhinestones”.
In the show, Dunja von K, a world-record-holding hula hooper, cabaret performer (and occasional taxidermist) transforms the humble hula hoop into a mesmerising extension own of her body.
Though keeping tight-lipped about the surprises she has up her sleeve for the upcoming shows, she has been known to dress up as a giant tampon and engage in naked embraces – even once when her dad was in the audience. “He loved it though,” she says.
Audiences occasionally get more than they bargained for at a Velvet Creepers show – but in a good way.
“Sometimes the audience is a bit surprised by some of the more extreme things we do – but they always love it”, says Fifi.
Fifi Fantôme is a circus, theatre and burlesque performer who dances, juggles, clowns and aerial hoops in the Creepers’ shows. She oozes Weimar-era glamour, both on stage and off.
“The artists in the Weimar era were groundbreaking in their artistic experimentation and in how they pushed the expression of gender and queerness.”
Their current show marries the decadence of 1920s Berlin with the rich artistic landscape of the city’s contemporary club culture.
“A lot of beautiful art is coming out of Berlin club culture right now, and we bring that to our performances. It’s such a positive space for artists. Our community is really supportive and, though our show is also quite dark, it has a hopeful message, too. A message about coming together,” says Fifi.
Weaving it all together with her sultry narratives is jazz songstress, compère and burlesque artist Lilly Mortis. Her spoken stories guide the viewer through the show and aim to lovingly wrench us out of the oncoming winter depression, helping us see the light through the eerie darkness.
The trio’s spectacular costumes are also very much a product of Berlin’s art community. Though they do a lot of design work themselves, the Creepers also work with sustainable, Berlin-based designers including Elodie Carstensen and Lupae and wear pieces from the store The Code.
Collaboration is an important part of their shows. The trio always invites a guest artist to join them on stage. For the three upcoming shows at Ballhaus, they will be joined by queer Syrian belly dancer and Berlin celebrity, The Darvish.
The Velvet Creepers – Burlesque Circus
2nd, 3rd & 4th November 2023 @ Ballhaus Berlin
Buy your tickets here