Live shows are coming back to Halifax, and a group of 15 local burlesque and drag performers is kicking off the summer in the city’s north end. The show, Sweet Tease are Made of These, will take over The Derby Show Bar’s stage on Sunday evening. It’ll be a night full of burlesque and drag performances—from 11 burlesque and four drag performers to be exact—that each draw from various summer themes such as the ocean, picnics and barbecues.
“I’m very excited because all of the performers that we have, they have a range of experiences, and they’re all very strong in their own ways,” Elle Lixir, the show’s co-producer, said. “I’m looking forward to seeing their performances live.”
Elle Lixir started performing in burlesque in late 2018, and she’s now learning the ropes of putting together a live event with another local performer, The Lady Corbeau. Halifax’s burlesque scene is small, and Elle Lixir said it’s a community that comes and goes in waves. But it’s also a community that is growing and trying to change that narrative.
X, a local drag artist who’s also performing at the show, said audiences can “expect the unexpected,” including what they describe as their “kooky” drag.
It’s no secret that Halifax’s drag community has been impacted by the lack of live performances due to the pandemic and the closure of 2SLGBTQ+-friendly spaces such as Menz and Mollyz. But X said they’re excited to get back in front of live audiences.
“We had to find a way to persevere through everything,” they said. “Of course, drag has always been a subverted artform, so this is not anything that we’re not used to. But luckily for us, there’s a lot of queer-friendly venues who have welcomed our shows and welcomed all of our craziness and feathers and rhinestones and glitter.”
Three years ago, X started doing drag. At that time, they saw a huge number of new drag performers start performing in Halifax, especially ones from marginalized communities.
“Since then, there have been a lot of other performers who just emerged,” they said. “COVID threw things for a loop ... now that venues are opening up and we’re actually able to get out, we’ll see another influx of drag performers and people who want to experiment in the art form of drag.”
Sweet Tease are Made of These happens Sunday, July 18 at 8:30pm, head to The Derby’s site for tickets.