Sometimes wonderful things come from simply speaking an idea. This is what happened when three friends shared ideas of their own visions for performance, and from that discussion a troupe was born that performs the arts known as cabaret, burlesque, and drag.
Combining the three gives the troupe the freedom to explore a broad range of options for performance and dance. For the participants it is a place to discover who you are and recognize your authentic self. People can come to watch or participate, depending on what you want to do.
The troupe defines these three artistic genres differently. Drag is where performers challenge gender stereotypes (often dressing in clothing that is stereotypical of another gender, using exaggerated gendered mannerisms, or combining elements of stereotypically male and female dress), often involving elaborate or outrageous costumes. Cabaret is a show structure with multiple performances that are not necessarily related. And then there’s burlesque.
Brianna Savatgy focuses on the burlesque aspect of the troupe, traveling from Lake Havasu to attend. For her the troupe is “doing our own version of burlesque. I would say we do a form of movement that explores sexuality and sensuality, and gives dancers room for personal expression.” I watched a rehearsal and that is exactly what I saw; it was beautiful, flowing, sensual and elegant, all at the same time.
Sylvia Ximi has been with the troupe since 2019. “Our troupe is very much about ‘show up if you want to dance with us.’ Some show up twice a week, while others are once a week. ...We start off with a check-in circle, where we can briefly talk about what’s going on in our lives. Then we dance, laugh and have fun. Then at the end we do a closing circle, where we touch base with each other and see how it went for that session. Some come in with big stressors, and when we do our closing circle, those same people almost always say how much better they feel. They danced away the stress.
“Some come to dance, but not perform, while others want to perform. We’re here for both. Our style isn’t so much telling people what they need to do, how they need to move or what they convey to the audience. Our style is more, ‘be yourself and we’ll work around it.’ Some come to find out who they are while doing this, others have figured it out years ago and just need this opportunity to show it to people.
“We aren’t there to judge others. We’re there to be open and supportive of each other as we learn to express ourselves.”
“It feels so good to be out moving and dancing,” said a mother attending with her two young-adult kids. “I’ve always been connected to dance. I am a little older than some in the troupe, but they were still welcoming and happy that I was there. My kids were okay with me being there, so I went a few more times. I heard about the drag king and that I could be one for the Turnabout Ball, and I decided I wanted to do it!
“The Troupe has been so welcoming to me wanting to do this. The kids work so hard together. There’s a vast spectrum of those who have done a lot of dancing, to those that have hardly danced at all. Everyone helps each other, and all of us have fun.”
The troupe is rehearsing for the Turnabout Ball, which will be hosted by DD Alexander and feature performances by the Preskitt Cabaret Troupe, Whitney Stevens, Lola VanHorn, Lady Lilith, Trey, and introduce Miguel del Sol and four fabulous Turnabouts. Admission is limited to 100, with tickets available only at 4amproductions.net
The producer is excited: “Seeing so much development, trust and acceptance within the troupe is amazing.”
The Preskitt Cabaret Troupe gets together twice a week. For more information visit 4AMproductions.net or call 928-421-1123