Hi Friends, this week our featured creative is Kiki Coquette. Kiki Coquette is Neo-Burlesque Performer, Producer, Choreographer, Dance Instructor, Entrepreneur, Multi-Disciplined Artist, Art Activist, Troupe Leader and Founder Of Rebelle Birds Burlesque in Ogden, Utah and founding Director of UVBC- The UVBC: Utah Vaudeville and Burlesque Collective.
Dance is Kiki’s first love. She started jazz, tap, and ballet classes around age five. She always loved “art time” and was thought of as a very creative and unique child. She has also always loved entertaining and making people happy through performance art. In High School, fashion, creative writing, and photography won her heart, but she was also still obsessed with all forms of dance and took cheer, drill, and hip hop classes around that time.
Looking for a way to combine her love for all dance styles, costuming and prop design, comedy, performance art, and pushing the boundaries, she started Rebelle Birds Burlesque in the fall of 2015.
Kiki fights the notion that stripping and burlesque are the same thing. While she doesn’t shame stripping, she notes that Burlesque is a performance art, involving costuming, props, and even comedy. Positive body image and female empowerment through embracing sexuality is also a huge part of burlesque that Kiki focuses on. While Kiki is inspiring others, she is inspired by liberation, breaking social norms, subcultures and freedom of expression.
She is also inspired by days of old and bygone eras, especially Ogden History. She gushes, “Ogden and Ogden history have always been a huge inspiration for me! I am from Ogden and my family is from this area so it is my heart! The local arts community is a great influence to me and I adore getting out there and meeting all the creatives we have in our city! Living here has a great impact on me as a creative!
“I have had the joy of sitting on the steering committee for the nine rails creative district for the past year and I am very excited for all the opportunities happening and on the way for our city! I’m really looking forward to the Art + Action series of workshops this year! More educational programs like that would be great to see. I hope more people will own the artist within themselves and get involved.
“Ogden First has had such impact on me and my career! I don’t think I would be able to officially say…I’m an artist without all the opportunities and education they have helped me gain. Performing in the MOMENTS festival was life-changing! Showing my visual arts in an exhibit at #O1PANES was a life goal. The honorarium or guaranteed payment is so ideal for me as I struggle with the sales aspect of art. Getting paid for your work is important and knowing that it will be there is rare. I have gained such confidence and continue to dream big and search out opportunities I never would have thought were possible because of #O1ARTS.”
Kiki’s favorite medium is freestyle dance. She says, “Choreography and performing are great but they are work and come off less pure and real to me.
I really enjoy creating different visual art projects and I am all about mixed media, as much as possible, in all I do,” describing her art as, “Unconventional. Upcycled. (Using mostly free, donated, or found objects.) Eclectic. Kitschy. Colorful. Deep. Purposely unpolished. Diy. Crafty.”
There is not a burlesque theatre in Ogden and Kiki has big plans to change that. For now, she plans to learn about business and improve on that aspect. She intends to create an adult entertainment venue as well as an all-ages entertainment venue.
And stay tuned for details about a great big mysterious vaudeville show coming to Ogden Summer of 2019!