Arts and Entertainment

Cabaret in the Air features aerial dancing, fabulous costumes, and silk trapezes

Cabaret in the Air will feature local dancers flying high over the stage.   - Jeffrey Ludwig photo
Cabaret in the Air will feature local dancers flying high over the stage.
— image credit: Jeffrey Ludwig photo

It has its roots in a burlesque class taught on Orcas and will include trapeze work, circus elements, dancing, and singing.

Orcas Center is presenting Cabaret in the Air, a fun and mysterious variety show that features local dancers, singers, and a musician.

Cabaret in the Air will be performed in the OffCenter Stage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 23, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m.

The show was conceived during a month-long workshop taught this February by Ukoiya Mastin, co-creator of the Dream Science Circus. A handful of women enrolled in a “New Burlesque” class with Mastin and became enthralled with the aerial work they were taught on the “silks,” strong fabric used as a flexible trapeze by the performer as she executes choreography in the air. One of the participants, Maria Bullock, attained a high level of mastery on the silks and offered to continue coaching the participants at the conclusion of the class.

“Working on the silks gave me a totally different feeling,” Bullock said. “It’s a wonderful sensation of freedom, almost like flying, while challenging my personal boundaries of safety, strength and flexibility. Safety is a concern in class and rehearsal, and we always practice over a thickly-padded mat, with another dancer standing by in a support role.”

Barbara Courtney, director of Orcas Center, saw an opportunity to showcase these performers and asked Bullock and Deborah Sparks to create a performance for them.

“Given the huge popularity of Teatro Zinzanni, what’s hot right now is a new form of variety show which combines elements of burlesque, vaudeville, dance and circus arts. And everybody loves a high-flying aerial artist,” Courtney said.

For Cabaret in the Air, Bullock has choreographed an aerial solo and duet she will perform with Whitney Hartzell, as well as choreography on the floor that features Rene Sturk and Learner Limbach. Sparks has pulled performance, vocal and musical components into the performance, featuring Becki Klauss, Leslie Liddle, Grace McCune, Jamie Mulligan-Smith, Jaen Black and Kim Secunda.

A final element of the show will be original and daring new fashion designs by Jyoti Pavitt, modeled by Khadoma Columby, Emily Aring and Jyoti. Sound and lighting will be operated by Bruce Pavitt.

Tickets to Cabaret in the Air on Thursday, April 23 and Saturday, April 25 are $12. On Friday, April 24 there will be a special gala performance that includes tapas and wine, and tickets are $25.

Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance because seating in the OffCenter Stage is very limited. Tickets may be bought online at or at the Orcas Center Box office Thursdays-Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m., 376-2281 ext. 1.

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