Featured Performer: Isa Ardiente

Showcasing yet another incredible Philly area performer: Isa Ardiente! Look for her new quarterly show Nudey Tunes at Ruba where she and HoneyTree EvilEye create an original storyline combining live music and burlesque! Nudey Tunes: Prohibition on March 17th features the live music of Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society with a stunning lineup of burlesque stars. Get tix here.
How long have you been involved in Burlesque? Why?

isa-2I have been doing burlesque for a year now. Why do burlesque? Well, I’ve been a fan of burlesque for many years and it was always something that seemed so exhilarating and empowering.  I’ve been a performer my whole life, but I usually have directors, choreographers, costumers tell me what to do, how to move, and what to wear. I wanted to have a space to decide such things.  As an actor, it’s hard to not be pegged into a type.  I just wanted the chance to be sexy, or goofy or whatever I decided.

One night while attending 6 Appeal I leaned over to Tesla Tease and whispered in her ear, “Do you think I could do that?” and she squealed and then replied with an emphatic, “Yes. Do it.”

I booked a gig at Tongue in Cheek at Tabu and borrowed most of the costume pieces and just gave it a go. It scared me so I knew it was something I had to try.

How/why did you choose your stage name?

I knew I wanted something to reflect being Latina since my given name doesn’t at all. Isa was my mom’s nickname growing up and it’s a name I’ve always loved. I thought- either save this for a future child of my own, or create a burlesque persona out of it. It seemed a fitting tribute to the strong and sexy woman who has been such a tremendous role model. Ardiente- It just isn’t that deep. It means burning, fiery, ardent. It had a nice ring to it. Some people say they’re not sure how to pronounce it. (Arrr-dee-ehn-teh) Give it a go; I know you can do it.

How would you describe your persona onstage?isa-ardiente

Isa is confident; she knows how to work the crowd. Audience interaction is one of the best things about burlesque for me and I love developing a relationship with the audience. Isa is sexy in a more classic way, but she’s also silly and she really loves playing with her hips.  I have a theatre and dance background and often pull from the two when performing burlesque.

I want to tell a story. I want to make you feel something.

Why do you love performing for Philadelphia audiences?

Philly burlesque audiences are the most loving, accepting weirdos I know. They are enthusiastic, they show up, and they are game for just about anything

How do you invent/create your costumes?

I don’t often make things entirely from scratch. I sometimes take a piece and rework it, or add to it. I’ve also commissioned pieces for a couple of acts. When I’m looking to put a new act together, my OCD runs wild and I have to comb through the city and online to find the exact right pieces that will match what’s in my head. It’s tedious.  Really, I want costumes that put me in a particular mindset. I want pieces that feel good or give me a different walk, a different swagger, etc., and also things that are fun to play with when removing.

IMG_3474.jpgWhere do you get your ideas for different acts? Good story about any one in particular?

Ideas usually come from one of a few places. 1- I have an existing character I want to interpret. 2- I have a song I just NEED to build an act around. 3- I have a particular costume piece that is just so awesome I have to create an act around it.

 I do a marionette act to the Yael Naim cover of Britney Spears’ Toxic. It’s been on my Spotify “Burlesque?” playlist for months now but one day I listened to it and just knew she had to be some kind of puppet. A puppet that liked being controlled.

From there it was only a matter of figuring out an apparatus that would be entirely self-contained and transportable.

If money were no object, what would be your dream burlesque act?

Ooh, I’m not entirely sure! It would definitely involve using a live band. Maybe I’d sing.  Anyone want to help me find out?

Seems like the dream is coming true March 17th! Check out the show at Ruba!


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