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Modern Femme Fatale: Kitten DeVille

Kitten DeVille
     We at Java's Bachelor Pad love burlesque gals. There's no doubt about it. We particularly love modern-day burlesque gals. These gals amaze us with their knowledge of those who went before them and with their ability to make every bump-and-grind modern and edgy. One of the best shimmy-and-shake gals around right now is the lovely Kitten DeVille. When you see this blonde bombshell burst onto a stage, you can see why this beauty is called "The Queen of the Quake." If that wasn't enough, DeVille also holds the title of Miss Exotic World 2002. For all that and more, we are happy to add her to our exclusive group of Modern Femme Fatales!
     Here now is an exclusive interview with Kitten DeVille.

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(Interview from August 2006)

Java's Bachelor Pad: I have to say right off the bat, you're so fun to watch on stage. You have a shimmy that just won't quit. In fact, when I saw you during the recent Burlesque-A-Pades tour, you almost shimmied your panties clear off! How did you get started doing burlesque?

Kitten DeVille: I have always collected old pin up magazines and I loved the way the dancers and models looked in them. When I started gogo dancing in gay clubs in 1990 I made all of my costumes to look like the old burlesque costumes. Then in 1994, a friend and fellow gogo dancer Michelle and Elvia thought that it would be fun to put on a valentine burlesque show, I put on more clothes and danced one song and got paid the same as if I had gogo danced for three hours. The show was a sold out hit and the Velvet Hammer was born! 

JBP: In 2002, you won the title Miss Exotic World. And it seems you haven't slowed down since then. Tell me what it's like living the life of a burlesque star?

KDV: It is pretty great! I have traveled a lot and have had a lot of opportunities to be in film and print. 

JBP: When you dance, what is important to you? What do you want the audience to take away from the experience?

KDV: I love my audience, I am very much an interactive dancer.My routines are loosely choreographed so that I can have the freedom to interact if and when I want to. I have so much fun on stage that I hope this is what is given back to the audience.

JBP: You've also done a lot of pin-up work both for print and for film. Is that a natural extension to your dancing? How is that different from being on stage?

KDV: I feel completely free on stage as if the world stops and I am in my own time.Doing print and movies is a lot of stop and go--not a whole lot of rhythm and I do not get the instant satisfaction that I do when I dance. It always comes later when the print or film is developed. But don't get me wrong I love doing both I just feel more natural dancing.

JBP: You are a modern-day blonde bombshell molded in the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. You have such a classic pin-up look. Is this something you fashioned or have you always been like this?

KDV: I think that it is a little of both. When I was in Jr. High, I read my first Marilyn Monroe book and fell in love. I started collecting vintage men's magazines while in high school but I was also into the 1980's punk scene so I in no way resembled a pin up queen other then my thrift shop vintage dresses that you could buy for a few dollars back then. When I started growing my hair out in 1983, it just became the style that you see today. I have always love costumes and clothing that shows off the figure. I mean if you got one why hide it!

JBP: During the most recent Exotic World (2006) you did a tribute to Dixie Evan's famous producer routine. How did that come about? I know I talked to you afterward and said how impressed I was that on one hand you stayed true to Dixie's number but on the other you made it entirely yours. What was Dixie's reaction to your tribute? How did it feel doing someone else's routine (and a famous one at that!)?

KDV: It was asked by Poo-la the Swedish Housewife, who was producing EW 2006, if I would do a tribute number to a famous burlesque star of the past. Naturally I thought of Dixie. Dixie loved the idea. I spent a day out at Exotic World filming Dixie teaching me her producer routine. She gave me a list of songs that she used but insisted that I finished using my signature song "The Man With the Golden Arm" and that I finished her routine by doing my own style of Burlesque. Dixie is a big fan of my shimmy. It was very intimidating thinking about doing Dixie's famous Producer number in front of all my peers and with Dixie in the audience! But once I hit the stage and the music started I had the best time, I loved it. Dixie came backstage after wards and told me how much she enjoyed it and that I even figured out how to work the contract into it because she never could. Wow what a complement from such a gracious lady!

JBP: You are going to be starting a series of burlesque classes. How did  this come about? It seems there's a ground swell of everyday gals wanting to learn burlesque. Why do you think this is?

KDV: While I was up in Seattle Miss Indigo Blue invited me to teach a master dance class. I had never thought about teaching before and was not too sure that I wanted to give away my style of dance. But I love a challenge so I did it. It was strange to try to figure out what my hips were doing because they just do their own thing when the music starts. I spent a few days breaking it down and came up with a dance class. I had such a great time and the girls in the class were fantastic it inspired me to try teaching burlesque closer to home. When I started burlesque there was nothing like it to learn from, except of course old pictures in Magazines. I mean--Something Weird Video was not around like it is now to see live footage and we were the first of the "new Burlesque." So I looked at the photos, put on the Cramps, and made up what I thought was burlesque and just did it. To me Burlesque is the girl's Rock n Roll. I think it has that power over people. I think girls go to shows and think "I can do that " and they go home and start there own thing just like kids starting there own band in the garage. It connects into that same glamorous, sex and danger thing that good music and performers have always been able to  inspire.

JBP: What's next for Kitten DeVille?

KDV: I am performing in France next summer and I am starting the Burlesque classes in a few weeks. There is talk about bringing the Burlesque-A-Pades tour down South in the Spring. Pretty much I will be out there performing. I like to live my life as if it is one big fun ride and I am just seeing where it takes me.

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Kitten DeVille
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