Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Burlesque group rocks for Planned Parenthood

'A beautiful fusion of dance, comedy, theatre, visual art and storytelling, with striptease'

Rockalily was formed five years ago. Credit: Helen Kriemadis
Prepare to get pastied for a good cause.
This weekend Rockalily Burlesque performers will be swinging their stuff in aid of Planned Parenthood.
“We perform at fundraisers regularly, so the opportunity to support an organization that is not only a staple in our community, but has a mission statement that melds perfectly with our own, is something we are ecstatic to be a part of,” says the troupe’s Helvetica Bold. “Planned Parenthood means a safe space for women, it means upholding our reproductive rights, it’s education and it’s community building.”
The troupe was formed five years ago and has thrived in the city. “Our goal was to bring sex-positive, GLBT-friendly burlesque to Ottawa,” Bold says. “There was no burlesque at the time, so it was up to us to set the precedent.
“Rockalily in its original incarnation was a hot mess of dancers, theatre kids and other glitter-covered performance artists.”
Bold says the group has grown and was able to create something unique because it had nothing to live up to in the city. 
“An ever-so-slightly feminist expression of beauty in all its forms, a tongue-in-cheek sexy sideshow, a beautiful fusion of several traditional forms of dance, comedy, theatre, visual art and storytelling, with striptease. We promote body-positivity and aim to demolish gender stereotypes,” she says.
Planned Parenthood’s Barbara Hayes says one staffer is also a Rockalily dancer. “But we were actually aware of the wonderful ladies of Rockalily before,” she notes. “We’re very excited that they chose to work with us.”
Planned Parenthood runs various programs for adults and teens. Its Insight public education theatre program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
“Teens that are trained by PPO to develop a performance to educate other teens on bullying, contraception, GLBTTQQ issues and more,” says Hayes. “All of our services are non-judgmental, evidence-informed and pro-choice.”
When the two groups come together, Bold says they can guarantee a great night.
“Expect nothing but the best. Expect the warm fuzzies in your belly that you get from supporting a good cause.”

The Deets:
The Nearly Naked Truth: A benefit for Planned Parenthood
Featuring Rockalily Burlesque
Fri, March 23, 8pm
Babylon, 317 Bank St