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Members of the Goddess Collective Burlesque troupe (front) SweetAmber Wine, (back, from left to right) Magnolia D'Flower, Ramona Rattail and Veronica Honeywell pose for a portrait. The troupe is set to perform at the Heartbreaker's Ball at Athens Uncorked on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020.

Heartbreaker’s Ball celebrates Valentine’s Day with a burlesque twist

Valentine’s Day is a day for not only lovers, but celebrating love itself. From platonic relationships to pets, V-Day is the day everyone seems to thank others for love in their lives. 

The Heartbreaker’s Ball at Athens Uncorked this Saturday is here to have fun with everything love-related: romantic love, self-love and even heartache. The Heartbreaker’s Ball is a burlesque show put on by local burlesque troupe The Goddess Collective.

Burlesque can be many things but not boring, Veronica Honeywell, who prefers using her stage name for publication, said. For Honeywell, a co-founder of Goddess Collective, burlesque is an art.

“Burlesque (uses) movement, music, costume and props,” Honeywell said. “Like any art form, it’s expression and getting a reaction from an audience. It’s also entertainment.”  

Burlesque requires a lot of practice and hard work. Even short performances need hours of practice, but there is a lot of variety in burlesque shows, and performances vary from person to person. 

“It’s as simple as you want it,” Honeywell said. “You can spend hundreds on a costume, or just 20 bucks and jazz it up.”

Burlesque also relies on a very physical presence, Honeywell said. Performers know what moves convey particular emotions to audiences. 

“(Burlesque) involves a lot of movement,” Honeywell said. “It’s very heavily choreographed. It’s precise, but there is some improv and audience interaction.”

Honeywell said that improv is never done without audience consent. Before she does audience-interactive improv, she feels out the room to see who would be comfortable with what. 

The show isn’t entirely burlesque, Sweet Amber Wine, who preferred to use her stage name, said. Each show, the collective strives for variety.

“(There’s) going to be somebody singing, somebody who's going to be doing a form of drag,” Wine said. “We’re trying to incorporate some belly dance, too.”

Wine is going to perform a song about self-love at the event. The Heartbreaker’s Ball marks a milestone for the troupe, she said. This time last year was the troupe’s debut show. 

“This is our one year anniversary,” Wine said. “(We had an) amazing turnout. People were waiting outside in February (for) an hour to get in.”

Wine is anticipating a similar turnout this year. All of the troupe’s shows have been successful and sold out. 

“We’re all so excited,” Wine said. “The community gives us so much.”

Magnolia D’Flower, who preferred to use her stage name, is performing two numbers in the Heartbreaker’s Ball. Joining the troupe has been a great experience for D’Flower.

“I love the support,” D’Flower said. “We’re a very accepting community. It’s just super, super supportive in general.” 


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