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La Duchess makes top 50 performers in world

Lauren Jiles said she sometimes cannot believe what her body does on stage when she performs as the Duchess de Riére, which she’ll be doing this weekend in Dallas and next weekend in Montreal. (Photos courtesy Lou Lou La Duchess de Riére)

Those lucky devils hitting up the House of Blues in Dallas tomorrow night for the Pegasus Peep Show will get a chance to check out one of the top 50 global burlesque performers doing her thing: Lou Lou la Duchesse de Riére.

Lou Lou, or Lauren Jiles as she goes by during the day, was named no. 44 burlesque performer by 21st Century Burlesque, an online publication covering the industry for the last decade.

“It’s an annual poll that they do, and there are thousands of performers and fans that vote,” Jiles told The Eastern Door. “It’s taken very seriously in the community. It’s a huge honour to be on it.”

Holli-Mae Johnson (writer, editor, digital maven, critic, artist, redhead, control freak, feminist; according to her Twitter bio) puts the list together and runs 21st Century Burlesque, a publication of interviews, reviews and opinion pieces about the art form.

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The duchesse made the list despite not really campaigning for votes from fans and followers.

“It’s so weird because normally when it’s voting season, performers will put out reminders on their profiles or social media like ‘hey. Cast your votes,’” said Jiles, who typically doesn’t campaign for votes, which you’re not really supposed to do anyway.

Learning she made the list came as a complete surprise.

“I’ve been sick all last week, and my friends called me and said, ‘congratulations, you’re in the top 50.’ That just blew my mind because I didn’t even put a call out to vote,” said Jiles.

The duchesse had a busy year in 2017 performing at the Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHoF) in Las Vegas, in New Orleans for the Queen of Burlesque, and various other competitions and shows across the US.

“It’s been a good few years of doing these competitions being at a certain level of performance that people are starting to know who I am outside of the scope of Montreal,” said Jiles. “It’s kind of cool, very humbling.”

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The duchesse continues to be sought after by venues, adding to Jiles’ confidence in cold-calling establishments and asking them to look at her work and give her a try. She’s been performing for a dozen years, and continues to love what she does.

“There have definitely been points where you feel like giving up and question why you keep doing it, but in the past few years I’ve just felt really re-charged,” said Jiles.

“I feel very inspired and creative. I also feel that the people that come out to these shows are appreciating the work that I do, so it doesn’t feel like work.”

Jiles is back in Montreal, and local fans can check her out at the Wiggle Room Friday at 3874 Blvd. St. Laurent for “Ol’ Blue Eyes: A Burlesque Homage to Frank Sinatra.” Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To reserve tickets email wiggleroommtl@gmail.com or call 514-508-9465.

danielr@easterndoor.com
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