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Smoke Break

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Imagine work is mundane. It's too easy for you to amuse sober, so you go burn one. The high creeps in sweetly and you're floating. Nothing bothers you. You start to float and somehow, so do your clothes.

I choreographed this for my angel, my sister-friend, and then Love Letters Cabaret ensemble member, Minou Chatton-Fou. I always call her Kasia and you'll hear about our many showgirl adventures if you stick around. The show, Smoke, was a study of fantasies I was entertaining at the time. During rehearsals, we explored what that meant and how they manifested. I believe that whatever you tend to fixate on, especially when it has nothing to do with you, that thing is probably your deepest desire. All those things you'd complete this sentence with "I will NEVER..." are what you secretly want to leap chest-forward into. You might even be hiding it from yourself.

And that's when I realized Kasia often talked about how much she dreaded being lifted off the ground. She's a long-legged beauty who is showgirl tall. When she talked about how she hated the idea, the more I noticed her embody the experience as though it was a memory. Although her words were negative, her movements and expression told a different story. That's why in her Smoke Break solo, the ensemble lifts her and her tootsies stay off the ground for the entire strip tease. Kasia faced that fear so head-on that we all felt it when she broke the curse. Here are a few memories shot by Chris Hutcheson & Rick Obrien.




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