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Posts Tagged ‘Performance Art’

Liliane Hunt and The House of Hunt Samhain Halloween Dia de los MuertosWinter has come, there are still some leaves left on the trees, but night arrives more quickly each day and there is an unmistakable coldness in the air I cannot shake. Samhain arrived, Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, the time the veil thins and our ancestors are closest to us. At The House of Hunt, (we are an eclectic mix of travelers, rogues, gentry, soldiers and vagabonds), but somehow in the melting pot of our belief systems we are one and the same. We cannot ignore the voices of our ancestors, we may not always agree with them, not all of them were wise, but some, some indeed stand the test of time and it is those that we look to when the nights are at their coldest and darkest. Liliane Hunt and The House of Hunt Samhain Halloween Dia de los MuertosSo here at The House of Hunt we made our altar for the witching hour. The funny, curious thing about an altar is, if it is alive, it will take its own form and if you are listening it will tell you what you need, rather than what you think you need. So we began full of intention of what form this altar would take and like the live thing it is and was, it shaped itself.  As we sat back, we looked and there it was; an offering  to the ancestors. I, like most travelers through this life, am a funny eclectic sort of mix, brought up in England, traveling to the United States at 22 years of age (to the South no less), back to England and back again to the East Coast and then the West. It was on the East Coast that I was blessed to live with a family from Mexico and fell in love with the culture, which was so very different from the one I grew up in.Liliane Hunt and The House of Hunt Samhain Halloween Dia de los Muertos If truth be told, it began with the food. The beauty, the richness, the warmth of the food, the family that ate together, loved together, laughed together and dreamed. We all dreamed of a better and brighter tomorrow. So 13 or more years later I find myself building an altar with my HoH family and as I stepped back to see what we had created,  I can only smile and laugh. Here in front of us lay a Dia de los Mortes altar. Here were the voices of Tyke’s ancestors and those of our family that share that heritage. Their voices came through the darkness and said, “Children, listen to us”. I am remembering the family from New York and the values they taught me; light years from the pale, damp, cold world I grew up in.Liliane Hunt and The House of Hunt Samhain Halloween Dia de los Muertos

So my friends, light your fires both figuratively and literally. It is a time to be surrounded by family, whichever family you have chosen be it blood or bond. Darkness is indeed here, but as the wheel reminds us, everything has its season and eventually the darkness will give way to light.

 

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Belated Beltane blessings to one and all who celebrate such things!

Liliane Hunt and Wizard by FlickerBob8888As I have previously admitted, my move to Portland has been rekindling some of the old fires. Last night, I conversed with The House of Hunt Wizard, who is gracious enough to be our Wizard both on and off the stage.  He is an excellent resource for all things seen, and unseen. I happened to mention my Beltane celebration and my childhood memories of May Day festivities that with hindsight were steeped in pagan traditions. Mr. Wizard chuckled.  Yes, we do refer to him as “Mr. Wizard” or “The Wizard”, and declared that I am nesting.

bats1

So there you have it folks, the Evil Queen, (a self-claimed title I acquired on my 40th birthday) is nesting in the North West.  All that we need now is for the announcement that I have baby bats in the loft and I will be done for.

House of Hunt by Jared MechaberSpeaking of nesting, my everyday drinking glasses are still missing. They are hidden somewhere in the depths of the storage unit, possibly mislabeled or just deeply buried. I am making do with a set of whiskey glasses bearing a hand etched design of a coach and horses on them.  They were a gift, and yes I am still amused by them.

The other item that has been holding me back with regards to fully nesting is the lack of seating. For anyone who visited me in San Francisco, they were of course familiar with my Moroccan style set up; silk cushions, a daybed and waterfall surrounded by a lush indoor garden. The situation lent itself perfectly to House of Hunt soirees and intimate gatherings.  My apartment was on the top floor with windows that covered half of it, very private and with a view.

Beltane Blooms by Liliane Hunt

My Portland home has a very different set up. I am in a loft with 20 foot windows, and rather than living full time behind twenty foot blinds, I have created a screen of plants. My orchids exploded into blooms and people really started to stop and stare into my windows.Freckled Orchid Now to be fair, you can always tell when it is just about the plants. The focus is pretty direct and I genuinely love sharing the garden. However, occasionally people stare beyond my wall of the plants, enticed I suppose by what lays beyond the sea of green. It is always rather fascinating when I meet that gaze, when the voyeur is caught and experiences being observed by another voyeur.Freud

I wonder, “What Freud would make of that?”

Jed riding saddleSuffice it to say, the day bed is now residing in the upper level of the loft and I have been in dire need of a seating arrangement that extends beyond; formal dining, two thrones, a saddle or the floor.  Frankly it is a bit much, even for my theatrical sensibilities. It has taken me two months to find something that I actually liked, and I wasn’t joking about the thrones. As of Saturday my living room arrangement courtesy of Indonesia, will be making its way to the U.S. and to Portland and then finally my home.

April Feast by Liliane Hunt

Occasionally an opportunity presents itself and you simply have to embrace it or them, even it means entertaining with floor cushions tossed around your tea table.

Beltane Berries by Liliane Hunt

The “them” to which I refer are a family that I love just a little more each time we meet, kindred souls, if I had to put a name to it. You know who you are, let us plan some magic, mischief and mayhem in 2015.

Muggs and Mutts1Speaking of magik, mischief and mayhem, I was delighted to don my leather and attend the Muggs and Mutts fundraiser at Embers, Portland. The evening was benefiting the Oregon AIDS Memorial Fund.  This organization is dedicated to the recognition and preservation of the history of the AIDS crisis.

It was wonderful to finally put a name to a face or a dog tag to a pup. The evening was interspersed with drag performances, a pair of witty MC’s and puppies… lots of puppies.  I have always been a fan of a great drag show, I mean let’s face it I am a lady who likes to dress high femme and so appreciate others who do the same, and do it well. It was a nice mix that evening, older and younger performers, each with a certain something that arrested and intrigued, amused and captivated.

It would be entirely remiss of me to not give further mention to the pups. I was sincerely touched by the welcome from PDX-PAH for myself and Tyke to Portland.  Everyone we met that night was just lovely, friendly, warm and engaging. We look forward to meeting you again PDX-PAH.Liliane Hunt and Tyke by Eric Li

 

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Liliane Hunt by John Goyer

“The best part of a woman’s life begins at forty.” Mrs. Theodore Parsons.

As a child I remember asking my grandmother what her favorite age was, my grandmother being then seventy years of age revealed to me it was forty. It was when she was young enough to enjoy life and old enough to know what to do with it.

“‘Life begins at forty.”  What life? Where do I find this new life? Or does it find me?

In the weeks leading up to my birthday I started mentioning my age to the various people I came into contact with, searching for some kind of answer to the mystery of this intriguing new decade.  Some of the people I met seemed shocked that I had reached this age, most of these people being twenty who were of the opinion and quick to reassure me that I did not indeed look anything like a person should look at forty.  Should look? What should forty look like?

The other people I met would insist that I was 39 and holding.Liliane Hunt by John Goyer

The internet revealed the murky truth that turning forty is the beginning of some sort of downward slope, youth and beauty wilting away… etc.  Frankly that doesn’t sit right with me.  I don’t feel like I am wilting away.  If anything I feel stronger and more in control (which I like) and more sexy than at any other stage in my life.  Besides I have met some very interesting mature women who were the very opposite of shrinking violets.  At twenty or perhaps nineteen it was rather a long time ago, I met Shirley.  I assume she was in her forties when I met her; she was utterly riveting, thoroughly commanding and very beautiful.  She was full of sayings such as, “You are too young for diamonds.”  That implied a wealth of insight that only comes with age.  I had no doubt at twenty that I wanted to reach the right age for diamonds, own a comparable closet and be able to command the level of attention she did just by walking into a room.  At twenty it appeared as attention, at forty I realize it was respect.

Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.”  Mae West

Yesterday I met with The Connoisseur and asked his opinion on women forty and older. The Connoisseur is of the opinion that when a woman turns forty she knows what she wants and is not afraid to go out and get it.

Graduateposter67In my quest for iconic older women, I immediately thought of Mrs. Robinson in the movie The Graduate.   The list of actresses, who inquired about playing the role of Mrs. Robinson, is impressive; Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn Ava Gardner and Joan Crawford.  Released in 1967 it tells the story of a college graduate seduced by an older woman.  In reality the actress Ann Bancroft was only six years older than Dustin Hoffman.  The concept however remains the same, an older sophisticated woman in her sexual prime pursuing exactly what she wants, in this particular case Dustin Hoffman.  The Graduate is one of the highest grossing films in the US.  Mrs. Robinson is the original cougar.

A more recent example might be Sex in The City’s glamorous Samantha Jones with her vast and sumptuous wardrobe, on a quest for no strings sexual adventure.vitranc_2362008102481_original

I looked up cougar in the Urban Dictionary and there are various identifications, but essentially the older women 35 – 40 seeking out her male prey, or “a chick that has her shit together’.  Please! She is a “woman that has her shit together”.  But yes we are finally on the right track.  I am not sure if the Cougar exclusively seeks out male prey, or that the would-be male prey do most of the writing on the Urban Dictionary, food for thought indeed.

The other iconic character that sprang to mind is the Evil Queen.  Excluding her unfortunate demise which I will address later, she is very appealing; dynamic, recently single, and financially independent, owns a kingdom, has great style and a fantastic wardrobe although not super varied.  Fabulous enough to be ranked number 10 in the Disney movie villain ranking system; she also owns her own castle.  A dinner date, with the Evil Queen or Snow White?  Please, is there really any question?  Obviously you may forgo actually eating, but beyond food, I have no doubt the Evil Queen would be an enthralling and seductive companion.The-Evil-Queen-disney-villains-19728237-500-375

I almost forgot to address the unfortunate demise of these fabulous femmes.  Mrs. Robinson didn’t exactly die a physical death but she was at the very least out maneuvered and out witted by young love.  Samantha and her inability to commit, spelling what spinsterhood?  Then the various cruel deaths of the Evil Queen depending on which version you go with.  Well enough I say.  Let us imagine that these women do not die tragically or live mourning the loss of a misspent youth.  Let us consider instead that these women of a certain age know exactly what they want and precisely how to get it.

There you have it.  I am certainly not running for the hills or prowling the city for prey, at least not until my next House of Hunt performance.  I would however appreciate a well maintained castle in a warm climate; I am at present well stocked on cloaks and happy with my crown.

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I am not quite sure where to begin with writing about the last couple of months. They have been both monumental and extraordinary, event season can take on the appearance of climbing the Himalayas, in which hopefully you make it to the top exhausted, satisfied and alive. Finally I am reemerging back into normal life, whatever that is!  Starting with my description of The House of Hunt’s performance at Masquerotica 2012.

This is our second year of performing for Masquerotica and what a delight on so many levels.  A big thank you for being so nice and engaging to work with, yes we noticed all the details and we The House thank you. Mark you calenders for next year, the Masquerotica team knows how to throw a party!

Congratulations to my immeasurably talented crew.  Domino set the stage perfectly and then dressed in a flowing black cape, and  became our strikingly sexy security guard.  Liliane Hunt and The BrotherThe Brother awesome as my side kick and absolutely marvelous as our priest, dressed in a black cassock and knee length leather boots.  He led the procession, swinging the incense towards the crowd, which parted miraculously (thank you to Stefanos and crew for your expert assistance on this).  The fabulously talented Nancy Peach had set the stage with several of her exquisite pieces that worked so tremendously with our performance that its hard to imagine performing without her paintings, Nancy has assured me that her paintings travel, hmm I think we need to make this happen Nancy!

Making an EntranceThe Twisted Carriage, custom built and designed by Sex and Metal (her write up will follow soon) was led by Ronin Pony in his glistening black latex fully embracing his demonic nature for the night. For those of you familiar with our  performance this is our annual prey hunt and this year was no exception.  Hidden within the crowd our Prey, (performed by the one and only Jessie K) attempted with all her might not be caught by our duo of fabulous hunting dogs, Tyke Puppy and Troy looking exceptionally dapper in Edwardian jackets and red silk cravats, not to mention the wolf head swords.  They captured our exquisite Prey, where she was led onto the stage to be seduced and sacrificed for our wicked pleasure.

At the very last moment I bestow mercy on her (much to the dismay of the priest) collar her and have her join the Hunting Party to become one of us.

For a more in depth and excellently chronicled account please see adultxevents.com.

Where the Prey “succumbs to Liliane’s debauchery….”

http://adultxevents.com/2012-masquerotica/house-of-hunt/

A fabulous black and red fascinator designed by Mr. Song Millinery inspired the concepts of life and death, dark and light and the entire color scheme for the show. Twenty minutes of fully choreographed performance, set to a musical score that seamlessly wove Mozart’s Requiem and a Rock version of Hallelujah, as a director actor and producer I couldn’t of be more proud of my enormously talented House. Special thanks to Retrotie for kindly providing the majority of photographs, SF Station and to Jamie for our video.

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