PHOTOS BY: ARIADNA VASQUEZ
Hidden underneath a popular pub crawl there is a riveting world of feminine mystique that leaves men enticed and women empowered. Every first two Fridays of each month, Harlow Gold takes over Harvelle’s underneath the Congregation Ale House in Downtown Long Beach for a show that is most certainly NOT for the faint of heart.
The Harlow Gold Show is an intimate and interactive burlesque-inspired and rock and roll-infused performance that features six female dancers who will dance on stage, on tables, on bars and on you.
The show opens with a warning from the host. “Please don’t touch the dancers, although the dancers will touch you.” The warning is then followed by mood lighting, and for the next roughly 60 minutes, you will cease to be in charge of your surroundings as you enter the dancers’ world.
“The show is not your traditional burlesque show,” said Harlow Gold dancer Latrice Gregory. “It’s burlesque in an innovative manner. We push the envelope and you definitely get that sense the second we step off of the stage and perform around the room.”
Creators Tracy Phillips and Dominic Carbone describe the show as “fun, raw and empowering.”
“It is more of an experience than something you can describe,” Carbone said.
While at first glance many may mistake Harlow Gold for yet another sex-driven show just a bralette away from a strip show, this is most certainly not the case. Instead, the Harlow Gold Show highlights female individuality, strength and attitude.
“This is not your typical burlesque show, particularly in that you’re not watching a woman being objectified,” Phillips said. “What is different about us is that all the women we choreograph are empowered.”
For more than 10 years, Phillips and Carbone have been taking over the Los Angeles scene as the leading choreographers for burlesque, cabaret and femme fatale-inspired choreography. Their long list of works include “Water For Elephants,” Maroon 5’s “Makes Me Wonder” music video and the Britney Spears 2011 Femme Fetale Tour. More recently, the Long Beach Harlow Gold Show was featured in Ricky Martin’s music video for “Adios” this past October.
Dancer Latrice Gregory spoke highly of Phillips and Carbone, admitting that she appreciates their choreography for celebrating individuality rather than simple sex-appeal.
“I like being celebrated for being myself and performing with other independent and strong women,” Gregory said.
When asked how it felt to get up-close and personal with audience members, Gregory admitted that while the audience gets excitement from the performance, the dancers also get a thrill from the power they feel in performing a highly interactive show.
“I love being in control of my environment,” Gregory said.
Dancer Yoori Kim describes performing such an intimate show as nerve-wracking, yet interesting because the audience never knows what to expect. “Something about Tracy and Dominic’s choreography and take on the show just makes you feel like you’re representing strong women in charge.”
The original Harlow Gold Show opened in 2010 at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica. It began with two shows per month and has since expanded to more than 10 shows per month throughout Long Beach, Santa Monica, Venice and downtown Los Angeles.
In 2013, Harlow Gold premiered Blind Tiger, a thematic 1920s cabaret show. Much like the original shows, Blind Tiger is inspired by classics and performed with a modern style.
With sold out shows each week, Harlow Gold’s popularity and high-demand has allowed for Phillips and Carbone to transform it into a production brand. Today, Harlow Gold is not only a show, but a performance entity that celebrates individuality and feminine empowerment.
Catch Harlow Gold every first two Fridays of the month at Harvelle’s in Downtown Long Beach. For more information, visit their website at www.harlowgoldshow.com.