In a small tent near Place Des Arts, something sexy is happening. The playful Blood Ballet Cabaret is on, this small troupe of talented performers baring themselves for a surprisingly tame-looking assemblage of round, white-topped tables. The MC of the night is a tall transvestite named Sherwin. Adorably uncomfortable with his French, he nonetheless makes a valiant effort, reading his cue cards closely, stumbling over words and blushing once or twice when applauded…

This year, we’re covering Just For Laughs, arguably one of the larger festivals in town. So how does a site dedicated to all things indie and unknown (or sort of known) delve into the well-charted waters of an institution that have been flowing through the streets of Montreal and bringing some of the top comedic talent from around the world to our shores for three decades? Simple, we start with what we know. We know the Blood Ballet Cabaret…

When we arrived at Le Belmont for the Blood Ballet Cabaret’s season closer Freshman Finale, there was an exam waiting for us in the form of a Hilroy notebook, appropriate seeing as this was a high school-themed show and this group really works its themes. There was only one question on it: “Write or draw off favourite BBC moment over the past year.” At first it didn’t seem like the hardest test I’ve had to take, at least the writing part…

Has it really only been a year? Yes, it has. And what a year it was. This time last year, the Blood Ballet Cabaret were preparing for their first ever show at Barfly during the Infringement Festival. Fast forward twelve months and they now have nine shows under their collective garter belts (plus two out-of-town gigs) and are preparing for their Freshman Finale…

When last we visited the Blood Ballet Cabaret, they were a small troupe of talented and entertaining dancers and performers, celebrating Remembrance Day with sultry moves and a sense of humour. They entertained a healthily populated, though not too full Le Belmont. Fast-forward a few months and… wow! To say that BBC has grown is like saying that what they present on the stage is pleasing to the eye: technically true on both counts, but both incredible understatements…

I think I’m in love! In love with seven women and a couple of dudes. Well, maybe love isn’t the best word to use. It’s more like lust. The kind of lust that takes over your whole being for a few minutes then evaporates instantly, only to be replaced by another temporary fixation. If this is the kind of fantasy you’re looking for you should check out the Blood Ballet Cabaret. (Holiday show tonight! Dec 19th) This relatively new burlesque troupe is quickly finding it’s spot on Montreal’s burgeoning burlesque scene and…screw it, I’m not going to bore you with “journalism” right now, instead I’m going to tell you straight out that the performers in this show are both sexy and smart.

On September 25, 2010, I celebrated my first Saturday night back in Montreal by going to the Belmont club and checking out The Blood Ballet Cabaret. While I’ve seen burlesque numbers performed at Indyish messes, this was the first time I’d ever checked out a full fledged burlesque show. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that with my Forget the Box colleague Chris Zacchia being involved it would be some naughty fun. With a name like the Blood Ballet Cabaret, it’s not hard to deduce that the theme of this troupe is combining horror and sex.

“Got too many teeth? Well the Blood Ballet Cabaret can scratch that itch. Come check out the spiciest hell kittens to fall out of Satan’s grasp.” That’s the tag line for Montreal’s newest and raunchiest Burlesque troop. This weekend is the Montreal Burlesque Festival. which is featuring Burlesque dancers from all over the world as well as paying tribute to the women who made Burlesque what it is today.

The Blood Ballet Cabaret is a little different then the majority of other burlesque troops, while burlesque is a celebration of women in all their shapes, sizes and forms the Blood Ballet Cabaret has a preference for young, scantily clad, sirens.

At five in the morning on October 14, my Montreal based roommate Kamee Abrahamian (producer of the Blood Ballet Cabaret) and my native New York self crawled out of bed to head to Wall Street. We heard that chaos was going to go down before the sun even came up. We thought we would witness some arrests and be part of the fight for whatever these protests are about…