By Cathy H. Burroughs

The original vaudeville/burlesque-style Body Art Cabaret will be at Paris on Ponce for one night only on Friday, Oct.  2.  The event attracts an impressive roster of body artists and performers from all over the world. Now in its third year, the there will be two shows at 8 and 10 p.m., but tickets are going fast.

The brain child of Enrapturing Entertainment’s body artist and noted designer Rosemary Kimble, the event is co-sponsored by Living Art America and the Chelko Foundation. In year’s past, the eclectic roster has included belly dancers, burlesque dancers, acrobats, contortionists,  drag queens, sleight of hand and more.

We caught up with Rosemary Kimble to ask a few questions about this year’s cabaret:

How did you become involved in the Body Art Movement and come to produce the Body Art Cabaret?
From a love for the art form and for unique talent. I had already been a body artist and costume artist myself for many years, and my interest in creating characters from my skills and seeing them performed on stage gave me the idea to do an entire event dedicated to body painted performers.

How do you find such great talent and what’s on the docket for this year’s show?
I have a lot of friends who are entertainers and performers and our network is pretty large, so in the beginning I asked them for suggestions and recommendations. But then as the event’s reputation grew in the community, the talent began to find the Body Art Cabaret instead. So many fantastic performers have shown up for this years event including a contortionist, aerialist, drag queen, flow performers and acrobats. And many fantastic body artists are returning including the North American Body Painting Champion from South Korea, Moona, and two Skin Wars contestants, Sammie Bartco and Aryn Fox.

What is the Chelko Foundation and how did they get involved with this event?
The Chelko Foundation’s mission is to empower women through art education and partnership. I had been a part of one of the first body art competition’s that they did as a benefit and when I decided to revive a version of the Flesh Art Show in Atlanta, which became the Body Art Cabaret, I went to them seeking an executive producer that could help me to mount the show.

How did you become a body painter? What’s your back story, Rosemary?
I was interested in body art from a young age, before anyone really knew much about it. At the time, around 1992, there were not really many companies making paint for the skin, but I began experimenting with what was out there and developed a love for it. A few years later I came into henna and had a calling to learn it and become a master of the art form. I spent seven years in New Orleans working in Jackson Square doing henna for a living, becoming one of the first in the US to make henna body art as their career.

Of course being in New Orleans, there was a great interest from tourists wanting to cover their entire body in paint,  so I began offering my services as a body painter. From there my painting skills and knowledge of products grew and now I do many forms of body art full-time.

For more about the Body Art Cabaret and to purchase tickets, visit bodyartcabaret.com. Paris on Ponce is located at 716 Ponce de Leon Place.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.