Shien Lee’s Dances of Vice

Shien Lee wearing Vecona

Powerful women – what a dull world we’d have without them! Comrade Shien Lee is a striking cocktail of brains, ambition and grace. A musician, student and sometimes model, she moved to New York last summer and has not wasted a speck of time, launching Dances of Vice on August 18 – within just weeks of her arrival. Named after an expressionist Rosa von Praunheim film, DoV is a self-described dance and cabaret club, held at the Pussycat Lounge. Since its recent opening Shien’s project has gained significant momentum and popularity despite her being a newcomer in the notoriously soul-hungry city.

Shien Lee and Lucas Lanthier

Co-hosting the monthly event with Lucas Lanthier [Cinema Strange, Deadfly Ensemble] she’s welcomed a lofty roster of guest performers, among them Jill Tracy, Tempest Storm and Oryx Incruentus, and held a fashion show by Coilhouse favorite Vecona. There are art exhibits, live cello and jazz bands, vintage-style photos of the club’s patrons on a paper moon. She’s created a genuine modern-day salon – an inherently wonderful concept.

DoV festivities

In today’s revivalist boom it’s refreshing to see a place that not only brings light to the very best of vintage aesthetics, but also encourages the attendees to be creative and original. The proof is in the event photos – happy patrons making the kind of effort I thought was long lost; actually having fun with costumes instead of slapping on another vinyl cincher over a fishnet top. It’s no wonder Dances of Vice got such a positive write up in the New York Post, describing patrons who “flounced around the room in an Edwardian powdered wig, others marched in WWI uniforms, and still others posed in 1940s pinup wear”. So nice to see credit given where it’s due – Dances of Vice earned it, and with some inspiring speed.

Rasputina, one of the acts performing at the Dances of Vice Festival

Shien’s showing no signs of slowing down, either. Next on the agenda is the first Dances of Vice festival – a two-day event in February featuring an impressive bouquet of talent. Rasputina, The Deadfly Ensemble, Desert Sin, Nicki Jaine, Victorian fencing, and that’s just half of it. There will be an art exhibit, which I’m thrilled to be part of alongside talented artists like Lisa Mei and my pal Molly Crabapple. And! There will be a costume ball. If you’re in New York this February 8 and 9, you know what to do. See you there!

13 Responses to “Shien Lee’s Dances of Vice”

  1. kris_ether Says:

    I just we had a few more things like this in Britain. You forgot to mention her work with Lucas, Shang Hai Triad, which has a myspace with, only three for now, awesome songs which will be slapped into my steampunk playlist once they make it to release!!!

    Ahhh how dream of such an event in Manchester, the very heart of what was the industrial revolution…. sigh.

  2. Zoetica Says:

    Kris, I most certainly did not forget about Triad – “musician” in the third sentence links to their page.

    How I wish all our readers could make it to NYC for the Festival!

  3. kris_ether Says:

    Ahhh…. should of followed it… was expecting something more like the other band links….. sorry… long day here and it’s now gone dark and cold(er) in rainy old Manc.

  4. James Shearhart Says:

    This reminded me of the Edwardian Ball in San Francisco next weekend:

    I am not a shill. But I will be there Saturday and Sunday, ’cause me and my partner are involved with the decor setup….

  5. Tequila Says:

    I remember her early LJ posts about all this…it’s so exciting to see it flourish and come into its own. A worthy trip to NYC it’d be to attend the festival. I admire her focus and while it’s easy to appreciate her beauty and sense of style…it’s all made more potent by the way she weaves her talents and interests into what she does…a striking cocktail indeed.

  6. Nadya Says:

    I’m so going. See you there!

  7. Alysa Says:

    Go Shien!

    I’ve been lucky enough to be part of most of the DOV events thusfar, and this festival looks to be simply amazing! I can’t wait!

  8. the daniel Says:

    It is highly likely that I will attend this festival, my lady friend in tow (or will I be the one in tow?)

  9. Lauren Says:

    Way to rub it in my face that I can’t make it! Nicki asked me to shoot this but I had already committed to shooting HUMANWINE and Beat Circus then. I want to go!!

  10. john colby Says:

    After 4 attempts I will deff. be there for this one ( seriously)

  11. mer Says:

    So sad it is so far from me!

  12. Zoetica Says:

    So far we’ve got: Nadya, Daniel, me, John, Alysa, James – fun!

  13. biorequiem:Zoetica Ebb » Two things: art show in New York, and… Says:

    […] you might have read for yourselves by the way of Coilhouse, I have the pleasure of participating in the Dances of Vice Festival February 8 and 9. I’ll […]