“A living, breathing work of art,” Lily Verlaine is the performance persona of Rachel Gourd. a classical ballet dancer, feminist theorist, visual artist, writer and burlesque artist. She has studied at San Francisco Ballet and other notable schools with some of the most beloved names in ballet including David Howard, Laryssa Sklyanskaya, Gelsey Kirkland and is currently the private student of Bruce Wells in Seattle, Washington. She holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Minnesota in the self-designed BA Women in the Creative Arts. She has served as Artistic Director, Co-Producer and Choreographer of Land of the Sweets, The Burlesque Nutcracker (2006), Through The Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland (2009) L’Histoire de Melody Nelson (2010) Burlesco DiVino: Wine in Rome (2012) and Visions of Sugarplums: A Burlesque Nutcracker (2014). She is the founder and artistic director of House of Verlaine: An Exquisite Assemblage of Daring Classical Artists which presents classical ballet through a hedonistic, feminist lens.
She has performed as a soloist in Europe, Asia, Australia, Los Angeles, New York, New Zealand, Chicago, and at The Portland Art Museum and accepts commissions worldwide.
Her international influence continues to expand in the wake of her award-winning performances at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Tournament of Tease, headlining the 2016 Berlin Burlesque Festival, appearances at high-profile charity events in Hong Kong and through the worldwide distribution of the documentary “A Wink and a Smile”, a film by Deirdre Timmons.
Lily is also the face of The Mortal Vintner's 2012 Lily Verlaine Viognier.
Portrait of Lily: Gabriel Biencycki
Background Image: David Peterman