What is the story behind your model alias?
My original modelling name was Genovae, which was a bit of a geeky reference to my degree - in Marine Biology. The new name Midnight Iris was made when my Burlesque and bellydance started picking up some steam. Midnight reflected the gothic side of my belly dancing and was also a nod to my ethnicity. For burlesque, I knew i wanted to include a flower in my name, and irises are my fave!
How did you get your start in the modeling business?
After bellydancing at an event about 3 years ago, a photographer came up to me and asked if I'd want to do shoot with him. He mainly wanted dancing shots, but in return I could get some pictures done of my favourite clothing as well. After spending some time making sure that he wasn't some kind of axe murderer, I went to a studio in cornwall for the shoot, and I enjoyed it so much I've been doing it ever since!
You own and operate a webstore, what kinds of items do you create and sell?
I sell a variety of items, that include bellydance and burlesque accessories e.g. pasties, decorated bras and shimmy belts. I also make and sell wool and kanekalon dreads and dreadfalls
You are a model, a burlesque dancer and a belly dancer, which of your passions came first?
Bellydance definitely came first, and remains the art form that I'm most passionate about. It began my journey from being a horribly shy, introverted person, to someone who will happily perform on stage in front of hundreds of people. Modelling and burlesque were the next steps as I gained a bit more body confidence and self esteem.
What can we expect to see from a performance of your show?
When I perform, I tend to lean away from traditional styles, towards my own interpretation of themes and ideas. One of my favourite dances is a bellydance version of the ghost of christmas past. The costume is heavily steeped in lanterns and chains and tells the story of the few moments each year, when the ghost is freed from her grisly curse.
Most of my dances incorporate a story or a theme, I think it makes it more fun for the audience to watch and for me to perform.
Where has been your favourite place in the world to perform?
My favourite place so far has been at Bedford Burlesque. It was the biggest stage I've performed on as well as the biggest and most appreciative crowd. Having 400 people cheer you on while you dance is nothing short of amazing.
What can we expect from you in 2011?
Definitely more bellydancing in the works for 2011. Even though I've been practising bellydance longer I've actually done more burlesque performances over my career. I've always believed that to really perform bellydance in a way I'd be proud of, I needed to make sure my training was up to a certain calibre, so solo performances are quite a recent development for me. Its taken off fantastically though. I danced at Bellymania. And I've also been booked for several performances at Arabesque nights in August and november. I've got a few local performances in southampton as well.
Do you have anything that you would like to add or promote?
I want to mention the best 3 photographers I've had the joy of working with so far.
The Cherry Blossom Boudoir in Bristol
Lillith in Bloom Photography in Wales
Raymond May, a hobbyist photographer, but I've worked with him several times and each one is always fun and results in fantastic pictures.