This bull-riding ballerina brunch queen has blessed us this summer with a unique new weekly drag dining experience. The classy and clever Mariette Moure happens to be a member of the prestigious all-male dance company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (aka the Trocks), as well as a respected drag queen of the NYC nightlife. Now, Mariette shares with Thotyssey her tales of life on the road as a dancer, and life on the back of a mechanical bull.
Thotyssey: Hi Mariette! While preparing for this interview, I rewatched your delightful “Last Chance to be Queen” interactive video collaboration with Nimrod Shapira from two summers ago. It’s a Pride-themed original video and song that you lip sync. Was that a fun project?
Mariette Moure: Oh yes! That was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work! Nimrod and the whole team are just amazing, and I was so honored to be a part of it!
So you’re from Orange County, NY, right? That’s a pretty part of the state.
Yes, it does have its pretty views. and a bunch of historic landmarks!
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing since I was 6 years-old.
What’s your favorite ballet?
Growing up, did you always want to dance the “girl” parts? Were you told you couldn’t?
Well, I danced within the traditional style, of course, and I did always draw my attention to the female roles and steps. To me, it was just so fascinating, and seemed to be the ultimate challenge. I luckily did not care if I wasn’t allowed to do female parts, learn female roles or wear pointe shoes. It eventually became a part of my training.
On the other side of things, were you exploring Manhattan nightlife at an early age? If so, what were your first hangout spots?
Oh, some of the early spots would be going to Saliva Tuesdays with Thorgy Thor, and Scarlet Fever with Scarlet Envy. Those were always a blast, and they gave me a great place to learn about not only drag, but discovering MY drag.
Did you compete in Saliva?
Apocalypta! She was great. Does she still come out, do you know?
I am not too sure, we have sadly not kept in touch.
Ahhhh Lolita! She became my mamma when I first started with Trockadero. She went with me to Alcone for my first visit, and made sure I was prepared for the long, hard learning road ahead of me.
So, you were you coming out in drag before the Trockadero, or after?
I was with Trockadero before I was in the nightlife scene.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, by the way, are an all-male ballet dance revue with a long and fascinating history, closely tied to the Gay Rights movement in the 1970′s. Can you feel that strong sense of that history as a current member?
I do. Knowing that the Trocks started out from that movement is truly amazing. Not only to be a performer with the troupe, but to be able to help preserve something that gave huge gateways for me to be able to do what I do, and not to be shut down doing it.
Do most of the Trocks also have careers as performing drag queens?
I wouldn’t say most, but definitely some, and with some great success: Brooke Lynn Hytes (Miss Continental 2014), Serenity Lopez (Miss Continental 3rd runner up 2015), and Miss Bobbi Soxx (Miss Congeniality New York’s Best in Drag), as well as Lolita and I.
That’s a lot of talent! And as for your drag name, the story goes that you and Lolita were in an airport and decided to name these beanie animal toys you saw being sold at a gift shop “Mariets.” Then, you were suddenly inspired to combine that with the surname of a teacher you once had, and viola, Mariette Moure.
[Laughs] Yes. Lolita and I have quite an imagination.
By the way, apropos of not much… was Black Swan the best lesbian/drag ballet movie ever made?
To be honest, I don’t like to watch movies that degrade the actual morals of ballet. So I have not watched that, along with many dance films.
That’s interesting! I guess that movie did do that, in a matter of speaking. Back to nightlife, I remember when you were nominated for a Slammy Award as “Worst Newcomer” in 2014. That’s a rite of passage for any new queen from these past few years, and of course it’s all in good fun! But is it better to win or lose that award?
[Laughs] I wasn’t prepared when I found out I was nominated. I also had no idea what to feel, being described as a possible Worst Newcomer…but I didn’t win, so I guess I wasn’t the “worst” after all!
When’s the next tour, or out-of-town show for the Trocks?
Our next performance is in a couple weeks in Finland for two shows. Then in July/August, we will be returning to Germany for our usual German summers for the Trocks!
Any NYC area performances from you ladies in the near or distant future?
Yes! We will be at the Joyce Theater in December!
Because of your work with the Trocks, you probably can’t commit to any too-long-term drag gigs in NYC or elsewhere. Is it ever tempting to leave one career for the other, or are you adept working with both?
I actually have been able to manage both! I currently host Sunday Bull Riding Brunch at Johnny Utahs! We just started up recently and it’s a blast! I am the host, but when out of town we will have other queens coming to sub for me till I come back!
Let’s talk about that now! Sunday brunch (12pm-5pm) at Johnny Utah’s in Hell’s Kitchen. That’s a country-western themed venue with a mechanical bull, and the last place I’d expect to find a brunch hosted by a lovely and petite drag ballerina, but I feel like it’s probably amazing. First of all, how did you get that gig?
Well! A friend of mine who works at the bar, Nicky, wanted to get a gay night started there. So he was able to get a spot, and asked me to come be the host! It was supposed to just be a one time thing, but after a couple hours, the boss made it weekly. It is a blast! Bull-riding contests for prizes, DJ, great food and two hours unlimited drink specials. And lots of hot guys came last week!
Do people eat and drink and THEN get on the bull?
Well, people do it in any order they choose! You just cannot be intoxicated on the bull! It’s a really great time! Hopefully we will be able to start a [drag] show to be in the brunch.
I must ask, have you gotten on it yet?
Oh yes! I am the first drag queen to ever ride the bull at Johnny Utahs! Corset and all!
How long did you last?
I don’t remember, but I was impressed with myself that I lasted longer then I thought I would! But when we do the contests, I time each contestant. This past week, we gave away a $25 gift card from Universal Gear to a very handsome man who lasted the longest of the night with 44 seconds.
So, what’s Tutu Philipe? Are you in the costume/tutu making business as well?
Tutu Philipe is my side-costuming business [for ballet] that I started in high school.
What’s the major difference between constructing ballet costumes versus drag costumes?
Well… ballet costumes are made to last for 10-20-30 years, and have emphasis of being able to look good from the first row to the top of the nose-bleeds. Drag costumes consist of making sure they fit a man, but still making the man’s body look feminine.
Sounds like creating a ballet costume is a very refined art; you must be quite talented. So, is there anything else coming up for you this summer?
Yes! Stay tuned to find out what Johnny Utahs will be doing for Pride! Can’t say more then that yet!
Okay, final question: What does the world need to know about Mariette Moure that it might not know already?
Bring sour patch to my shows an I will love you forever!
Noted! Thanks for the interview, Mariette!
Mariette Moure hosts the Sunday Bull-Riding Brunch at Johnny Utahs every Sunday (12pm-5pm). Her dance troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo will perform at the Joyce Theatre in NYC in December. Mariette can be followed on Facebook & Instagram. Her ballet costuming business Tutu Philipe can be found on Facebook.