Tatiana Pirogovskaia says she’s feeling nervous and excited about performing a burlesque number based on the video game Portal 2. The 26-year-old East Vancouver resident, who goes by the stage name Malvina MasVino, is one of the stars of the upcoming show Video Game Burlesque.
Along with the other members of the VanDolls troupe, Pirogovskaia is putting on Video Game Burlesque at the Royal Canadian Legion (2205 Commercial Drive) on February 10. The dancers are set to run through the show’s 14 numbers in a dress rehearsal this weekend. According to Pirogovskaia, Video Game Burlesque is sure to sell out, as there are only 40 tickets left. Tickets are $15 online, but people in the video-game industry are being offered the discounted rate of $12. The show is open to people 19 and older.
Pirogovskaia was born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. She’s a master’s student in food science at the University of British Columbia, where her work focuses on raspberries.
The Georgia Straight reached Pirogovskaia by phone.
Why did you pick Portal 2 to interpret as a burlesque number?
Well, Portal was one of the latest games I actually played with my brother, and I was super-bad at it. Then I started checking the music—different mixes—and I really liked how they have the computerized voice of GLaDOS in the game. One of the things in the game is the Companion Cube. So, I decided I’m going to do a duel with another girl, and we’re going to focus on this kind of love affair between the main character and the Companion Cube.
What will this look like on stage?
Basically, my Companion Cube, we just have this giant box. It turns out that she’s actually alive, and she’s actually a girl and not just a box. We fall in love, and we have different tasks that we have to go through, just like in the game. But then, at the end, we unfortunately don’t make it.
What’s one thing that you think people should know about the upcoming event?
One thing is just the collaboration between media. There’s the DJs. They’re working closely with us. And the guest performers. We also have a photo booth by Gabriel Morosan. He’s coming in, and he’s helping out. There’s just lots of volunteers, and it’s connecting different groups of people who didn’t necessarily see burlesque maybe before. It’s an introduction.
What kind of reaction have you gotten from people hearing about the mixing of video games and burlesque?
Everyone pretty much was surprised and asking, “How are you going to do it?” We have to explain the different group numbers that we’re doing and basically how we’re going to put video games into burlesque.
Would you play a burlesque video game?
Maybe. I would definitely try it to see who came up with it and what’s happening there.
Every Friday, Geek Speak catches up with someone in Vancouver’s technology sector, video-game industry, or social-media scene. Who should we interview next? You can tell Stephen Hui on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.