haus of bambi works to create fun, inclusive and unique spaces where LGBTQIA+ people can thrive together.
haus of bambi is a community of LGBTQIA+ artists and performers building safe spaces, events and activities for the queer community in D.C. We caught up with Producer and Artist, Bambi — who will be performing at District Fray’s Art Out Loud Pride party on June 3 — about haus of bambi’s goals, Bambi’s favorite performance and how art can reflect, or respond to, the times.
District Fray: What is the ethos of haus of bambi?
Bambi: Art as a catalyst for engagement with community: the chance for people to be in the same space together and actually get to know each other and have a sense of community, and not in the woo-woo sense. Whether it’s throwing parties, hosting social hours, teaching dance class at a bar or organizing a dance sanctuary, all these things are building this cohort of familiar faces, because everybody wants to be invited somewhere, and everybody feels a little bit lonely. It feels really good to use art — especially queer art and artists — as a catalyst to bring queer people together.
What is your favorite performance you’ve put on?
I did a duet with King Molasses in January that was commissioned by Dance Place, and that show was transformative. It was supposed to be Molasses and another performer but, because of a family emergency, that performer had to leave. I stepped in and the piece had to change because the person who dropped out was a Black nonbinary person, and the piece was about Black nonbinary masculinity. So, we started all over. And this collaboration with Molasses challenged me to be a different performer, to be more than I’ve ever been asked to be on stage. That opening night was the most alive I’ve ever been on stage. And the friendship that came out of that piece continues to change the way I make work.
What do you find fulfilling about this work?
I found myself completely invisible during the Covid-19 pandemic. Coming out of lockdown, it became clear to me that all anybody wants is to be invited somewhere, to feel seen and to have a good time. My very first piece involved drag and contemporary dance. Another was about go-go dancing and how a queer nightclub can be a sacred space. haus of bambi creates these opportunities, so people can feel seen. Right now, I have this laser focus on exactly what my value-add is, and what I can provide through my work. It all feels so in line.
How do you use your art to reflect the times?
I think maybe not reflect, but respond to. In my head, it seems so obvious, because all I’m doing is responding to what I see. We’re in this specific moment that’s exciting because everybody is reevaluating who they are, who they are in relationship to home, who they are in relationship to work and art and others. I also think there’s a lot of anger in this moment. There’s a lot of rage and pain and confusion, and one of the things I can do is provide comfort. We can’t always be at a riot. That’s not sustainable. It is political to find rest. It is its own act of resistance to find joy. Only then is it possible to continue that work. What I can do is let us have a good time, so that we are reminded why we’re doing it. And maybe that pushes things forward. Or maybe that gives you a great night. That’s enough for me.
Want first access to select shows, exhibits and performances around the city? Join the District Fray community to access free and discounted tickets. Become a member and support local journalism today.