Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: Imperatrix Amaia

Imperatrix Amaia, Director of The Carnavalesque

I love to feature a Stiletto Gal who is a triple threat all around, but in the case of Imperatrix Amaia, we might need to coin a new term for the dozens of hats that she wears because Imperatrix does it all and then some! An award-winning Cirque du Soleil performer and director and global business entrepreneur, she is also a noted Sufi trance master through family lineage and in 2012, served as master of ceremonies and as a key figure at one of the world's biggest stages and platforms, the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval, where she made Brazilian history by being the first foreign artist to become the Rio de Janeiro Carnival Queen. Having relocated permanently to LA since, I got the chance to chat with Imperatrix today about her new work as the Director of The Carnavalesque, how to get performers motivated (you can watch a video from a performer here!), and how she overcame a huge setback early on in the business.

Hillary Gadsby: You started your entrepreneurial career early on as a Cirque du Soleil performer, director, global business entrepreneur and international public figure. You’re now the director of The Carnavalesque and the creator of The Carnavalesque International Beauty Movement Franchise – can you tell me what that is and what it does?

Imperatrix Amaia: The Carnavalesque, is a cutting edge, luxury EDM cirque performance experience. It’s Erotic Poetry in Motion. We pride ourselves on being the world's first itinerant, electronic, and audio-visual 21st century "Moulin Rouge.”

The Carnavalesque is comprised of the world's top female EDM DJ's, cirque performers and iconic Rio de Janeiro carnival queens. With a company structure consisting of some 30+ state of the art female cirque performers, our highlighted 'elite courtesans' include Irina Kazakova, (Guinness Book of World Record's 'Most Flexible Woman in the World'), Hannah Fraser (Celebrity Mermaid & International Marine Activist), Kamala Mathis (World Fire Hoop Champion), Erin Cervantes & Alicia Marie (Aerialists Extraordinaire) and myself Imperatrix Amaia (2012 Rio de Janeiro Carnival Queen) to name just a few. This international elite troupe has been hand selected and recruited through a rigorous auditioning and training process to form "The Carnavalesque Awakening" - a cutting edge, trance inducing performance experience guaranteed to make heads spin and hearts explode. We believe after all, "Life is a Carnaval.... and our audience's exploding hearts is our costume.” The Carnavalesque Awakening performance experience is a barrage of exquisite feminine beauty, Eros, creativity, ingenuity and great music. Indeed, as we speak The Carnavalesque performance model is spurring an entirely new paradigm in electronic culture as a whole, so stay tuned and keep your eyes, ears and hearts wide open.

Now, "The Carnavalesque Beauty Movement," is a multi-layered consciousness shifting dance discipline that creates an initiation of sacred beauty in women through the structured study and diligent practice of wild, cultivated, elevated, passionate, erotic movement. I intricately developed and engineered this practice & its detailed curriculum through a global compilation of my own first-hand experiences of initiation in the perennial traditions of some of the world's most ancient, erotic, ecstatic dance disciplines, The Carnavalesque Beauty Movement curriculum,  workshops, classes and retreats, create a powerful "Maximum-energy in Self-celebration" context for women to freely revel and relish in total unabashed Carnaval style abandon,  at the beauty and joy of their fully expressed, fully released sensuality in motion.

The Carnavalesque Beauty Movement classes combine the traditional benefits of fitness including strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and agility training all the while nourishing, cultivating and energizing all the different levels of consciousness in a woman (sensual, emotional, mental, spiritual, and energetic) engaging and integrating the Deepest, most authentic parts of Her Self. I invite all of you to contact the company at info@carnavalesque.com for more information on our regular classes, and upcoming workshops and retreats.

HG: As chief choreographer and director of a top tier cirque company, how do you get your performers motivated to be at their best day in and day out at both rehearsals and shows?

IA: I must admit that having the privilege of being mentored by brilliant minds such as Peter Morici, the Ex-Chief Economist of the United States at the R.H Smith School of Business where I received my two executive degrees, has given me exceptionally effective leadership tools. Nevertheless, as a leader, assuming the role of the visionary is never really easy. It requires a tremendous amount of self motivation, inspiration, and self-reliance. Seeing in the present moment as real, as the keeper and reiterator of the Vision, requires having a tremendous sense of certainty, persistence, self-demand and the courage to pave the way. Having to pave the path for others to follow, as they witness your every move, is quite an intense high-pressure position to be in. However, when the Vision is so compelling, when the meaning behind the Vision is so inspiring, something magical occurs. There is a sense of Joint purpose, togetherness, a sense of unity and harmony that is generated among the entire collective, company and group. And this joint Final Causality momentum creates a state of magical concurrence that I refer to as "The Zone".  And in this state of deep yet flexible and flowing focus, a natural, authentic, abundant, contagious sense of motivation begins to permeate and spread like wildfire within the company culture.  You see, every element of our performance, of Carnavalesque has a deeply significant meaning to every component of the company. We each believe that through the carnival and The Carnavalesque performance, a "world upside-down" (WUD) is created. Ideas and prevalent truths can be endlessly tested and contested, and all can demand equal dialogic status. The “jolly relativity” of all things is proclaimed by alternative voices within the carnivalized artistic platform that de-privileges the authoritative voice of the hegemony through the mingling of “high culture” with the 'profane'. For us, it is within the artistic altar of the grand scale live performance avenue of "mythical story telling" that we find the site of resistance to repressive social authority constructs and the place where  global mass culture, and even political, change can take place. As socially responsible female performers, the level of Vision is profoundly motivating. We understand that we are in essence the cultural 'myth makers', and realize the potentially global impact and power our sustaining the excellence behind our Vision has.

HG: What is the worst thing that ever happened to you as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?

IA: The worst thing that ever happened to me was the betrayal of my interests by a trusted business partner because of a sudden episode of overwhelming greed caused by our sudden success. I overcame it by severing the relationship immediately, and making sure to very carefully choose partners that can easily adjust to growth and success, and more importantly that have a strong sense of character and morality and a conscious wealth philosophy. Only people that come from a win-win place of collaboration, mutuality, fairness and honor.

HG: Name one person you look up to that inspires you.

IA: That would be the writer my dear Anaïs Nin

Imperatrix's fab heels!


HG: What kind of shoe are you and why?

IA: I am a Python Brazilian Haute Couture 'Tufi Duek' - elegant and worldly, with an intense sense of adventure. My palette of tastes is original and my experiences and tastes are highly unique, deeply cultivated and vast. I am exotic, refined, delicate, sharp - and wild.

HG:  What 3 things are you most passionate about and why?

IA: 1. Love: It is what ties everything together and the point of it all. Love is the most powerful, most noble, rewarding, transcendental Final Causality.

2. Beauty: Making the time for beauty and choosing beauty from actions to thoughts and within words to create a deeply beautiful world. Relishing in and focusing on the cultivation of one's inner and outer beauty.

3. Sensual Rapture: There’s nothing like Sensual Rapture - period. And besides, the release of Oxytocin that it creates is scientifically proven to strengthen the immune system and lower chances of disease. Sensual Rapture here I come!

Find out more about The Carnavalesque by visiting the website here!