About Madame Onça
Lauren ‘Onça’ O’Leary is a career entertainer, event producer, nationally touring performer, and internationally published author and artist.
She stages several major festivals annually, as well as myriad other events. Staged in Asheville, NC, her award-winning ABSfest: the Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival, is now is in its fifth year of bringing together artists from around the world to perform, study and network. Onça’s annual North Carolina festival, TribOriginal: Tribal Dance, Music & Culture Camp ran for seven years, and was nominated for Best Event, and her dance company Baraka Mundi as been nominated likewise for both Best Kept Secret and Best Dance Company. She has a new festival in the vaudeville genre opening in Richmond, VA, in summer of 2013.
Madame Onça traveled for intermittently for five years with the Balkan fusion project the Mezmer Society, and for over ten years with the Accidental Circus, directed by Jester of Muncaster Castle in England, Paolo Garbanzo. She continues to work with the Circus as well as touring solo with her torchsong bellydance antics.
Onça illustrated and co-authored The World Spirit Tarot, an instant classic, which has been translated into Spanish.
It is her stalwart belief is that “The greatest expression of Rebellion is Joy.”
April 25-28, 2013. Golden, CO. Onça is mistress of ceremonies for a weekend of shows at Elevation Tribal Festival Website
May 2-30, 2013. Richmond, VA. Onça resumes a month-long session of intimate classes in coaching and drills. Contact at LaMadameOnca@gmail.com for info.
May 23-26, 2013. Asheville, NC. The Lucky SEVEN! ABSfest: Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival now in its 7th year of awesome, brings you Armitage Shanks, Jo Boobs Weldon, and more. www.absfest.com
May 31-June 2, 2013. Richmond, VA. The First Annual Virginia Burlesque & Sideshow Festival debuts, bringing Armitage Shanks, aerial delight Sadie Hawkins, and more. www.virginiaburlesque.com
July 8-13, 2013. Pomeroy, Ohio. Starwood Festival. Onça teaches tarot and bellydance at this revered annual pagan event. www.rosencomet.com
July 14-15, 2013. Philadelphia, PA. Workshops and show hosted by Forget-Me-Not Revue!
July 22-Aug. 2, 2013. Slippery Rock, PA. Classes, performance, mayhem at Pennsic War.
August 24, 2013. Boston, MA. Classes in business, coaching and theatrics through JayLee! Facebook
Sept. 5-8th, 2013. Las Vegas, NV. Onça is teaching and performing at the annual Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive. www.bellydanceintensive.com
September 14, 2013. Onça teaches and performs in Wilmington, NC! Info tba.
October 5-6, 2013, South Bend, IN. Workshops and Performance through Ruby Jazyre! www.rubyjazayre.com
February 7, 2014. Kokomo, IN. Workshops and performance with Mimi! Info tba.
Onça founded these events and continues to direct them as Future of Tradition Productions:
The Virginia Burlesque & Sideshow Festival: opening in 2013. This new festival offers three days of quality performance, workshops, vending and networking for international artists in historic Richmond, VA. www.virginiaburlesque.com
ABSFest: the Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival: 2007 – 2013. ABSfest is a three day festival of quality performance, workshops, vending and networking for international Neo-Vauedville artists in Asheville, the Old Paris of the South. Nominated for Best Performance in the People’s Choice Awards, two thousand enthusiastic people have attended ABSfest events to date from as far abroad as Scotland and Japan. www.absfest.com
TribOriginal: Tribal Dance, Music & Culture Camp: 2006 – 2012. TribO was an international, four-day, family-friendly, full-service, total immersion arts camp held annually in the mounatins of western North Carolina. This event was nominated for Best Event in the 2007 National Golden Belly Awards and developed an avid following. www.triboriginal.org
Ongoing Local & Regional Events.
Mardi Gras Moulin: Annual variety showcase. Bellydance Asheville Showcases: held four times annually.
Movement, Culture & Stagecraft workshops held throughout the year, 1999-2013. Many dozens of events to date; highlights include hosting the Yard Dogs Traveling Road Show, Brazilian martial arts masters, Le Serpent Rouge, master drummers from West Africa, fetish events, providing facilities for the Asheville Circus School, and the 2010 multi-city tour ‘Masters of Vaudeville’ with Armitage Shanks.
Torch-singer, dancer, Mistress of Ceremonies, fire-eater, stage character.
Solo act: 1999-present. Madame Onça has been Mistress of Ceremonies and songstress at events throughout the United States, including the Carolina Burlesque Festival, Suncoast Burlesque Festival, TribalCon Bellydance Festival, Elevation Bellydance Festival, and many others.
Accidental Circus: 2002-present. Touring ensemble performance on the vanguard of the Neo-Vaudeville Revival, under the direction of Jester of Muncaster Castle in England, Paolo Garbanzo. www.accidentalcircus.com
The Mezmer Society: Luscious Cabaret and Balkan Ruckus. 2007-2012. Toured nationally for five years performing soulful Eastern European party music in a roulade of good looks and bad behavior.
Onça entertains as a tribal fusion bellydancer, lovable stage character, and fire-eater at corporate events, arts festivals and private events.
Onça was the featured dancer for January 2010 at Under the Sun Light Belly Dance Bazaar and was the cover model for October’s 2011 Zaghareet Magazine www.zaghareet.com
Baraka Mundi, the Bandit Queens of Bellydance: 2000-2009. Founder of Baraka Mundi Live Music & Dance Ensemble, which pioneered tribal bellydance in the Carolinas and have taught and performed for thousands. Nominated for Best Kept Secret in the National Golden Belly Awards. Baraka Mundi produced a cd ‘World Spirit Melody’ and a perfomance dvd of full-length narrative theatre dance production ‘The Secret of Ashes’. 2008-2010, Baraka Mundi offered ‘Performance in the Park’ through a grant from Arts2People.
Future of Tradition Center for Folkloric Arts: 1999-2006. Co-founded and directed the 3600 square foot folk-art center as a hub for world performance traditions, as well as a birthing ground for the regional Neo-Vaudeville movement. FoT offered affordable Fine Art studios, movement and performance space.
World Spirit Studio: 2008-2011. Onca directed the Future of Tradition Center for Folkoric Arts, a cornerstone presence in the developing River Arts District of Asheville, for seven years before opening World Spirit Studio, which became home to Baraka Mundi’s ongoing classes.
International Guest Instruction: She now travels internationally to teach, and has been a featured instructor in Czech, Germany, and Scotland, as well as throughout the United States on the professional circuit.
Onça has also taught bellydance in a broad variety of community settings from pre-schools to senior centers. She has taught and performed in many academic environments, including Isaac Dickson Elementary, Marion County Arts Association, Claxton School for the Humanities, Transylvania County Middle and High Schools, Clemson University, Western Carolina University, Warren Wilson College, and Wake Forest University.
Illustrator & Author
World Spirit Tarot: Published in both English and Spanish 1999 by Llewelyn Worldwide. Described as ‘an instant classic’ upon release. Illustrated and co-authoured by Lauren O’Leary, with Jessica Godino. Numerous illustration cover credits through Llewellyn and related publications from 1999-present.
Magazine Writer: Numerous articles published in genre publications, including Tribal UK magazine, Big Top, and Zaghareet Magazine.