Keon Volt Price is not afraid of sex – not afraid to talk about it, to dance sexually in public, or even to laugh about it.
“Sex is in every culture,” says the Seattle-based 29-year-old dancer and burlesque performer. “No matter how you feel about it, it’s in every culture.”
And, of course, he’s right.
Sitting in Grand Central Bakery on Eastlake Avenue, Price takes a bite from his grilled turkey sandwich. He looks over his plate with his big brown eyes and smiles a charming grin as he chews. Sporting a dyed-blond head of hair, which he says he’ll soon buzz off, Price, one of the stars at the Can Can Cabaret in Pike Place Market, has recently started a new project: an all-male (and mostly POC) burlesque review he calls Chocolate Drizzle, the latest beast in the city’s already rich burlesque scene.
While Price is involved in many performances throughout the city – including his regular “Cuddling with KeKe” series and go-go dancing at R Place on Capitol Hill – there is something new and necessary about Chocolate Drizzle, especially when juxtaposed with today’s permeating political, economic, and social divides.
“I want the show to be for everybody,” Price explains of his “baby,” which incorporates five male dancers – one white (Slim) and four men of color (Apollo, Allen, Christian and himself). “Most of the cast is gay but they know how to entertain women and how to entertain men – that’s for damn sure!”
The show, slated next for May 1st at 7:30 pm at Re-Bar, goes like this: Price opens the night with an introduction, a dance, and an invitation to “get nasty.” Then for the first act, each performer performs solo, highlighting their personalities with music and dance (twerking, lap dances, climbing on tables, accepting money in G-strings). The second act involves audience participation – almost like a game show – with chosen members picking from a hat a number 1-through-5, each corresponding to a different “Drizzle Box” that holds either a plastic chain, chocolate sauce, water guns, or cans of whipped cream.
Watching the show, it’s hard not to notice Price’s expert stage presence. He’s an unassuming emcee (especially when mostly naked), moves like Michael Jackson, and cavorts with co-host and fraternal twin brother, Jaquan Price – known also as the renowned drag queen, La Saveona Hunt. The two interact with roaring laughter and cheeky conversation (the word “bitch” may or may not be used liberally between them). And while Price excels at the job, he credits a lot of his growth and skill to his family at the Can Can.
“That place opened my eyes to a lot of things,” Price explains. “I’m a very proud out gay man – but just because I identify that way doesn’t mean I can’t love and appreciate – or be loved and be appreciated – by everybody. At the Can Can, I have men coming up to me saying they’re straight, that their wives are here with them, but they’re telling me I’m beautiful and hot.”
And it’s this mode of inclusive, appreciative connection that drives Price’s work.
“We all have these sexual thoughts,” he says. “But not everyone embraces them. I want to break down those boundaries. There’s something so beautiful and vulnerable about being naked on stage. It’s so tangible but it’s also still taboo – yet the more you see it, the less taboo it becomes.”