An Interview with Model and Burlesque Performer Eden Berlin

Written by Aly Laube

Eden Berlin is sexy without sticking to the status quo. While considering her career, she knew that she wanted to work with eroticism, but found the stereotypes and expectations in the field to be cheap and classless. Even a brief glance at her work in modelling and performance art makes one thing very clear: class is a crucial part of Eden Berlin’s image.
She wanted to discover how to “express eroticism in a sophisticated, creative way” and escape from the “beauty standard that is to please a majority of men,” exclusively. As a solution, she decided to explore burlesque.

“The women in burlesque are self-determined and self-made,” she explained. “They create their own identity and control how they allow you to see them. They are proud of their body no matter which shape or size it is, and they can show you how to make the best of it as a woman. They don’t dress to please you, but themselves. They celebrate femininity in all of its forms, they celebrate their personal sexuality, and most of all, they do it with class.”


Burlesque is a form of live performance art that can feature anything from comedic sketches to stripteases. In Eden’s case, it’s more of the latter; she has become well-known for her “Eden and the Swan” show
, “a greek myth-inspired storyline in which Zeus transforms into a swan to seduce Leda.”

“The aesthetic is inspired by Lotte Reiniger, among others, who was a German film director and pioneer in silhouette animation during the 1920’s,” she illuminated. “In my show, the animated swan helps me undress from my gorgeous, glamorous black and white costume. I end up naked by the river, seductively engaging with the swan and his big black…” she paused, “wings all over my body. I try to create a fun, sexy, and poetic combination of the past and future, you see?”

Eden’s tongue-in-cheek humour and originality is what’s helped her make her mark in the industry. That, along with
her artful and intriguing look, draws attention from all over the globe . She’s often posed as a combination angel and dominatrix, and is almost always wearing bright red lipstick and sky-high stilettos. Some might liken her look to that of a modern-day, darker pinup girl. However, Eden refuses this notion, along with any other label that might be associated with her name.
“People are too complex to fit in narrow sets of drawers,” she explained. “I used to describe my style in interviews before as ‘extrovertedly elegant’, but who knows what new ideas I might get?”


The only consistency that Eden does admit to is her interest in “religion vs. atheism, eroticism, contrasts and controversy.” These concepts can be observed in her work and even her title. The name Eden, of course, has biblical origins. She describes it as “the garden of earthly pleasures and delights”: a wonderful, beautiful, magical place. However, it’s also where Eve was swayed by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit. There is darkness, temptation and lust in the Garden of Eden, just as there is great beauty. It’s a metaphor that perfectly describes the burlesque dancer and her goals as an artist. She is a visual spectacle with a sinful twist, and just like in the tale of Adam and Eve, sexual liberation and femininity plays a large role in what she does.

“Sex is still used a lot by women to feel worthy and loved, especially in a culture where the image of a perfectly beautiful and sexually always available woman is promoted. I honestly think that most of us are confused, and what we do when we are confused is look at how others act. We adopt their attitude to feel safe again,” said Eden. “Women have come a long way and we have a long way to go. We still aren’t appreciated for our minds instead of our bodies and that is partly fault of the women themselves. I include myself here.”

Every time Eden steps onto the stage, she’s countering that lack of appreciation. Her burlesque performances are more than just entertainment and a simple proclamation of external beauty. Rather, they’re a refusal of what is considered sexy in a patriarchal society.Eden, and women in the business, take their sexuality into their own hands to enforce this message: we own ourselves, and we’re not here to please anyone but ourselves. It’s all about independence, power, allure and art . And like all quality art, it’s open to the public.

See one of Eden’s shows and stay posted to her
Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Eden and the Swan

All images re-published with consent from Eden Berlin

The MLZ team had the honor of meeting with Eden Berlin in person last year (Saturday December 06th 2014 at the Das Swing Kabarett – Xmas party @ Waldorf Hotel). We would like to thank Val Rudy: Founder of Electro Swing Club Vancouver for introducing us to Miss Berlin. In their own words Electro Swing Club Vancouver specializes in,

Bringing you monthly events featuring world renowned Musical and Live acts right here in the birthplace of Swing Music; North America! Our artists have been scouring crate after dusty crate of old classics to remake songs into todays club tunes, updated swing sounds with electro, hip hop, house, bass, and dub influences! With electro swing coming to every major festival in Europe this summer, we know it will only take a second for us savvy folks on ‘this side of the pond’ to figure out why Europe is working up a sweat dancing like mad to these eclectic new sounds. Your no jive turkey, get dressed up in your finest gear, and come cut a rug to the vintage vibes of Electro Swing!