Episode 9: Dorthy Wychesit Fredenberg
Hosted by Chandre Szafran
Dorthy is a professional performer and business owner of a dance company based on Dena’ina lands in Deghay’kaq, known today as Anchorage, Alaska. Dorthy’s talent reflects a lifetime of discipline and love for dance. She performs as Violet Lee Vamp. Along with her business partner, performer Lady Duchess, the two co-founded the Sweet Cheeks Cabaret dance company in 2013. Their work straddles the discipline of live performance, the closeknit community of small businesses, and the energy that comes with cabaret—a niche in live theater that combines entertainment with an artform that is gender-body-and-sex-positive, and where safety-and-consent come first.
Violet Lee Vamp and Lady Duchess have helped make Sweet Cheeks a fan-favorite in the Anchorage nightlife scene, frequently earning the company, and its cast of dedicated performers, awards in audience-voted theater and burlesque.
At the core of it all, as an Indigenous performer and entrepreneur in the small business community, Dorthy’s work marks a steady, subtle sense of ownership for Indigenous women in entertainment.
Native Artist Series
The Native Artist Series takes a deep dive into the stories of Indigenous artists, spanning a wide range of artistic disciplines. From performance artists and writers, to carvers and weavers, artists share their unique stories and perspectives on navigating these fields while reclaiming native identity.