Monday, 4 March 2013

Interview with Benjamin Dukhan + Exclusive Photography by Franck Glenisson

Hello Benjamin. Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?

Okay. I'm Benjamin, a dancer, performer, model, and I am also trying to be a singer. I'm a self-made artist working on my video and music through collaborations with people that cross my path.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
There isn't a day that I work and a day that I don't work. It's a permanent working. I don't really have an average day since I work on different projects. It could be rehearsing all day for a dance company or being in a studio recording a new track or being in a photo studio to shoot an editorial for a magazine. These day I'm working on my next video clip for my new song 'Voguing Positive'. I also spend lot's of time connecting with other artist to collaborate with.

Describe yourself as a child?

I was a a little soldier thanks to my dad, working a lot, dancing already a lot. My teacher said I was dreaming all the time. I was also very effeminate and the other boys were a bit mean... and I was unable to fight. I liked to play with the girls!

Didn't we all Benjamin, didn't we all.  Has much changed now that you are fully grown?

A little, now I can play the Burger Girl. I'm still dancing... there is not so much difference actually!!! 

In such a short space of time you have managed to craft quite an amazing career for yourself; as a dancer, model, singer (aka Burger Girl) and owner of one of the most fantastic beards in the industry! What drives you to create in such a way and where do you find inspiration on a daily basis for all of your creative pursuits?

I have been working as a dancer for 6 years now on different contemporary dance projects. The new thing is that I started to model 2 year ago when I was 30. It was very new for me but before that I was starting my music project as Burger Girl. All the energy from the catwalk and the image thing helped me to meet new people and work on my video. Then all these things mixed together bring me on tour. Now things are more quiet and it's time to think again and wait for more collaborations. I also started vocal classes to improve my voice and go further with my music. It's work I never expected to cross...

How did you get your start in modelling, and what have been some of your career highlights that you would like to share with me?

I was street casted for Jean Paul Gaultier. It was really nice to work for Gaultier and see him working. Doing his couture show was really nice with all the top models of the moment. I like modelling a lot, I don't have highlights. I like very much to travel for work, and I discover cities like Kiev or Vilnius or Bucharest that I like a lot.

Would you like to tell my readers a little more about your musical project Burger Girl?

Yes, this project started as a joke and then we did 11 songs and it was such a great great experience. This project is almost finished now. I'm working on the last video clip. It was a place where I could express all of my creativity as a performer choreographer, set designer, director… I also worked on editing and production. I did a lot of things for this project. We toured a lot in Europe and it was a great great experience. I would do it again if I had to. It was a great way to learn many things about that musical world. And also I had many people who seemed to enjoy this character of Burger Girl. It was also a period where everybody is trying to create and be creative with a very small budget. So it's been a very interesting period.
Sounds like a lot of fun!  What does music offer you that fashion might not?

Fashion is not the place where I can be creative. When I work in fashion I often have the feeling that I'm not human, I sometimes have the feeling that I'm just a beard with two long legs. I come from a background in theatre and contemporary dance. Walking on the catwalk was not the most interesting thing I had done in my life.. but I liked it anyway.. in the moment I feel beautiful on the outside.

We must talk about your impressive Beard! How many years have you had your beard now, and do you have daily regimen to make sure it stays looking fabulous at all times? 

You should see me in the morning when i wake up... it's disgusting.  I started my beard for a dance solo I was touring in Paris. It was getting bigger and bigger and I liked it.

Do you ever have any days when you feel like shaving it off? 

Not that I endorse these thoughts of course.  Yes I often think about it… this is gonna happen very soon.  I have a project with a famous photographer mid March and then I will consider cutting it.  It's very hard cause it's really part of my personality.  Last July I felt like I was in prison in my own beard.  I really was about to cut it so I just made it shorter.

Can you talk about any creative projects you are working on at the moment?

At the moment I am touring in dance performances I work on with a dance company from France. I'm now also taking vocal classes. I don't have so many things going on right now. As I said there is time to have fun and time to think. Now it's time for reflection and thinking what my future will be made of.

Who have been some of the artists who have influenced you growing up? 

I'm very in love with Scott Matthew, Diamanda Gallas, The Irrepressibles and Antony and the Johnsons.

A guilty pleasure you can’t seem to quit? 

There is no guilt to have when there is pleasure!!!

A song that makes your heart skip a beat? 

'Sinking' by Scott Matthew.

If the world were coming to an end and you were allowed one last kiss, who would be lucky enough to land on your lips? 

I know a big tall beautiful man I just met in the Netherlands whose lips would fit perfectly for that...

If you could be an animal for the day, which animal would you be and why? 

I'd be a bird, a fast speed and long wings bird. I would fly for the entire day, going to Africa, in the middle of Tanzania or something like this and see the sun set.

That sounds amazing.  What happens next? 

This we never know.  I like to be surprised, I actually love surprises. I really like when I do things I never expect I would do. I prefer not to plan.

Well you have been insanely entertaining mister.  Thank you for your time Benjamin!


Stylist: Jonathan Mahaut
Photographer: Franck Glenisson
(Thank you Franck, you're the best!)


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