Archive for September, 2009

New Orleans Burlesque Festival bump and grind this weekend
September 10, 2009

by Molly Reid, Staff writer, The Times-Picayune

Thursday September 10, 2009, 11:33 AM

Steven Forster / The Times-Picayune
Foxy Flambeaux, Praline DuPree, Kitty Twist from “Secrets in Lace Presented Bustout Burlesque in The Mystick” presented at the Royal Sonesta Hotel last September.NEW ORLEANS BURLESQUE FESTIVAL

What: A three-day showcase of classic and traditional burlesque. Friday features a kickoff party at the Green Bar of the Westin Hotel and the Mondo Burlesque revue at Harrah’s New Orleans. Saturday features the Queen of Burlesque competition at Harrah’s and the Late-Night Burlesque Bash at the House of Blues. Sunday’s activities include Naughty New Orleans, featuring local troupe Bustout Burlesque, at Harrah’s, as well as a closing party at the Carousel Lounge in the Hotel Monteleone.

When: Friday through Sunday, at several locations. See Web site for details.

Where: Kickoff and closing parties are free. Shows range in price from $20 to $50.

Information: Visit www.neworleansburlesquefest.com or call Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000.

 

New Orleans might have changed considerably over the past 50 years, but at heart, it’s still a big tease.

So say the 50-plus sassy, sexy ladies who will twirl their tassels and strut their stuff through the first New Orleans Burlesque Festival this weekend. The festival aims to celebrate the burlesque revival that has sparked retro and cutting-edge revues across the country over the past 15 years, as well as put New Orleans back on the map as the capital of saucy, buxom entertainment.

Though the international burlesque revival has, in general, modernized the classic art of striptease, often employing contemporary music, costumes and themes, don’t expect to find anything avant-garde or experimental at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival.

Instead, it aims to celebrate the kind of entertainment that filled Bourbon Street clubs in the 1940s and early ’50s.

Performers such as Rita Alexander, the Champagne Girl; Blaze Starr; and Evangeline the Oyster Girl helped make New Orleans known as “The Most Interesting City in the World” for its numerous risque French Quarter nightclubs.

The girls were glittery, sexy nightlife attractions, by turns campy, coy, brassy and erotic. They tempered the banal appeal of exposed flesh by drawing out the tease, wearing layers of costume — often incorporating a character or prop — and peeling them off one by one.
“The performer has to look like they’re having a good time, ” said festival founder and producer Rick Delaup. “It has to be a beautiful presentation. It has to be sexy. It has to, you know, kind of make your blood pressure rise.”

New Orleans’ burlesque revival has spawned a number of groups, such as Fleur de Tease, which kicks off its fourth season on Sunday (see box); and the Rev. Spooky LeStrange and Her Billion-Dollar Baby Dolls, which incorporate contemporary music and moves into the routines, Delaup said. But, he adds, adherence to tradition has remained a strong element of the city’s burlesque scene.


Foxy Flambeaux and Praline Dupree of the local troupe Bustout Burlesque are a part of the Naughty New Orleans show Sunday evening (Sept. 13) at Harrah’s Theater.FLEUR DE TEASE

What: Trixie Minx, Madame Mystere, Natasha Fiore, Lily Summers and Bella Blue join host Chris Lane and Magic Mike as they kick off the company’s fourth season of burlesque.
When: Sunday at 8 and 10:30 p.m.
Where: One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St.
Admission: $15 general admission, $20 reserved table seating. For future shows and more details, visit http://www.fleurdetease.com or call 504.319.8917.

 

“The burlesque revival in New Orleans, when it started, it was these shows that were trying to be more authentically ’50s-style shows with live bands, ” said Delaup, who also is a producer for the local troupe Bustout Burlesque. “Throughout the years of burlesque revival, that’s been a big concept. It’s not too hard to find jazz musicians in New Orleans. It just goes together.”

Part of the reason Delaup chose to focus on traditional burlesque was to set it apart from the proliferation of burlesque festivals around the world, he said.

“They’re exploding, ” he said. “I wanted to do something that was more concentrated in focus, so we’re focusing on classic and traditional burlesque.

“You’re not going to see anything outrageous in terms of the crazy performance art-type pieces I’ve seen. There’s nothing wrong with that, but my main interest has always been in classical and traditional burlesque.”

Over the weekend, the festival will host parties, shows and competitions, featuring more than 50 performers from throughout the country, Delaup said. Friday’s Mondo Burlesque revue will feature dancers, singers and variety acts. The main event Saturday at Harrah’s Casino is the Queen of Burlesque competition, in which 11 exotic dancers from across the country and England — well-known performers such as Annette Betty, Evie Lovelle and local dancer Perle Noire, the Black Pearl — will strip to live jazz music in hopes of earning the festival’s top prize. Saturday also will feature a Late-Night Burlesque Bash at the House of Blues, in which burlesque star Catherine D’Lish will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest feather fan dance.

Delaup said he hopes the festival helps the city as it regains its once-storied title as a hub of burlesque. With several established local troupes and some recent newcomers, it doesn’t seem like the revival will fade anytime soon.

“One of the reasons I’m doing this is to really bring attention to (burlesque) as a permanent entertainment fixture in New Orleans, ” he said.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Friday Night

• NOBF Opening Night Reception, 5:30-8 p.m., Green Bar of the Westin Hotel, 11th floor in Canal Place, 100 Iberville St.

Burlesque legend Evangeline the Oyster Girl joins fellow dancers at the hotel bar to kick off the festival. Free.

• Mondo Burlesque, 9 p.m., Harrah’s New Orleans, 8 Canal St.

The opening-night showcase features singers, dancers and a magician performing to recorded music. $35 and $40.

Saturday

• Queen of Burlesque, 8 p.m., Harrah’s New Orleans

Classic striptease dancers gather to compete for the title “Queen of Burlesque.” Each solo performance is set to live jazz music. Celebrity judges include actor/radio host Jay Thomas and Miss Louisiana USA Lacey Minchew as well as former burlesque stars. $45 and $50. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.com or 800.745.3000.

• Late-Night Burlesque Bash, 11 p.m., House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.

More than two dozen dancers will perform, and Catherine D’Lish will attempt to set a world record by performing with the world’s largest feather fans. $20, available through Ticketmaster.com, www.hob.com or the venue box office (504.310.4999).

Sunday

• Legends of New Orleans Burlesque panel discussion, 2-3:30 p.m., Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel, third floor

Meet Bourbon Street striptease stars of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. At a time when glamour, real talent and live jazz were a mainstay in the nightclubs of the French Quarter, these women were headline acts. Hear about their adventurous lives on and off the stage, as they tell the stories that made headlines in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. Kitty West; Evangeline the Oyster Girl; Tee Red, the TNT Girl; Wild Cherry, the Firecracker of Bourbon Street; and Rita Alexander, the Champagne Girl, will remain after the presentation to autograph their old publicity photos. Moderated by Rick Delaup.

$5, free to festival performers.

• The New Striptease Superstars panel discussion, 3:30-5 p.m., Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel, third floor

Long after the heyday of burlesque, a renewed interest in this bawdy form of entertainment emerged in the 1990s. Meet some of the modern-day dancers who have really brought sexy back. Find out what it’s like to be a burlesque dancer in the new millennium, a time of emerging technology, new media and female empowerment. Panelists include burlesque superstar Catherine D’Lish (Los Angeles); Michelle L’Amour (Chicago); Vivienne Vavoom, author of Burlesque & the New Bump and Grind (Denver); Lola Van Ella, the Derriere Beyond Compare (St. Louis); Renea’ Le Roux, the Southern Belle from Hell (Atlanta); La Cholita, the Latina Queen of Burlesque (Los Angeles); Amber Ray (New York); and Ophelia Flame (Minneapolis). Moderated by Jo Weldon of the New York School of Burlesque.

$5, free to festival performers.

• Naughty New Orleans, Harrah’s New Orleans, 8 p.m.

The final night’s showcase features the popular “Bustout Burlesque” show, featuring dancers, singers, variety acts and special guests, all accompanied by a live jazz band.

Admission: $30. (Harrah’s also is offering a $100 package deal for the three shows at its venue. Package does not include the House of Blues event.) Tickets now on sale at Ticketmaster.com or 800.745.3000.

• Closing night party, 10:30 p.m., Carousel Lounge in the Hotel Monteleone.

Join a bevy of burlesque beauties for the last hurrah. Kitten on the Keys entertains, along with special guests. Free.

Saturday and Sunday

• Burlesque workshops, Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel, third floor

The New York School of Burlesque will offer workshops by instructors from around the country. Schedule can be found at www.neworleansburlesquefest.com
. . . . . . .

Molly Reid can be reached at mreid@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3448.

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Burlesque show by Dazzle Troupe
September 10, 2009

Posted on September 10th, 2009

The Dazzle Troupe will present another outrageous Burlesque show on Wednesday 23rd and Friday 25th September at their usual Strait Street hangout, Chiaroscuro.

This time the Dazzle Troupe take their audience on an unforgettable adventure through time into the nostalgic world of the past. The show will be accompanied by a photographic freak show, lead by the evil freak show keeper, Hortensia Vulgaris.  

Directed by Nicole Cuschieri, the Time Travelling Burlesque show brings together the best of local talent in music and songwriting, comedy, dance, theatre and poetry.

Artistes involved are Marie Claire Camilleri, Veronica Stivala, Chris Galea, Alex Vella Gregory, Lizzie Eldridge, Teo Reljic, Alex Spiteri Gingell, Bettina Borg Cardona, Peter Farrugia, Ellen Pace, Tribal Dance Malta, MarieClaire Pellegrini, Philip Leone-Ganado and Althea Corlett.

A photographic exhibition by Matthew Attard Navarro, Tonio Lombardi, Aldo Cauchi Savona, Denise Scicluna, Gilbert Calleja, Kris Micallef, Tony Camilleri and Francesca Galea will be on during the night.

Doors open at 2030 CEST with the show commencing at 2100 CEST.

Seating is limited. Booking can be made via email at dazzlent@gmail.com or through the facebook event: The Time Travelling Burlesque Show.

Free Sex Arts Fest to help filmmakers
September 10, 2009

By Veronica M. Cruz
FOR THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.10.2009
R-rated magician Herr Bruno Bill, performance artists with Parasol Project, and burlesque troupes Cabaret Boheme and Cirque du Sin will shake and shimmy Saturday for a good cause.
All are part of the Free Sex Arts Festival, which challenges performers to interpret what sex means to them by using visual art, music, dance and film.
Now in its second year, the outdoor festival is expected to draw up to 250 people — a jump from the 150 who attended last year. In addition, 25 artists have submitted work to be exhibited or will be part of the performances.
The festival benefits Pan Left Productions, a collective that for 15 years has helped amateur filmmakers create films about their interests and experiences. Many focus on border as well as gay and lesbian issues.
“Part of the Pan Left mission is to represent voices that don’t often get heard in mainstream media,” says Mary Charlotte Thurtle, the organization’s executive director.
Festival coordinator Oscar Jimenez, who is also a filmmaker at Pan Left, said he intends to continue the event annually, but has had requests to hold the event more often.
One of its most unusual features is an interactive exhibit called “The Confessional.”
Participants walk into a booth and write down a secret anonymously. At the end of the night the secrets will be read aloud to the crowd.
Jimenez likened the effect to that of a Catholic confessional. “You walk in to confess, then you walk out refreshed.”
The evening will be hosted by mistress of ceremonies Mark Fettgatter, better known as his hairsprayed, glammed-up, stiletto-clad stage persona, Bunny Fu Fu.
Exhibits will also look at sex in relation to culture and identity. “My goal is to provide a stage for artists that debunk myths of sexuality through their art,” Jimenez says.
Drea Colores, who founded the variety performance group Cirque du Sin, says the group plans to ditch its usually comedic acts in favor of more sensuous routines.
“We like to blur lines,” says Colores. “We like to push buttons.”
People who attend Free Sex can “expect to walk away with questions and maybe expand their views about what sex is,” says Jimenez.
At last year’s Free Sex, Cirque du Sin performed a form of Japanese bondage called Shibari. This year, Colores says her group has plans for a honky-tonk burlesque performance, complete with cowboy and saloon girl costumes.
The night’s soundtrack will be provided by Tempe musician Marc Pedraza, a regular at GLBT events who plays mellow reggae/ Caribbean-inspired tracks with a positive message, encouraging everyone to just get along (think Jack Johnson).
Veronica M. Cruz is a University of Arizona student who is apprenticing at the Star. Contact her at starapprentice@azstarnet.com

Burlesque Is Back In Philadelphia!
September 10, 2009

By Anne Marie Green

PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ―

 

It’s sexy, it’s sensual. Burlesque is a lot of things, including popular. What was once considered the domain of the no-so-modest is attracting a whole new crop of fans—regular women. Just look at the audience at this show at L’atage in Old City.

Burlesque dancer Annie A-Bomb (that’s her stage name) says, “Usually after a show, I have a bunch of people running up to me saying, ‘Oh, how did you get into this? I’d love to do it!'”

And so Annie A-Bomb started a four-week course for wannabe burlesque dancers, whether they plan to stay home perform or take it to the stage. It’s part movement, part props, and part arts and crafts.

She demonstrated a glove move: “If you put your arm over your head, you can pull inside out.”

She’ll even teach you to make your own pasties.

Most of the women in tonight’s course were a little too shy to show their faces. But Randi Warhol (a stage name) credits Annie’s tutelage for, well, exposing her whimsical side.

“I play a French woman, so I have croissants,” she said.

When it comes to burlesque, what Randi finds the most appealing has nothing to do with peeling off clothes.

“It’s not just your exposing your body. You’re also exposing your creativity and your mind,” Randi said.

Annie teaches traditional burlesque. It’s more satire than striptease.

“Traditionally it included making fun of high culture, which including skits and comedy and big production numbers,” said Annie.

Her students learn that what may seem lewd to some can actually be quite liberating.

“As long as you’re comfortable with your body, that’s all that should matter,” she said. “We have curvier women in our show. The audience still loves you. It doesn’t discriminate.”

If four weeks is a bit much for you, Annie A-Bomb is developing a series of workshops so you can be a burlesque dancer for a day.

To sign up for a class, you can email Annie A-Bomb at: annieabomb@revivalburlesque.com

Burlesque dancers turn heads as they hit the town centre
September 10, 2009

HEADS were turned when four provocatively dressed burlesque dancers took to the streets of Bolton town centre.

Miss Vivacious Grace, Champagne Paris, Coco Malone and Willow Blue caused quite a stir as they donned corsets and short bustle skirts before handing out fliers around Nelson Square, Victoria Square and Le Mans Crescent.

Women covered their boyfriends’ eyes as they walked past, while one man was so excited he fell off his bike.

The women were promoting their forthcoming show at the Pack Horse Hotel in Nelson Square.

They posed for photos with members of the public and shop staff as they went about their business.

Miss Vivacious Grace — real name Sarah Spencer, aged 30, of Edward Street, Farnworth — says her show will be Bolton’s first proper burlesque performance for many years.

She said: “If you’re from Bolton and you’re into burlesque, then you have to travel. There’s nothing like this in Bolton, so we thought ‘why shouldn’t there be’?

“It’s traditional comedy and dance, not the sort of thing that some people try to sell as burlesque to get around the adult entertainment licensing laws.

“The word burlesque means to send something up. It’s about teasing and titillating rather than stripping, as some people think.”

Mrs Spencer admits that the show, which does contain some nudity, may cause some controversy.

But she hopes no one will be offended.

She said: “There may be a brief flash of flesh, but we’re a classy, lady-like event.

“I’m not a lap dancer, I’m a burlesque dancer, and I find the comparison quite insulting.”

As well as the four who were in town on Sunday, the show will also feature performers with names like Suzie Sequin, Miss Pink and Fluffy and Twinkle Starr.

It will take place at the Pack Horse Hotel on Thursday, September 24.

For pictures, visit: http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/boltonnews/4585656.Burlesque_dancers_turn_heads_as_they_hit_the_town_centre/?ref=rss