The New Orleans Burlesque Festival will take place from September 13-15, 2012. The festival is presented by founders Rick Dalup - producer of long-running Bustout Burlesque and an avid researcher and public speaker on the art form of burlesque - and musician/bandleader Matt Bell. Both have been involved in aiding burlesque in it's return to New Orleans' social and cultural scene. Events will be at the House of Blues.
The New Orleans Burlesque Festival was designed to showcase the humor and glamour of the golden age of burlesque. These events will pay homage to burlesque legends such as Evangeline, the Oyster girl, Lilly Christine, the Cat Girl, Wild Cherry, Linda Brigette, the Cupid Doll, Rita Alexander, the Champagne Girl, and more. The public is invited to attend seminars, panel discussions, free demonstrations and performances that will provide a glimpse in to the past.
Below is a brief preview of the weekend's festivities:
Thursday, September 13:
Art of Striptease, 8 p.m.
Friday, September 14:
Mondo Striptease, 8 p.m.
Bad Girls of Burlesque, 11 p.m.
Saturday, September 15:
Legends of Burlesque Panel Discussion, TBA
The Queen of Burlesque, 8 p.m.
Queen's Ball, 11 p.m.
From the 1940s to the 1960s New Orleans was known for its dazzling night club shows, housing some of the world's best talent. Locals flocked to Bourbon Street in the evenings to watch singers, exotic dancers, comics, musicians and more. Among these talents were enchanting burlesque dancers, who commanded the stage with grace and ease. Audiences were enamored by their elaborate costumes, intricate moves and the artful tease that provided just enough without revealing too much. This September, New Orleans will revive the spirit of burlesque that once ruled the French Quarter.
In the not-too-distant past, French Quarter entertainers thrived in New Orleans and, in some cases, took their acts around the globe. Burlesque dancers competed against each other for headlining spots, magazine covers and roles in Hollywood films. Super star status was the goal, and every girl who was serious about her career had a team of agents, hairstylists, assistants, managers and photographers entirely their own. Burlesque shows embraced extravagance. Music, lighting, props and costumes pushed the limits and stretched the imaginations of the audience, bringing them to distant lands unbeknownst to them before setting foot in the theater. The chance to be the best and allow fans to indulge in their fantasy world appealed to young women at the time, drawing hundreds from small towns across the country to become the next big name in the industry.
In the 1940s and 50s, Bourbon Street and Storyville were places where men came together. Today, burlesque continues to thrive in New Orleans and, thanks to the hard work of several local Burlesque dancers, this art is back on Bourbon and beyond. Join burlesque dancers new and seasoned, international and New Orleans' own from September 13-15 in a revival of an art form built around mystery that promises to entice and entertain.