I attended my first burlesque show last year in Dallas and, like maybe some of you reading this piece, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Would it be more naughty than nice? Would I hate it? What if I liked it? Would someone from work see me!? All these silly questions raced through my head, as my friend and I took our seats.
However, what I experienced was so much more than what I expected. It was an AMAZING show! A beautiful expression of art, dance, singing, comedic grace and the women stayed covered the entire time, there is no outright nudity, the art is the “tease” leaving the audience to wonder in their own imaginations. I was a new fan, this was just like watching a theater stage play.
As I previously mentioned, that was over a year ago, so you can imagine my excitement to hear that El Paso has been building it’s own Burlesque presence! What!? Our little huge-city on the border? YES, US!
As with many of the new and exciting ideas/concepts coming to life in the Sun City, burlesque is one of them.
They are the Beauties of Burlesque on the Rio. A diverse group of beautiful women from all different backgrounds, ages, heights…and earring sizes …
The group, or “twirl of dancers” as they prefer to be called, is compiled of individual performers, like Jaz Bubbles and Feisty Baudelaire, who then come together to rehearse and book events around the city.
These women are true performance artist, each one of them has a specific talent, whether it is singing or dance, magic acts, stage acting or costume design, etc… everyone brings something to the show.
Unfortunately it is not all glitz and glam for the artist. There are many folks that don’t understand what Burlesque is, and more importantly, what it isn’t. Therefore anonymity is of utmost importance to the individual women.
In speaking with Ms. Baudelaire, she informed me that recently a teacher on the east coast was outed as a performer and parents were calling for her resignation; which is material for another story altogether.
I asked Feisty Baudelaire what was the one myth she would like to clear up, “We aren’t modern day strippers and we aren’t like the movie (Burlesque) That isn’t burlesque…that was Cabaret “
The roots of Burlesque stem all the way back to Greece and in America we credit Linda Thompson with the very first “tease.” Her troupe, The British Blondes, arrived on the scene in New York City in September of 1868.
From that September so long ago to now, the art of burlesque has gyrated right along with the twists and turns of history; now it falls to a new generation of stage artists and a new generation of fans to continue the tradition here in the Borderland.
What’s next for the ladies? Currently the team is hard at work, getting ready for the big ‘Burlesque on the Rio’ show in November. Groups, including male burlesque troupes, are coming in from Colorado, across Texas, and gathering here in El Paso! Be sure to get your tickets in advance.
for more information on Burlesque on the Rio: www.facebook.com/burlesqueontherio