Friday, February 3, 2012
Dallas Burlesque Festival gains attention with “fantasy and fun”
The modern burlesque scene has experienced a surge in popularity and interest in recent years.
Ginger Valentine twirls onto stage in a blue form-fitting dress. She begins to tug at the fingers of her white glove with her teeth while swaying her hips to sultry tunes. The glove is delicately flung into the air and lands on the floor, generating cheers and applause from the audience.
This is just one of the many performances put on by the 4th Annual Dallas Burlesque Festival, featuring 75 of the industry’s top burlesque performers. Ruby Revue produces the event, which is held in the Cambridge Room and Music Hall at the House of Blues Dallas.
“It’s all about fantasy,” said Valentine, a three-year burlesque performer who was crowned the 2011 Queen of Burlesque at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. “It’s fun and sexy.”
The festival kicked off Thursday with the Pin Up Pageant, where the crowd determined which model was the winner out of four finalists selected by judges.
Brian Lowe, talent manager for the House of Blues Dallas, describes the festival, which was held at same venue last year, as “fun and lighthearted.”
During their sets, performers teasingly shed various articles of clothing while sashaying across the stage, maintaining the crowd’s undivided attention and feeding off their reactions.
“The performers come equipped with their own persona and put on sort of a variety show,” Lowe said. “It’s an old-school art form with a modern twist.”
Missy Lisa, co-owner of the Ruby Revue and performer in the festival, said the festival was created after the Texas Burlesque Festival held in Austin announced it would be taking a hiatus.
“We wanted to keep the spirit of burlesque alive,” Lisa said.
Burlesque nowadays is often associated with striptease, but Valentine said it was originally about satire and mocking in theatre.
In recent years, the modern burlesque scene has experienced a surge in popularity and interest.
Lowe credits the growing interest in burlesque to the marketing efforts of performers and the level of visibility venues, like the House of Blues Dallas, has to offer.
“Most trends go through a lot of cycles where it’s in, then out, then in again,” Valentine said. “It’s just the time for burlesque, and there’s a lot of interest in the vintage era now.”
For more information and to purchase tickets for Dallas Burlesque Festival’s events, go to www.dallasburlesquefest.com.
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