Tuesday Tease: The San Antonio Burlesque Festival

san-antonio-burlesque-festival-logoThis Friday and Saturday, the second annual San Antonio Burlesque Festival hits the stage of the Woodlawn Theater in, you guessed it, San Antonio, Texas. While most folks are probably more familiar with the burly scenes in Austin or Dallas, San Antonio is proving to be another hotbed of burlesque talent in the Lone Star State. You can pick up tickets to the Friday Night Teaser here and to the Saturday Night Spectacular here.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past year is more and more burlesque festivals happening in towns that previously were not considered major hubs of burlesque, further proof that the current revival of the art form is spreading rapidly to every corner of the country. This is exciting for those pursuing a career in burlesque as it shows that a potentially lucrative career could be established by just touring the, rapidly expanding, festival circuit.

The co-producer of the San Antonio Burlesque Festival, Jasper St. James, was kind enough to take time out of his crazy, pre-festival schedule to chat a little about the festival, the Texas burlesque scene and to offer a little advice for those of you out there considering starting a burlesque festival in your own neck of the woods.

Jasper is a boylesque performer from The Pastie Pops Burlesque Troupe in San Antonio and has become one of Texas’ leading male burlesque performers. He made his festival debut at the 2012 Dallas Burlesque Festival and went on to become the “Audience Choice” winner at the 2012 Texas Burlesque Festival. He was also recently crowned the 2013 Southern Fried King of Burlesque at the Southern Fried Burlesque Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

We are honored that he took the time to answer our questions. So, enough from me. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Jasper St. James:
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Tuesday Tease: Coco Lectric and The Jigglewatts

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This week on the Tuesday Tease we feature Austin, Texas’ premier burlesque troupe The Jigglewatts Burlesque Revue.

Since 2006, the Jigglewatts have kept things hot and steamy in Texas and beyond. Members have headlined shows in New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Founder Coco Lectric also founded the Austin Academy of Burlesque, is a board member of Burlycon and started the Austin Burlesque Alliance, which gives Austin burlesque performers a forum in which to share ideas and collaborate.

I find producers like Coco so inspiring. Her lack of ego and undying support for her community and art form ensures the survival of burlesque as an art form for years to come. It’s producers like her that help burlesque continue to evolve and flourish.

I see this a lot in the burlesque world: performers attending fellow performers shows and cheering them on, producers staggering their shows so that they’re not competing for audiences and performers sharing their techniques with each other. It’s inspiring and I think other artistic communties should take note. Contrary to the notion that competition encourages quality, I’ve found that, in burlesque’s case anyway, collaboration has been the key to its survival, especially in close-knit communities like Austin, New Orleans or Seattle.

Coco’s been busy preparing for the Jigglewatts first full-troupe tour but she was kind enough to take time out to answer some of my questions and to offer her valuable advice to all you burlesque newbies out there.

Oh, and if you want to help the girls’ fund this tour, of course attend one of their shows but also visit their Kickstarter page. The campaign ends on Saturday, August 17 so you still got time to throw a little cash their way and get some great perks in return.

So, enough from me. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Coco Lectric!
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Tuesday Tease: Teaching the Tease

610-250It’s been a couple months since we featured some of the great burlesque schools we work with. Since many of our readers are burlesque dancers themselves or, at the very least, have an active interest in burlesque, we thought it’d be worthwhile to feature some of the great classes coming up in the next week or two. Even if you have no intention of ever hitting the stage, burlesque classes are a great way to get some exercise, to learn more about the business side of being a burlesque performer, learn some makeup tricks and/or potentially spice things up in the bedroom with your partner.

The three schools featured are amongst the top burlesque schools in the country so if you’re in Seattle, Phoenix, Austin or Minneapolis, why not learn the tease from the best in the business?

Sure it’s hot out, but why not get a little hotter?

Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of BurlesqueSeattle, Washington

Starting Thursday, July 11 I Bump & Grind Summer 8 week session with Ruby Mimosa Seattle’s Academy of Burlesque instructor Ruby Mimosa teaches this fun and foxy workout to learn the basics of the bump & grind, shimmy & shake! This class is designed for all levels and includes a warm-up, steps that are put together in a small combination, and lots of practice! ¬†With fun vintage burlesque music and high-energy instructors!
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Tuesday Tease: Mother’s Day Burlesque?

webnonippleI met Seattle-based burlesque producer/performer Whisper De Corvo at the Brown Paper Tickets class at The Great Burlesque Exposition in Boston a few weeks back. She told me about a Mother’s Day burlesque show she was putting on and, I have to admit that initially, I didn’t really associate Mother’s Day with burlesque. But as I talked to her more, and discovered that she was a mom herself, it started to make sense to me.

Ultimately, burlesque is a celebration of femininity and so it makes sense that daughters would want to celebrate their femininity and to pay tribute to their ultimate feminine role model, their mother. Also, as Whisper says in her interview below, it gives mother’s a chance to enjoy a night out that doesn’t revolve around child-rearing. It’s a chance to celebrate other aspects of her femininity: her beauty, her sensuality and her lust for life. And, with the burlesque revival now in its second decade, many of today’s mom’s are burlesque dancers themselves. If you want to get tickets to this one-of-a-kind show, pick them up here before they’re gone!

I tracked down Whisper last week so I could find out more about her show. Whisper also produces a number of shows around Seattle and I predict she will be a burlesque producer to watch. She certainly has original ideas and is passionate about the art of burlesque.

So, without further ado, I give you Miss Whisper De Corvo:
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Tuesday Tease: Back to School

indigo+blueSummer’s quickly approaching and school will be getting out soon but that doesn’t mean you should stop studying. This is the perfect time to get out and learn something new! Burlesque classes are available all over, year round, for a variety of skill levels and interests.

I recently took a little time to track down and question two graduates of Seattle’s Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque about their experiences and where their burlesque education has taken them.

Carlotta Shakin completed The Art of the Tease, How to Strip for your Lover, and Burlesque 101 just a few weeks ago and had some useful advise for anyone thinking about getting involved with burlesque. “I think everyone should take at least a class or two.” She says, “The burlesque community is so welcoming and accepting and the classes are so empowering.” Although Carlotta doesn’t have any shows scheduled for the near future she is “currently brainstorming ideas for new acts and looking to become more involved in the burlesque world.”

Angelina Allure, who completed Burlesque 101 course in 2011 and will be attending the Academy’s Fan Dancing course next month has a similar recommendation. “DO IT! There are classes that do not require a performance at the end of it, and those are a great way to get your feet wet and start the glitter obsession.” Outside of class, Angelina can be found in the upcoming show Minxes of Middle Earth, presented by Midnight Menagerie Productions, on Thursday, May 9th and Friday, May 10th.

If you would like to jump into the world of glitter and pasties yourself We’ve compiled a list of classes and schools across the country where you can develop and hone your bumping and grinding skills.
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