Tuesday Tease: Portland’s All That Glitters Burlesque Academy

DSC_3544-e1384568325700Exciting news! Portland, Oregon’s getting a brand new burlesque school!

I recently got an e-mail from Holly Dai, who used to be with the Frim Fram Foxies, (who we did a feature on back in July of 2012) among other troupes, and she told me about her exciting new venture: the All That Glitters Burlesque Academy. Her partner in this new venture is Tana the Tattooed Lady, who is a veteran of the Seattle burlesque scene and a former member of one of the pioneering Northwest burlesque troupes, the Atomic Bombshells.

It’s always an exciting time when you see burlesque schools start to pop up in towns like Portland because it’s a sign that the scene is growing and certainly, will continue to grow as students leave to produce their own shows and form their own troupes. I’ve certainly seen the Portland burlesque community grow significantly over the last three years. While the scene still remains relatively small, I think in a couple years, Portland’s burlesque scene will rival that of Seattle or San Francisco. I also have a feeling that All That Glitters will be, in no small part, responsible for that growth.

Holly also teased (how appropriate!) some exciting news. Oregon may be getting its very first burlesque festival! They aren’t saying much at this point but we’ll be waiting with bated breath to hear more news on this exciting development.

We sure appreciate Holly and Tana taking time out of their busy lives to chat with us about All That Glitters, their influences, their history, the Portland scene and more. They even offer a little advice to those of you out there that’d like to start your own burlesque academy.

So, without further ado, I give you Holly Dai and Tana the Tatooed Lady!
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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: The Great Burlesque Exposition

picBurlesqueExpo130329BShanghaiPearl_0493w1050f-540x767This past weekend, our East Coast Ambassador A.J. Andrews and I had the honor of attending the Great Burlesque Exposition in Boston. This incredible showcase of burlesque talent was celebrating its 7th year of existence and both A.J. and I were bowled over by the amount of talent that was presented to us over the course of this past Easter weekend.

This week on the Tuesday Tease, I’ll give you a breakdown of, what proved to be, an incredible weekend featuring burlesque royalty and newcomers alike. I personally left Boston feeling inspired and excited for the future of burlesque and I have to give a big shout-out to Scratch and Miss Mina, the Exposition’s founders, for putting on an amazing festival.

So, without further ado, here’s what went down:

Friday Night:

Friday night’s kick-off show, The Rhinestone Revue featured a wide spectrum of burlesque talent: from classic burlesque to comedic burlesque routines to boylesque and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite act since they were all so incredible but I will talk about a few of my favorites.

The Boston Babydolls are Boston’s “home team” burlesque troupe and Mr. Scratch, their director, is the organizer of the Exposition. The act was a Vegas-style number set to the JXL Remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation.” The only lighting in the act was from flashlights that the girls were holding and they used them to great effect to create an exciting routine that had the audience on their feet screaming for more. To me the act was able to feel new and exciting, while paying homage to classic Las Vegas showmanship. Well done Babydolls!

A couple other highlights for me were two girls from BPT’s hometown of Seattle: the always graceful and stylish Shanghai Pearl (pictured) and Scandal from Bohemia, who did an act to Weird Al’s “My Bologna” that involved meat pasties and a big ‘ol sandwich. The centerpiece of Shangai’s act was an absolutely stunning peacock costume and her effortless grace impresses me every time I see her perform.

Dot Mitzvah did a great operatic routine to an Yma Sumac song. The high notes were not lyp-synced! She sang it all while taking it all off. Boylesque performer Paco Fish did a hilarious routine in a  judges wig and robe, which ended with his gavel in a most compromising position and Canadian performers St. Stella and James and the Giant Pasty, did a highly original act that was inspired and super sexy, with references to great works of art.

On the classic side of things, modern-day burlesque legend Jo Weldon did an incredible fan dance that was a tribute to Pink Light Burlesque, an organization that she founded that offers free burlesque lessons to breast cancer patients (See video below). Cherokee Rose displayed some impressive tassel twirling technique and Canadian performer Burgundy Brixx busted out a sweet boa that ended up being a robe in disguise.


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