I’ve always felt that there were a lot of similarities between the roller derby community and the burlesque community. Both are predominately run by women. Both take something that was once exploitative and and turn it into something that is empowering. Both seem to have sprung out of the punk and retro scenes and both require adopting some sort of moniker; tough names for roller girls and sexy names for burlesque girls.
Both communities also seem to love Brown Paper Tickets! We’ve had a long-standing relationship with both derby and burlesque and we’ve seen both grow at a rapid rate over the last decade with practically every town boasting its own roller derby league or burlesque troupe. We like to think that we helped that growth but the full credit should be bestowed upon the hard-working, DIY-minded producers that have put their blood (literally in the case of derby!) and sweat into building their local communities, often for little or no monetary reward.
Of course there’s even more overlap between the two communities with many roller girls dabbling in burlesque and vice versa, so this week I thought I’d highlight two upcoming shows that bring these two worlds together.