Goodbye 2010, hello New Year.
2010 has been good to burlesque. On a grand scale, we had two major books published (Jo Weldon’s The Burlesque Handbook and Karen Abbott’s newly published American Rose) plus three feature length films (Behind The Burly Q, Tournee, and Burlesque) and a critically acclaimed musical (SHINE) that ran in NY as well as Seattle.
As we ring in 2011, here’s some memorable moments from the last twelve months:
FEBRUARY: Major Seattle print weekly The Stranger launches a new column called “Burlesque Box”; it debuts with a preview of The Atomic Bombshells Valentine show, J’Adore! Later in the year, Dan Savage writes a feature on Seattle burlesque, reviewing multiple troupes over one long weekend.
APRIL: Gender bending crowd favorites Ernie Von Schmaltz and Ben DeLaCreme test their solo chops at Theatre Off Jackson. Also in April, The Atomic Bombshells debut a brand new show- their largest ever- with the phenomenal Lost In Space; Stripped Screw catapults into more widespread success with the imaginative What To Wear To The Apocalypse, and Julie Atlas Muz performs at Pampas Room and The Swedish Housewife’s birthday extravaganza, Mid Century Modern.
MAY: Seattle burlesque belly dancer Fuchsia FoXXX bewitches audiences far and wide on Queensryche’s Cabaret tour— heralded as Teatro ZinZanni meets Cirque du Soleil with the band performing their hits.
JUNE: Jo Weldon’s Burlesque Handbook is published; Roxi Dlite (Windsor, Ontario Canada) is crowned Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2010. Mimi Le Meaux (San Diego) returns from a trip to Cannes for her starring role in the French film Tournee and wins Most Classic.
JULY: Choreographed by Inga Ingenue and Ruby Mimosa, SHINE: A Burlesque Musical goes from sold out Seattle performances to the NY International Fringe Festival starring Adra Boo, Roxie Moxie, Polly Wood, and other local burlesque luminaries. Ben DeLaCreme’s first evening length solo show, Terminally Delightful, is a huge success; Lily Verlaine, Kitten La Rue, and Olivier Wevers present the stunning dance collaboration Nightcap: L’Edition Francaise– featuring Indigo Blue as a hood ornament, among other things.
AUGUST: Heavenly Spies bring XOXOX back to Can Can Cabaret, burlesque writers swoon and fall head over heels. The ladies also perform with members of Portland’s Rose City Shimmy at Red Hot Summer.
SEPTEMBER: The Swedish Housewife’s House of Thee Unholy #4 burlesques the music and psychedelic indulgence of the 70s, in an over the top production featuring over 20 musicians and performers.
OCTOBER: Naked Girls Reading present a one time only salon featuring…Naked Boys. Also in October, BurlyCon- the burlesque conference started by Indigo Blue and Jo Boobs- reaches capacity for attendance in 2010.
NOVEMBER: Cher and Xtina make headlines with the movie Burlesque– for better or worse. Most say worse, but whatever.
DECEMBER: Land Of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker celebrates five years; Portland’s Rosehip Revue celebrates one year of monthly showcases. Seattle burlesque is (rather bizarrely) featured as an offshoot of $5 Cover on mtvmusic.com.
Tonight/NYE: Members of Portland burlesque collective Rose City Shimmy perform with The Stolen Sweets at the ultra-glamourous Hotel DeLuxe (Portland) in a gigantic New Year’s Eve celebration and masquerade ball.
In local multi-media news this year, photographer Chris Blakely dropped not one but two burlesque photo magazines, and his pictures were featured in the Land Of The Sweets programs. Paul O’Connell of POC Photo teamed up with Iva Handfull for a video re-imagining of “Firestarter”; as well as collaborating with many performers in Seattle and Portland for some beautiful live and studio shots.
My pick for 2010 BURLESQUE SHOW OF THE YEAR: House of Thee Unholy #4, dreamed up by producer and performer The Swedish Housewife. Why? Just check out these glorious photos, courtesy of POC Photo:
My pick for 2010 PERFORMER OF THE YEAR: Evilyn Sin Claire. Not only does she teach belly dance at Visionary Dance Studio, she performs weekly with Sinner Saint Burlesque and is an inspiration to many with her fearless nature, ballsy routines, and magnetic beauty. “Porcelain Promenade”, her routine with Belle Cozette, made it to Exotic World this year. Seattle has a real treasure in Evilyn Sin Claire: we love her!
Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for some amazing performances.