Vegas Does Burlesque! POC chronicles his trip to BHOF.
-Written and photographed by Paul O’Connell, Contributing Writer/Photog (Seattle)
Of course by now everyone knows that our very own Miss Indigo Blue was crowned Miss Exotic World 2011 at the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. It was quite the scene- the Seattle contingent swarming around her in the lobby with happy tears and hugs. Congratulations as well to Seattle’s exquisite Lily Verlaine-2nd runner up to Miss Exotic World, who performed in her fantastical Stargazer Gown.
As for me, I was just excited to be fully ensconced in a four day burlesque bonanza of men and women taking off their clothes for the benefit of the non-profit Burlesque Hall of Fame and museum. As one of the premier burlesque events of the year, the performers and competitors really perfected their acts into a shimmying, rhinestone-filled delight for the senses. Aside from the fabulousness that was on the expansive stage at The Orleans, what stood out for me was the incredible innovation and creativity the performers brought to their acts. The Razzle Tassel Tease Show -a group of three ladies from Vancouver competing for Best Troupe- utilized three portable clothing racks in a very interesting and provocative way. The group’s Melody Mangler told me the idea was accidental. “We had the racks and there are no venues with curtains in town, so we started there and it grew.” Each of the ladies had their own racks (pun very much intended) which they dressed in curtains, opening and closing them, revealing different levels of naughtiness while wheeling them around and taking turns straddling them like nobody’s business.
For me though, I just love the community and seeing people you haven’t seen in a while or finally meeting the ones you’ve only met online. But ultimately what I love even more is chronicling these events through the lens, capturing the magic of burlesque on the stage, any stage really. Capturing every glove seductively peeling off the fingers. Every piece of clothing sliding off glittered skin. Every wink. Every snarl. Every pastie and twirling tassel. And every trophy being licked (well, that’s just Indigo really).
Thanks BHOF, for great shows filled with first class performances. And thanks for the after parties, and sunning by the pool, new friends and most importantly thanks for an ass-tassel (aka “assel”) flash mob to “Kick Out The Jams”.
It’s all better living through burlesque.