BHoF 2012 Weekend: Part 1.

Indigo Blue’s grandiose step-down act (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)

~ Written and photographed by Paul O’Connell (POC Photo) with additional photography courtesy of Derek Jackson

Special thanks to my fellow photographer Derek Jackson for use of his photos for this article.

Another Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend has come and gone. It was four days packed with so much burlesque that by the end of Sunday night’s show, I couldn’t fit any more burlesque in my head. The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend is the annual fundraiser to help fund the Burlesque Hall of Fame – the non-profit museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the art, artifacts and traditions of American burlesque – originally founded by burlesque legends Jennie Lee and Dixie Evans. The highlight of the weekend is the crowning of the new Reigning Queen of Burlesque, which went this year to Australia’s Imogen Kelly. (Stay tuned for an interview and Derek’s photos of Imogen in “BHoF 2012 Weekend: Part 2”, coming soon).

The complete list of winners:

Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2012, Miss Exotic World: Imogen Kelly (Sydney, Australia)
First Runner-Up: Ophelia Flame (Minneapolis, MN)
Second Runner-Up: Trixie Little (New York, NY)
Best Troupe: The Peek-A-Boo Revue (Philadelphia, PA)
Best Duo: Frenchie Kiss and Jett Adore (Chicago, IL)
Best Boylesque: Russell Bruner (Portland, OR)
Best Debut: Ruby Joule (Austin, Texas)
Most Dazzling Dancer: Perle Noire (New Orleans, LA)
Most Classic: Ruby Joule (Austin, Texas)
Most Comical: April O’Peel (Vancouver, BC)
Most Innovative: Koko La Douce (Switzerland)

2012 Legend of the Year: La Savona

Thursday night was the Movers, Shakers and Innovators showcase hosted by Blanche DeBris and Mat Fraser. Friday night was the Titans of Tease 55th Annual Reunion Showcase hosted by the World Famous *BOB*. Saturday was the big night- the 22nd Annual Tournament of Tease hosted by Nadine DuBois and Scotty the Blue Bunny.  Finally, Sunday night’s Icons and All-Stars show, hosted by Bastard Keith, rounded out the weekend.

Each year at BHoF, the previous Reigning Queen does a step-down number right before the announcement of the new queen. This year Indigo Blue mesmerized the crowd with her wonderful farewell routine.  In the interest of full disclosure, I was lucky and honored to be part of her act (as prancer and Indigo Blue lifter, Man Johnson). The stage was so huge you could set up several slip n’ slides on it (maybe that’s an act for next year?) and Indigo’s supporting cast broke out their best moves to try and fill it.  Featuring Seattleites Ernie Von Schmaltz, Sir Eddie Van Glam, and Mickey Doe Eyes, the rest of the ensemble included performers from across the country: Bazuka Joe, Switch, Bronwen, Joseph St. Altered, Alotta Boutté and former Kings of Burlesque Captain Kidd, The Evil Hate Monkey, and Tigger. Coordinating the entire three-part affair was Inga Ingénue.  Part one featured Indigo rising from beneath the stage as four loyal subjects genuflect to Her Royal Highness. Next was a down-and-dirty striptease with Indigo alone on stage.  The final act, which involved the whole company, ended with Indigo’s “Crown on the Ground” for the next queen and Indigo’s ascension into the air.

After one of the rehearsals Indigo shared her gratitude with the cast and talked about the origins of the act. The day after the actual performance, I asked Indigo to elaborate on that for this blog:

POC: What was your idea for your step-down number at BHoF 2012?

Indigo:  A lot of the inspiration for this act came from the music itself. I received two pieces of music from Scott Ewalt, “We are The Champions” and “Rumble”, both really unusual versions. Also a piece of music called “Crown on the Ground” by Sleigh Bells from Lola Spitfire.

I knew that I wanted to do something that was comical, sensual and spiritual at the same time. And that I really wanted to involve a wide variety of people. And I specifically wanted to use folks who had assisted me in my routines over the last couple of years.

What I wanted to do in the final piece of music (“Crown on The Ground”) was create a really visually exciting piece but also one in which I symbolically and actually take the crown off of my head and place it on the ground to figuratively and literally hand it over to the next queen. Then the final piece where I rose into the ceiling, it was really interesting because since I was a small child I’ve been drawing pictures of a woman with her arms back and her legs out and a big, red explosion coming out of her chest, like an explosion of love and power and passion just pouring out of her chest. A couple of years ago I was doing a dance intensive in Brazil and had a really strong vision of that image come back into my mind. And I wanted to do a real dance piece, a legitimate dance piece in which I invoke that image and I had that imagery. I was real excited that in this piece by rising up into the air with red wires bringing me up to the ceiling I was able to invoke that image and be that love and that power.

POC:  How did you feel when it was all over?

Indigo: As soon as it was over I had to rush and do some business (crowning the next queen) so I wasn’t able to absorb it immediately but about a couple of hours later I digested it. I got so much incredible feedback from people. People were really moved and really excited about it. The response I got was so enthusiastic. People kept wanting to come up to me and talk to me about it, about what they saw, about how they felt, about what it made them think which was really exciting that it was evocative and inspiring. Later I just felt satisfied and proud that I executed what I wanted to execute and that I got to do it in such a wonderful, loving space with such incredible people.

Possibly Indigo Blue’s most phenomenal exit ever (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)


Here are more photos from our friend Derek Jackson- please visit him at HERE:

Jeez Louise and Ray Gunn (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)

Trixie Little (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)

Ophelia Flame in a gown by Seattle’s Danial Webster Design (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)

Peek-A-Boo Revue (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)

Perle Noire (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)

Portland’s Russell Bruner (Photo courtesy of Derek Jackson)


Photos from BHoH 2012 Day 4 by POC Photo:

Roxi D’Lite (POC Photo)

Bastard Keith (POC Photo)

Jo Weldon singing after receiving a Sassy Lassy Award (POC Photo)

Captain Kidd (POC Photo)

Dirty Martini (POC Photo)

Julie Atlas Muz (POC Photo)

Kalani Kokonuts (center) with help from Cherry On Top (left) and Lola Frost (right)

Michelle L’amour (POC Photo)

The Stage Door Johnnies (POC Photo)

Trixie Little and Evil Hate Monkey (POC Photo)

Photographer Don Spiro receiving a Sassy Lassy award with Gin Minsky and Perle Noire looking on (POC Photo)

Legend Toni Elling (POC Photo)

Legend Tiffany Carter (POC Photo)

Legend Marinka (POC Photo)


Photos from Day 1  by POC:

Midnite Martini (POC Photo)

Melody Mangler (POC Photo)

Ginger Valentine (POC Photo)

Alotta Boutte (POC Photo)

Anita Cookie (POC Photo)

Audrey DeLuxe (POC Photo)

Minnie Tonka (POC Photo)

Bazuka Joe (POC Photo)

Blanche DeBris and the Bishop of Burlesque – stage manager David Bishop (POC Photo)

Inga Ingenue (POC Photo)

Iva Handful (POC Photo)

Lola Van Ella and Sammich the Tramp (POC Photo)

Mat Fraser and Blanche DeBris (POC Photo)

Tigger! (POC Photo)

~ by angrytruffle on 06/12/2012.

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