The return of the Naked Girls.
Seattle burlesquer Jesse Belle-Jones is fast approaching the need for a few more dashes/hyphens/slashes in her name and list of titles. Most know her as “The Modern Sexual Intellectual” of Sinner Saint Burlesque, where she’s been a member since 2009. She’s also been a producer and regular reader with Naked Girls Reading since the local chapter first dropped its literary skivvies here in early 2010. In January, Jesse added member of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture to her credentials. The nonprofit is responsible for educational and cultural events celebrating sexuality- the most famous of course being the annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival, where Jesse also happens to be Co-Director of Performance Art. Burlesque, as an art form steeped in sexuality, has proven to be just the delectable tip of the iceberg for Jesse. Through it, she’s plugged into wider worlds of artistic and intellectual stimulation that have kept her creativity piqued in every pursuit.
As fate would have it, several of Jesse’s favorite sexy worlds will collide this weekend with the relaunch of Naked Girls Reading at the newly opened Pacific Northwest Library for Sex Positive Culture. “Part of the return is about connecting with the community,” Jesse told me by phone a few weeks ago. “With local authors, artists, galleries, libraries….we sat down and asked ourselves ‘what do we want this event to do in our city?’” Taking a step back from the obvious novelty of girls reading books …naked… the producers considered what relevance the revamped series might have (the local chapter has been on hiatus since November 2011’s successful sci-fi encore). The library, which is open to the public and part of the annex of the Center for Sex Positive Culture, seemed like the perfect location for the relaunch.
As individual franchises of Naked Girls Reading spread to a family of 19 cities and counting (the Chicago flagship was founded by Michelle L’amour and Franky Vivid in 2009), each chapter naturally developed their own unique sensibilities: some have emerged as boudoir-style salons; others, more focused on niche genres. In the hands of the cerebral but ever-playful Jesse Belle-Jones and her co-producers, the new Naked Girls Reading will undoubtedly find plenty of ways to get involved in the community, encouraging diversity and sexual intellectualism wherever they might hang their collective hats. Particularly since hats may be the only apparel the readers are wearing…
NGR’s Seattle relaunch is Sunday, April 14. Click HERE for tickets.
And in case you’re beside yourself with desire for news of Sinner Saint Burlesque: their current run Sincerely is under way now at Noc Noc. Each week you’ll find a member of Sinner Saint’s sister troupe The Beatitudes sharing the stage. During the month of May, The Beatitudes will in fact be keeping the stage warm for Sinner Saint as they head to Alaska for a few weeks of teaching and performances. (The Luminous Pariah, Jesse’s former co-star in SHINE: The Burlesque Musical will join the girls as host for a few Alaska dates, hot on the heels of his upcoming performance at the second New York Boylesque Festival).
In other news- looking for interesting work that doesn’t necessarily involve taking your clothes off, but is crucial to Sinner Saint’s heart and soul? They’re currently hiring- interested parties should take a peek at a recent posting over HERE.