With a Bump and a Shimmy

New Orleans Burlesque Festival continues to delight and challenge audiences

Bourbon Street was famed for feathers before beads, and burlesque was the particular type of entertainment visitors sought. The popularity of the artistic striptease declined from the 1960s, but New Orleans has played a pivotal role in its recent revival.

Founded in 2009 by famed local producer Rick Delaup, the New Orleans Burlesque Festival was created with the intent to spotlight classic and traditional burlesque. The golden age of burlesque at the last mid-century was dominated by glamour, humor and some of the most famous jazz musicians of the day like Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima. The Festival highlights that past with a modern interpretation, featuring local performers as well as other burlesque hot spots like New York and Los Angeles.

The Festival runs from Thursday, September 17 through Sunday, September 20 at various locations in the French Quarter including the House of Blues, the AC Hotel and Harrah’s.

It opens Thursday with an opportunity to meet and greet the performers at Galatoire’s. Friday brings workshops for the artists and the main event: The Queen of Burlesque, a competition of individual dancers set to a traditional jazz band vying to be crowned queen. After the coronation, there is, of course, a party to hail the new queen.

Saturday offers burlesque workshops on topics like “pin-up styling” and “floor play”, followed that night by two different shows: Mondo Burlesque and Bad Girls of Burlesque. Sunday closes with a tiki party where tropical attire is strongly encouraged.

For those interested in burlesque but looking for a more subtle event, there will be a book signing at Octavia Books for the new work Goddess of Love Incarnate, a biography of legendary burlesque dancer Lili St. Cyr. Author, actress and documentarian Leslie Zemeckis will be there to read and discuss her latest work on Friday at 2:00 pm.

Art has brought travelers to New Orleans for centuries. This particular kind just happens to include some choreographed teasing.

The schedule with location details and ticket purchasing information can be found here



Categories: Tourism Biz