Miami has given burlesque a bit of a bad name. So thinks Erika Moon, who has arrived from France to show us a thing or two about how it's done in a "classy, elegant way," she says. Moon is inaugurating the Evolution of Burlesque tonight and Friday at the Colony Theatre, a show that will combine many aspects of the genre, from dancing, acting, and costuming to the more risqué and cabaret -- something we don't get much of around these parts.
"Here, mostly it's the nightclub cabaret style," says the French-born performer, who wears many hats (and feathers) when on stage. That style, she explains, relies heavily on acrobatics at the expense of some of the more subtle forms of burlesque. In this evolutionary show, she'll combine them all.
Initially trained as a gymnast, Moon started performing in the
nightclubs of Toulouse as a stripper, as a dancer, and as a showgirl. But by
the age of 18, she found her background lacking. So she took on studies
in fashion design, dance, and choreography. She modeled. She traveled
to Bangkok and Las Vegas. She moved to Paris. And then she threw all
these elements into her particular cabaret mix. With her own troupe,
she's taken to stages in clubs, casinos, and theaters in shows named
"Cleopatra's Bath", "The Vagaries of Betty Boop," and "Marquise Delirious."
Here in Miami, she's putting it all together. "This is a transformative
show," she says before heading off to practice early morning, three days
before her Miami premiere. "It will be an historical journey, from
Cleopatra to the 17th century to 2011." The burlesque journey consists
of four acts with 10 performers. "It will be a mixture of Moulin Rouge
and Broadway," she says, and will not only be new to Miami, but to the
world. While it promises to be sexy and entertaining, she continues to
stress, "it will always be elegant and classy. I am French. I'm bringing
the French style."
The debut of Evolution of Burlesque takes place on Friday and Saturday
nights at the late-ish hour of 9 p.m.; The Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln
Rd., Miami Beach Tickets range from $30 to $60, go to ticketmaster.com,
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--Anne Tschida of artburstmiami.com