Erika Moon Mixes Moulin Rouge and Broadway in Evolution of Burlesque

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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,

or call 305-674-1040, ext. 1.

--Anne Tschida of artburstmiami.com

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

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