Burlesque is not quite like your typical stripping. It's more performance art done scantily clad and heavy on the sex appeal. So, like, classy strippers who keep some clothes on.
Though modern audiences often associate burlesque with hot ladies like Bettie Page, Dita Von Teese, and sadly, the movie Burlesque starring Christina Aguilera and Cher, the art form has origins in Vaudeville variety shows dating back hundreds of years. Local burlesque performer Bambi La Fleur will bring both sexy and humor back with the Florida Burlesque Festival next month.
According to dictionary.com, burlesque is defined as "an artistic composition, especially literary or dramatic, that, for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity...a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus."
In her organization of the festival, La Fleur has stuck to the classic definition of the term, bringing in comedians and vaudeville acts as part of the lineup. Striving for authenticity and creating the perfect atmosphere for a burlesque performance, La Fleur has chosen Cinema Paradiso as the backdrop.
"I am bringing the best of the international burlesque community into my backyard to play," said La Fleur in a press release, adding, "My goal with the festival is to show young and old what made Florida famous in the Golden Age of Burlesque."
Prepare to fall through time as the Florida Burlesque Festival aims to "showcase today's best-of-breed performers in a classic setting that re-creates the look and feel of another era."
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Notable performers include Ophelia Flame, first runner-up for the Queen of Burlesque, Ray Gunn, the 2013 King of Burlesque, and others ranked in the top 50 world burlesque performers by 21st Century Burlesque magazine. The "mistress of ceremonies" for the weekend will be Blanche DeBris, the host of Live Burlesque in Las Vegas.
La Fleur is dedicating the Florida Burlesque Festival to her close friend and fellow pin-up girl, Bunny Yeager, who passed away earlier this year.
The first ever Florida Burlesque Festival takes place at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale on September 5-6. Tickets cost $30 for general admission and $50 for VIP. Visit floridaburlesquefestival.com.