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Burlesque 3


Queen Kalani Kokonuts

The Reigning Queen of Burlesque

Wrap up: The London Burlesque Festival
Canadian beauties on stage
News, reviews, and more!
Editors note

Dear readers,

A certain Kalani Kokonuts is probably polishing her new golden

trophy right now. During a recent interview over the phone, I
listened to the new Reigning queen of Burlesque as she took a
walk down memory lane and recalled her early days as a young
performer in Vegas. She was also kind enough to share some
pearls of wisdom with new girls on the scene. Here we go:

1. It's much better to have a handful of fabulous costumes than

20 crap costumes that you bought from a store. If you only have
the resources for one big costume, that's all you should have.

2. Wear dance shoes. So many girls wear shoes that aren't meant
for dancing and have a hard time moving around. This year, it was eight feet across the stage (at
the Burlesque Hall of Fame) and a lot of girls wore striptastic shoes. The second I see an act, I look
at her shoes and I can tell if she's a real act or not.

3. Take dance classes, because the only practice you get can't be in front of your audience on stage.
It's really important to recognise your weaknesses and strengths and be objective. That can be
very hard to do sometimes.

She's a wise woman, Kalani and you can flick over to page 10 to find out what shakes her coconuts.
Meanwhile, this month, the lovely Lilac Hell investigated the ins and outs of that pesky burlesque
ban in London, and we got the lowdown on the burgeoning burly scene in Canada, just in time for
the Toronto Burlesque Festival.

By the way if anyone's interested, we've got five copies of Immodesty Blaize's new book, 'Tease'.
If you'd like a copy, tell us in 25 words or less, what your plot would be for a blockbuster burlesque
novel. Send your entries to me by 1st August:

Hope you enjoy a fabulous month of burly-q, ladies and gentlemen!

Lots of love,
Jo, Editor

PS. And a shoutout to my Marrickville Bowlo Burlesque Bitches - Liana Vyne,

Cherry Lush, Holly J'aDoll, Mini Revolver and Arlene Brooklyn. And last but
not least, the gorgeous Bettie London who is bringing burlesque in a big way
to her new home in Iowa. Much, much love from Midnight Orchid.
Veronique is our fabul
She's also a freelance
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Page 20
Jo-Anne Hui
Art Director
Veronique Houlet
London Correspondent Page 22
Lilac Hell
New York Correspondent
Cherry Belle O
Cover Out and About
Kalani Kokonuts, 666 Photography Page 26 A
Editorial inquiries:
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Manhattan Minx Page 39

lous French designer.
er for hire. Find her at Page 40
Bonjour, Madame Von Teese!
After a magnificent performance at the Crazy Horse
in Paris in February, Dita von Teese is returning
to the City of Love yet again. This time, she will
perform at the Casino de Paris from September 3 -
13. Ms Von Teese will be debuting her new act, The
Opium Den and will be joined on stage by Gentry
de Paris, Millicent Binks and Julietta La Doll.

The Casino de Paris is a true theatre that allows

for those grand gestures and movements and the
classic 'burlesque strut,' with all that stage space to
utilize! says von Teese.

To purchase tickets click here

The biggest
Julie Atlas Muz to
headlIne Burlesque Ball
Photography by Karl Giant
Several acts for next year's Burlesque Ball in

club in the
Australia have been confirmed, including former Miss
Exotic World, Julie Atlas Muz. UK burlesque star Ophelia
Bitz is also on board as MC, in addition to local talent

such as Imogen Kelly, Sarah Lea Cheesecake and
the Gamble Sisters. More international acts are to be
confirmed. Next year, the Ball will tour across most
Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne,
Glasgow's Club Noir has made it into the Guiness Book of
Brisbane/Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth.
Records as the Biggest Burlesque Club in the world, pul-
You can purchase your open dated tickets here.
ling in almost 2 000 guests each night.

"Biggest of course doesn't always equal best," said co-

owner Ian Single. "But if you see our photos, youll agree
that quality does indeed equal size. Weve got world-class
production, beautiful showgirls, covetable costumes, inno-
vative ideas - all this goes towards one of the most unique
and exciting club nights in Britain - and dare I say - the

To find out more click here:
Vegas baby! ,
Swing, swing, Unless you've been living under a rock, the whole
swing, swing world is now aware that the magnificent Kalani Koko-
nuts was recently crowned the Reigning Queen of Bur-
lesque at the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend
All you cats and kittens had better get ready for the last month. Meanwhile, first runner up was Canada's
Gangster's Ball, kicking off in Sydney in September Roxi D'Lite, followed by Perle Noir from New Orleans.
and touring around Brisbane and Melbourne in October Here is a list of the winners from the night:
and November. Burlesque Hall of Fame Legends Award:
Satans Angel
Headlined by international cabaret star Meow Meow and
Most Innovative: Arabella Trapeze
featuring hot swing band The Velvet Set, it will be a wild
Best Debut: Melody Mangler
night of swing, burlesque and cabaret. Also featured in
the line-up are: Imogen Kelly, Hi-Ball Burlesque, Mark
Best Variety: Gigi and Pop
Winmill, Tasia, Kitty Van Horne, the Birdmann, Lola the Best Troupe: Nanda
Vamp and a brilliant host of others. Most Comical: Little Brooklyn
Best Boylesque: Hot Toddy
The Ball will also feature 50s rock 'n' roll dancing Most Dazzling: Kalani Kokonuts
contests, roulette and black jack tables, a gamling den Most Classic: Amazing Knicker Kittens
with free poker, cigarette girls, merchandise stalls and
a fantastic photo booth. The world's largest pastie collection
Get your tickets now.
Shanghai burlesque club owner Amelia Kallman
is collecting pasties from all around the globe and
would love to feature as many international burlesque
queens as possible. Send in your pasties (and a photo
of yourself wearing them!) to:

1360 Fuxing Zhong Lu
Building #1, Room #3
Shanghai China 200031
Contact Ms Kallman here:

Burly in your pocket

Pick up a copy of the new edition of the Burlesque Map
London for your guide to all things burlesque, retro and
vintage from over 200 listings of events, organisations,
venues, beauty parlours, shops and more.
To purchase your copy for 3 click here.

If you have any news that you

want to share, contact at

Veteran burlesque performer Jo King first twirled her tassles
in the 70s and founded the London Academy of Burlesque &
London School of Striptease in 2000. But after more than 30
years in the industry, she has discovered that some things
never change.

I accidentally became a burlesque striptease performer in 1978. I was a

waitress in a private club and when one of the performers didnt turn up, I
was dared to give it a go.

Fortunately, I started when there was an incredible standard and variety of

talent. The women were all consummate professionals. The costumes were
dazzling and the teases surrounding their removal were superbly executed.
Most acts were 20 to 25 minutes long and we either danced to a live band or
tapes we had put together ourselves.

Photo by Neil Kendall I remember many acts but a few stand out: ex-Royal ballerina Sparkle was
elegantly sensual, she danced to beats in the music you had not been aware
of before; the hysterical drunken striptease shenanigans of the wild and wonderful Janette Moore; the impressive
buttock-dance of the muscular acrobat Monique Starr and, my favourite, Mandy Knight, who somehow performed
a complete Hollywood musical in less than 20 minutes.

Once again creative and liberated females are

Now I am NOT joking!

being targeted as scapegoats by self-serving councils and their

outdated policies.
So, three decades later, there is a magical global array of new innovative talent, along with an opportunity for
women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds to express the joys of the female form in a myriad of ways.
It delights me to watch such an age-old genre being transformed and translated with such verve and passion. I
love the character-based comedy routines every bit as much as the classic stripteases. For me, all performers
can offer something special if they perform with connection, conviction and great face!

During a recession, frivolity and escapism are much needed commodities. It astounds me that relentlessly greedy
councils are trying to cash in on the burlesque revival. The dispute may seem to be about what constitutes "adult
entertainment of a sexual nature", but the truth is that an adult entertainment licence fills the local authorities'
coffers very nicely, thank you.

We can walk through the streets clad merely in feathers, crystal pasties and good intentions, but this will most
probably be seen as nothing more than an attractive publicity stunt. I would love to think that such efforts
might be recognised as a valid protest and respectfully given an ear (as well as an eye), but then
I've been fighting similar battles for 30 years.
The hierarchy are not interested in our defence, our artistic rights, or the freedom of
the public to choose what they want to see. It is 2009 but unfortunately my lovelies,
senseless censorship is back again to bite us on our burlesque bottoms.

For information on the London School of Striptease, click here

All hail, Queen Kalani Kokonuts
S omewhere deep in Vegas on a Saturday night, new Reigning
Queen of Burlesque Kalani Kokonuts was on stage, performing
a classic striptease at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Bedecked in a
million extra large rhinestones in a costume by Grant Philipo, she
dazzled the audiences and impressed the judges.
But no-one guessed that underneath the professional exterior, Ms Kokonuts was panicking as she struggled
with a technical difficulty in her sparkling corset. Later that night, when her name was announced by host El Vez,
no-one was more surprised than she was.

"I'm very hard on myself and critical. I thought I did a horrible performance. I had a wardrobe malfunction, it
was the first time doing the act in front of people, so that always happens," she reveals.

"I didn't know we were going to be on such a large stage this year, so I actually scaled my show down. I was
worried I'd disappoint the audience, 'cos I didn't come out with a large spectacle. I didn't have enough time to do
something fantastic and big, but maybe that worked in my favour!"

Kalani first cut her teeth as an underage stripper in Alaska, where she performed in a biker bar and began to
form the foundation of her future style and technique. In fact, when she now speaks to younger performers on the
circuit, she advises them to take up stripping in order to improve their performance. Kalani still works as a topless
dancer in Nevada between her burlesque performances today.

"Any time a girl's really serious about being a really good burlesque performer, I tell her,
'well you have to go strip in a club'. The top acts out there are all former strippers. It's the
only way to learn," she says. "It's like bootcamp for sexuality. You learn about your body,
you learn how it works in a short amount of time, you learn what works on your audience,
how to garner a reaction and how to slow down."

Kalani has come a long way since her days in the biker bar. After a move to Vegas where
she became a feature performer at the famous Palomino Club where Tempest Storm
once twirled her tassles, Kalani's career skyrocketed. Earlier this year, she performed for
a second time at The Immodest Tease Show in London, alongside ex-Miss Exotic World
queens Immodesty Blaize and Catherine D'Lish. This year at the show in Koko, she
transformed herself into a gorgeous geisha and then into a stunning Cleopatra (check
out the review in page 32). According to Kalani, one of the toughest aspects for her as a
performer is perfecting an act.

At the Burlesque Hall of Fame with

costume designer Grant Philipo
"What I visualise in my head and trying to manifest
into reality can be a monumental task, especially
if I'm trying to get, say, female taiko drummers,"
she says of her geisha act, which also features
traditional fan dancing. "Right now, I'm working
on a new show and I'm trying to source marching
bands. Costumes would seem to be the least of
your problems, if you're trying to get other elements
of your show together."

And like many of us, Kalani has seen her fair share
of bad burlesque in her time, especially performers
who mistake "girlie revues" for burlesque shows.
During the course of burlesque becoming more
mainstream, it seems as though some aspects
have been lost in translation, she says, using the
Pussycat Dolls as an example.

"There are a lot of bored housewives out there

who are using burlesque as a creative outlet. I can
understand the attraction; it had an attraction for
me, but I come from a professional background,
so that helped. But there is only a handful out
there who are actually making money full-time,"
she says.

"Honestly, I do really enjoy the bad acts, more so

than the good acts. It's a guilty pleasure. I love
to watch really bad acts, because you can't teach
that. You can't teach that kind of train wreck. You
can teach someone a great act if there's a raw a
talent, but the bad ones...they just sear themselves
into my mind."

Meanwhile, Kalani is now back on the road with

her boyfriend, with whom she often travels and
calls her "time manager". The two have been
travelling around the world for the past year and
a half. Next stop: the Montreal Burlesque Festival
in September.

"I have absolutely no perception of the passing of

time. If it were not for him, I would never show up
to performances on the right day," she confesses. Performing her famous geisha act at
The Immodest Tease Show in London.
- By Jo-Anne Hui

For more information on Kalani Kokonuts,

click here.
Burlesque in... Canada
Canada's cultural diversity, open mindedness and sense of humour are all reflected in its
burlesque scene, bursting with giant props, ribald irreverence and cheeky vaudeville. To get the
goss, Cherry Belle caught up with Frankly Scarlet and Coco Framboise, who both perform,
produce and teach burlesque.

What's the burlesque scene like in Canada?

Frankly Scarlet: It's extremely diverse. We have everything from talented traditional burlesque dancers
to comedy, circus and vaudevillian style performers. The burlesquers here
put much more emphasis on story telling, comedy and the tease than they
do on stripping. Its always better to leave them laughing and maybe
wanting just a little more.
How does burlesque fit into Canadian culture?
Frankly Scarlet: We have a real love of the arts and the diverse
nature of peoples backgrounds influences our work. The fans are
open to seeing different dance styles, various kinds of music and acts
inspired by the exploration of gender roles and politics.
What kinds of acts are popular? Who are some of the big names?
Coco: Large scale props seem to be on the rise. I perform atop a giant
candy apple sparkling with holographic glitter. Ive seen Miss Mitzy
Cream atop her infamous nine-foot gramophone. Ive also seen
Sasha Van Bon Bon bring down the house by bursting forth from
her giant Massengil douche box. And Roxi Dlite rocked my world
with her runaway bride act that culminates in a supple sequence
on a massive aerial-rigged diamond ring. Roxi was also the first
Canadian to compete in Miss Exotic World this year and brought
home the trophy for the first runner-up, after Kalani Kokonuts.

My most memorable burlesque experience was travelling to the London

Burlesque Festival with a giant (disassembled) telephone and address book
in my suitcase. As a personal aside, that performance was dedicated to my
very dear friend and former spouse of nearly ten years who died suddenly
in February while vacationing in Australia. He was particularly proud that I'd
made it into the London Burlesque Festival.
Frankly Scarlet: Old time glitz and glamour never go astray, but dancers
and performers who can incorporate comedy or an extra special skill like
hoop dancing or fire eating always leave a memorable impression on the
How would you like to see the Canadian scene develop?
Frankly Scarlet: One of the things wed like to see changed is the lack
of funding and financial support to keep many of our local theatres open.
There are many talented performers and troupes that produce their
own shows and have created the scene here in Canada, but when our
theatres close it becomes harder to keep the scene alive.

Coco Framboise is often found performing atop a giant

sparkling candy apple.
Photography by Tess Francis
Coco: A national burlesque pageant would help cross-pollinate the various regional scenes in Canada,
but so far, the festivals are doing a pretty good job of that.
Tell me a bit about the upcoming Toronto Burlesque Festival: Tassels without Borders.
Coco: The countdown is on for the festival, coming up on July 23rd - 26th! This sizzling event is
presented by Skin Tight Outta Sight and friends. Confirmed headliners include Kitten De Ville,
Michelle Lamour, Jo Boobs, and Lukki. This year, weve partnered with Dr. Sketchys Toronto for
our art show and sketch-a-thon. And Im thrilled to host the Toronto Burlesque University workshop
weekend, featuring international star faculty at four campuses!
Who is your favourite burlesque performer or group?
Frankly Scarlet: I take a lot of inspiration from the women who were brave enough to pave the way
like Lili St. Cyr and Josephine Baker. I also admire any women who are smart enough to be really
funny. Sharp wit is a sign of a truly intelligent, confident woman.
Coco: I love the spark and verve of Immodesty Blaize and Dita von Teese has such impressive
production quality. Dirty Martini cracks me up with her poignant comedy and bold charisma. Julie
Atlas Muz is deadly sexy and challenging with her sense of the unexpected.
Is burlesque your full-time gig, or do you have a 'day job'?
Frankly Scarlet: When Im not neck-deep in burlesque, I work as a seamstress and an artist
taking on commission pieces. Burlesque is something I do because I am passionate about
the art form, not because I want to
make money.
Coco: It's my full-time job. One day,
when I was trying to choose between
two office job offers, my partner at
the time suggested that I try to make
a serious go of it in dance instead.
And I did. It was terrifying at first
and it was difficult to find a way to
make dance viable. When I finally
did my first burlesque show, that
was a huge catalyst. Burlesque
swiftly became the entree, while
the other styles became side

Miss Frankly Scarlet's School of

Coco Framboise
Vancouver Burlesque Festival
Toronto Burlesque Festival
Montreal Burelsque Festival

The Headline Honeys: Trixie Big-

gins, Ali Adair and Frankly Scarlet
Photography by Jared Reid

Curated and custom

entertainment for
special events

website :
contact :

Performance producer Cloudland Grand


Co-producer of A Stacked Deck burlesque

festival Canberra Fringe 09

Creator and manager of Moveable Feasts
The London Burlesque Festival is one of the worlds biggest and best
international burlesque events. Lilac Hell lifts the curtain.

Randy goat god Pan struts onto the stage at Londons Bush Hall. The packed audience screams,
whoops and cheers as he introduces a succession of the most cutting-edge performance-art burlesque
Ive ever seen. Buddy Love wolfs down two Big Macs as she cavorts to Bowies Young Americans,
before stripping naked and giving herself a spongebath. Pinky Special whips off 10 G-strings in 10
seconds to AC/DCs 'Whole Lotta Rosie', then removes a bloody tampon and drapes the string over
her breasts, before flinging it into the audience to howls of delight and disgust in equal measure. This
is New York burlesque, this is the London Burlesque Festival, and this is magnificent!

The 2009 event was the third annual London Burlesque Festival (LBF) and for five days in April, it
felt like all of London went burlesque mad. There were showgirls on the street corners, nudes on
the newsstands and glossy mags gave burlesque beauty tips. I think even the London Eye gave a
saucy wink as I shimmied past.

Festival organiser Chaz Royal instituted a unique audition process for this years
LBF. Rather than picking the performers himself, or negotiating international
try-outs and run the risk of trial by YouTube, all potential performers were
posted on the LBF website and if they got enough votes, they were in. Chaz
says he devised the system to give audiences a say in the performance
line-up and perhaps most importantly, because he wanted self-promoters
who would in turn publicise the LBF.
International acts were paid enough to ensure they could afford
the plane fare, Chaz says. Although, weighed against the prestige
of the LBF, cost wasnt really a factor, says Tomahawk Tassles from
St Louis, one of eight Americans who performed.

Being in the London Burlesque Festival was a huge honour for me.
I was very proud to represent the Midwest and I was excited to return
home as an International Burlesque Star! he enthuses.


Each night of the festival had a different theme and lineup at a range of swanky
London venues. The opening Glitterati Gala saw international press and the public dressed in their best
Wednesday-evening finery at Caf de Paris, a gorgeous nightclub in central London thats been hosting
shows with showgirls since 1924.

Most of the evening sang along, with only a few flat notes from a rather raucous opening band, and initial
acts where, as a friend noted, It feels like nobodys getting it.

The audience settled in when sultry cockney lass Ivy Paige took over as host, transporting us to a world of
wartime chic where Dolly Blow Up gave new meaning to the term 'burlesque bombshell'.

Unfortunately the Gala ran late, which meant many departed before sampling the wild delights of the final
act, Femme Ferale. LBFs resident DJ, DJ Suave, who was on the decks most nights, says: Femme
Ferale's cheeky little dust-up to La Lupe's classic version of 'Fever' was a highlight of the week. Very kitsch,
very Latin... and little bit Bucks Fizz!
Thursday was the UK Showcase Night, demonstrating the best of British burlesque in two
sessions at classic cabaret venue Madame JoJo's.

Performer Miss Rose Thorne did her Doris Day tribute act Daisy Crazy at the late
show, hosted by cabaret drag queen Myra Dubois full of gin and a touch of Northern
Working Mens Club class, says Rose.

Early show big-names included host Dolly Rocket, Miss Polly Rae, Roxy Velvet and
Beatrix Von Bourbon, whose jaw-droppingly beautiful performance was another of DJ
Suaves LBF highlights.

Both early and late show audiences were in top form, says Rose, and thoroughly enjoyed
watching acts such as Frivolitease last years LBF best new troupe who performed as
Princess Leia and Darth Vader battling it out before deciding to give peace a chance. They then
bump and grind into a fabulous dance number to the bar music from Star Wars, bringing the entire audience
with them on their journey, says Rose.


Friday saw Scala nightclub an art-deco former cinema host the Battle Royale showdown of newcomers
performing solo and in groups. Kiki Kaboom was crowned Londons Best Newcomer (solo) on the night. Aptly,
she almost named herself Kitty la Reine (Queen Kitty), until an Australian girl I worked with told me about her
friend Katy back in Oz. She was always getting into scrapes and causing trouble so they nicknamed her Katy
Kaboom. It was too good a name to resist and Kiki Kaboom was born.

A trained actor, Kikis burlesque journey began in October 2007 when she took Jo Kings
Burlesque Buzz course. Inspired, she entered the Tournament of Tease and placed second,
then went travelling in India. On her return, Kiki took another shot at TofT and came second
again, last December. After that, I set my sights on the Battle Royale. My friends joke that
I only want to perform if theres a competition involved!

Images by Derek Bremner

Kiki says that backstage at the Battle Royale, there were so many
girls, so many sequins, lots of glitter and lots of nerves; but everyone
was friendly.

Hosts Mat Frazer and Lady Alex did a brilliant job of working the 900-
strong crowd, maintaining the tension to the end of what was quite a long

I was the penultimate performer, so was back on stage in no time for the
results, says Kiki. Everyone was brilliant and its so hard to judge such an
array of different acts. But Im really chuffed to have won!


The Jetsetters Ball on Saturday was a chance to see some of the finest
international acts on the burlesque circuit, with two shows hosted by
Armitage Shanks, described by one appreciative audience member as
circus carnie with a voice like gravel, and charm like velvet.

Early acts were high-quality and fun, ranging from

big props with Canadas Coco Framboise, to Aussie
ballerina Sheena Misdemeanour, to Germanys
Fleur DAmour as a sweet stripping sheep, to
Sturdy Girlesque, whose Statue of Liberty tribute
got the biggest cheer.

The late show ramped it up. Starting with Sugar Kane

who paid tribute to her homeland with a Finnish Flag
costume and Sibelius soundtrack it finished with the New Yo r k
Slipper Room Revue taking over the entire second act. One of the edgiest,
most polished acts of the festival, the Slipper Room troupe, hosted by
Go Go Goatboy as Pan, really blew the minds of the London audience.
It was too much for some, but most found it hilarious, exciting and
thoroughly entertaining.

London Burlesque Festival 2009 concluded with a VIP Closing Party and
glowing reports from performers, stage staff, promoters and audiences
alike. Dan, a burlesque virgin summed it up afterwards: all I have is
memories of Sambucca and being covered in feathers fantastic!
Burlesque magazine
Sarah Lea Cheesecake - July 2009
Vivi: Bra, Little Minx, $34.95; Knickers, Little Minx, $19.95

Swan around your boudoir
this month in the loveliest
of knickers and add a touch
of vavavoom to your stylish
lingerie drawer.

Photography: Brett Cornish

Make-up: Tayla Lily
Hair: Pixie Roberts of Boogie
Bop Dames
Venue: Dome Bar at Crown
Hotel in Surry Hills, Sydney
Stockists: Boudoir Intimates;
Dirty Pretty Things; Kiss Me
Quick; La Mistress. Mishka: Bra, Monroe, $115; Knickers, Monroe, $65
O Out and About

Review: Dances of Vice at The Montauk Club, New York

Shien Lee's monthly Dances of Vice parties celebrate the Victorian, Jazz Age and Rococo eras by luring wistful creative types to
Brooklyn's Montauk Club, a Venetian-style private venue built in the 1890s. Every event has a theme, and this time it was "Les
Secrets du Boudoir". Suggestions for appropriate attire included vintage bustiers, corsets, ribbons and bloomers for the ladies,
while the menfolk were instructed to don their best period lounge wear and sock garters.

Themed parties tend to attract a motley bunch of attendees, ranging from the elaborately costumed to the too-cool-for-school
types who turn up with a token hat or worse, a feeble excuse for wearing their ratty old jeans. But Dances of Vice is different.
Everyone goes all-out and the effect is breathtaking. The flurry of lace, pearls, cinched waists and curly moustaches creates a
timewarp, and if it weren't for the occasional iPhone sighting, you'd swear you had ventured to a bygone era.

A few attendees were particularly impressive in the costume stakes: the man who had painted every visible skin surface gold;
the fellow in the fez, tuxedo jacket and sock garters -- visible due to his lack of pants -- and a woman dressed in Marie Antoinette
style, complete with 18th century pink corset and gravity-defying white wig.

For the first half of the night, the dance floor played host to energetic couples who swung and dipped one another as though their
lives depended on it. Then it was time for the entertainment. Weimar era transplant Luna Tart sang an ode to drag on the ukelele,
the Minsky sisters did tap routines and Rita Menweep delighted audiences with a saucy striptease. Autumn Ward's Middle
Eastern dances featured spinning and hair-swishing, while house band Grandpa Musselman and His Syncopators played tight,
Charleston-friendly tunes all night.

Organiser Lee also got in on the act, singing the 1931 ditty Jazz Up Your Lingerie with Ms. Menweep. "I've known Shien for over
a year," said the man distributing drink tickets, "and I never knew she could do that."

Dances of Vice has the unique effect of making you nostalgic for an era you never lived through. Attending an event is like taking
a trip back in time to crash the party of your rich and famous uncle. The one with the twinkle in his eye behind his monocle. - CB
Photography by Don Spiro

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly

Weekender at The Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas
The 12th Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend kicked off with
a fabulous burlesque showcase, featuring a delicious banquet
of burly queens, including Catherine D'Lish, Michelle L'Amour,
Audrey Deluxe, Kalani Kokonuts and legends Satan's Angel and
Dixie Evans.

Meanwhile, Lucy Fur took out first place for the annual burlesque
competition, followed by Cha Cha Velour and Leolilly. The
weekend also featured a wonderful Tiki Pool Party and the Viva
Las Vegas Shifters Car Show.

The next Viva Las Vegas will take place April 1-4, 2010.
For more information click here

Photography by Mitzi & Co.


that were rich in detail.

The production began to unfold into equal parts

modern-pop and sexy dance, with a dash of
Being a veteran of the naivete and grain of hope in this quasi-fairy tale,
craft of burlesque for reminiscent of a Disney movie. A handful of popular
a decade, I was very fairy tales were twisted into new erotic stories
interested to see what and characters, including Little Red Riding Hood,
mainstream Vegas has Goldilocks and the three bears, and the three little
interpreted burlesque pigs. Some of the tales were so vague that it was
to be. 'Peepshow' at hard to understand what was happening in the
Planet Hollywood is stories as the show swiftly moved along.
the brainchild of Jerry
Mitchell, a well-known creative professional on As each scenario was completed, fantastic new
Broadway who has choreographed productions tales emerged. A sadomasochistic cowgirl took on
like 'Gypsy' and 'Legally Blond'. In addition, he is new heights, go-go dancers danced on stage and
the creator of sexy annual fundraiser, Broadway
Bares for Broadway Cares. I hoped his vision
would represent a clear bridge to the classic form
of striptease and does the legends some justice.

'Peepshow' is the story of a young woman called

Bo Peep (played by General Hospital's Kelly
Monaco), who curls up in bed with a book of sexy
fairy tales. My immediate impression was that the
mission of the show was to make the audience a
little dreamy. However, the opening scene lacked
excitement, was somewhat puzzling and a bit too
long. As the show began to roll, (Ex-Spice Girl)
Melanie Brown's character was definitely a diva
But why? Was she a fairy Godmother? A fairy
girlfriend? A fairy stranger? Brown seduced us
all while she sang and the cast danced, flaunting
some of the best costumes in the show. There was
a generous variety of stereotypical fantasy wear,
including vinyl lingerie, spandex and 'XXX store'
role-playing costumes, with a few beautiful outfits

and a tease; some

improvisation to
share more of the
soul and a little less

adult themes were proudly represented in stripclub I felt a bit sorry for Brown because after seeing her
gyrations, pole dancing, schoolgirl costumes and do the material, I felt it was beneath her talent and
S&M undertones. aim as a mainstream staple.

Brown was ravishingly beautiful and as charming 'Peepshow' was great for an adult entertainment
as she could be in the confines of the script. Her experience, with its recent chart topping songs,
costumes were sexy, but not as flashy as I had stripclub-esque execution and hard bodied
hoped. The male support, Josh Strickland was dancers. The story was trying to appeal to adults
absolutely dreamy. His crooning was beautiful, in ways that made it suitable to all sides of the
heartfelt and a little seductive. I know all the ladies sexual. It was non-offensive and also nice to
loved him. women by keeping them intrigued with a young
dashing crooner, a few handsome male dancers
The entire cast was absolutely fabulous. They all and a sappy love story.
gave the show their best moves, conveyed passion
and played their parts with vigour. Mel's vocalists This show is a product
had incredible pipes and were energetic dancers. of modern mainstream
Their costumes were another story - to describe influences including
them as lacklustre would be an understatement. Pussycat Dolls, Ivan
They deserved to be in something more fabulous Kane's 40 Deuce, and
than cheap spandex tube tops and leggings. The a pinch of an attempt at
live band was an awesome support. They kicked Cirque du Soliel's more
out the tunes and made the show rock. erotic show, Zumanity.

I witnessed the smallest glimpses of sparkle in NOTE: Mel B and Kelly

relation to the burlesque scene that I know and have Monaco are no longer
studied. I could see an attempt in some costuming, performing at Peepshow.
but very little. The efforts in building a bridge from Holly Madison from 'The
Broadway to burlesque clearly had great intentions. Girls Next Door' is now
playing the role of Bo
However, because the show was Peep.
so highly choreographed, it lacked
something organic and raw that For more information
would connect the characters to the click here
audience, which is often found in Photography by:
Splash News
burlesque. I was hoping for more of a titillation
Click Here

The Immodest Tease Show at Koko, London
Immodesty Blaize is everywhere these days. On TV, in the newspapers and on your bookshelf with her new novel, 'Tease'. Shes
also to be found in her native environment on stage. And so it was I found myself in the pit at Koko one Monday evening, eagerly
awaiting my first live experience of Immodesty Blaize.

Immodestys dancers, the Blaizin Angels flamed onto stage in gold and silver, followed shortly by the woman of the hour resplendent,
scantily clad with some of the sharpest cheekbones in North London. Host Julian Clary made a few quips about the Camden
burlesque clampdown, but the self-styled 'Lord of the Mince' was a little flat throughout the evening.

Catherine DLish was a highlight. Another true star in the burlesque galaxy, shes seasoned, sure and delightfully strange with a
definite resemblance to Lisa Marie (see Mars Attacks! and Ed Wood). In her first-half spider lady act she contorted, wasp-waisted
on a giant web. DLishs second performance was her famed Champagne Glass special playful, sexy and elegant. Come into my
parlour, indeed!

Other acts included the lovely and entertaining Kitten De Ville and Perle Noire with Grace Jones overtones and bouncing bananas.
Its great to see black women on stage its rare for London burlesque although of the few I have watched, the Josephine Baker-
inspired banana act seems ubiquitous!

That the Gen X Immodesty is a child of the 80s is no secret, and her love of all that eras kitsch was highlighted with the
inclusion of Marc Almond (of Tainted Love fame... Yes, he went there) and
an ironically podgy dance troupe in silver body paint and legwarmers doing
Eurovision-style routines.

Two acts from the new Miss Exotic World Kalani Kokonuts were intricately
wrought and stunningly beautiful. The first was a geisha in the snow who
switches into a fiery dragon dance; the second as Cleopatra doing an opulent
fan dance.

The main attraction, Ms Blaize herself, featured big props a giant telephone
and, for the finale, a rocking horse both signature Immodesty and props that
Tease readers will recognise from the book. I love big props, but you have to
live up to them. Im pleased to report, Immodesty did this with aplomb.

She pranced onto the stage in the biggest feather headdress this side of Rio.
In true equestrian style, she whipped her two Blazin Angels to the front of
the stage. While this level of choreography often means some personality is
lost, both the Angels looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It
was raunchy.

From raunch to raw hide, if the description in 'Tease' is anything to go by,

that rocking horse aint easy to ride. But Immodesty, ravishing in red feathers,
showed herself as a complete burlesque thoroughbred. Dont get me wrong, it
wasnt wild west, but a merry-go-round ride that whirled me away to a world of
fairytale magic spiced with seduction. An utter delight. - LH
A ban on burlesque? O
b urlesque shows have been shut down in the London borough of Camden
in recent months, following a council crackdown on licensing laws.
Camden Council says it is not stopping burlesque acts from performing
in the area, but merely following national guidelines which state that all
venues hosting adult entertainment must be correctly licensed.

Burlesque dancing, and anything that involves nudity or stripping, is classed as adult entertainment. All adult
entertainment is regulated by the council and requires a licence, a council spokesperson told Burlesque Magazine.
In the last two months, burlesque shows planned for Camdens Proud Gallery, the Dublin Castle pub and Annies Bar
in Kentish Town (also part of Camden) were nixed by the council.
But many objectors to the ban say burlesque should not be under the same regulatory regime as adult club
striptease acts.
One is art, inclusive, fun, funny and beautiful, the other is sex, says Alex Proud, the owner of Proud Gallery, a bar,
exhibition and performance space in the heart of Camden Market.
Camden is a large north London suburb, famous for its live music scene and sprawling markets. The areas
long-held reputation for uninhibited nightlife seems to make the councils hardline stance on burlesque all the
more incongruous.

It seems crazy that Camden Council is actively choosing to make the area a 'no burlesque
zone', when the rest of the capital and the world, for that matter is reaping the
benefits of a thriving scene which attracts a loyal and lucrative audience, says Cherry
Bomb, lead singer of neo-burlesque troupe Knickerbocker Glories, whose show was cancelled at Proud.
Interestingly, some major Camden venues that are licensed for 'the performance of dance' have not, so far, been
ordered to cancel their burlesque acts This is despite both venues licences stipulating that the premises shall not
be used for striptease or entertainment of a like kind to dancing which involves nudity without the prior consent of
the council. Those venues include Koko nightclub, which hosted The Immodest Tease show and the Roundhouse
Theatre, where the Alternative Miss World pageant was held.
According to the spokesperson, the council is open to
applications for burlesque licences. A licence granted for
a burlesque show would not necessarily have the same, or
as many, conditions as a licence granted for a strip show,
she said.
On a wider level, a Bill before UK Parliament seeks to classify
any removal of clothing on stage as requiring a Sexual
Encounter Entertainment License, something that, if passed,
could potentially result in burlesque shows being shut down
across the board. Burlesque-loving UK residents can sign a
petition against this here
A "Save Burlesque" fundraiser will be held at Proud
Gallery Camden on 30 July.

By Lilac Hell
The Knickerbocker Glories had their show
cancelled due at Proud Gallery.
Dirty Pretty Things
Click here
Review: A Wink And A Smile
Shot with a sumptuous, glitter-
encrusted aesthetic, 'A Wink And A
Smile' chronicles a diverse group
of ten women as they undertake
a six-week Academy of Burlesque
course in the fundamentals of
the tease.

Ranging from teenagers in college

to a sparky 51-year-old mother,
the students endear themselves
as they wrestle bodily insecurities,
develop their characters and build
their acts. One theme that pops
up repeatedly during the one-on-
one interviews is the girls' concern
with the portrayal of attractiveness
and sexuality. Former bulimic
Megan is reluctant to embrace her physical beauty and fellow student Casey struggles with the
implications of wearing make-up during her performance, because she actively shuns it in her
daily life.

Veteran performer and Academy of Burlesque headmistress Indigo Blue makes a decent den
mother to her burgeoning burly girls, reminding them of crucial pre-show preparations such as
the 'pussy check' (yes, it's exactly what it sounds like) and warning them of a perennial mishap:
bra hooks getting caught in fishnet stockings as they're cast toward the floor.

All up, 'A Wink And A Smile' is an uplifting, intelligent look at the transformative power of
burlesque. It's makes inspiring viewing for anyone who is feeling trapped by their own identity.
- CB
Now showing in cinemas across the US.

Each month, we showcase video footage of fabulous burlesque

from around the world. If you reckon you've got the goods,
email your clips through to
The London Revue

Spring has sprung in London and Lilac Hell has been teetering
up and down town, touching, teasing and all too often toppling into
the sweet spots where burlesque blossoms.
One such flowering was Annies Bar in Kentish Town. Formerly Auntie Annies Porter
House, this bar was recently transformed into a baroque folly complete with flocked
wallpaper, Louis XIV furniture, and a large cream-coloured grand piano in the corner. It
seemed ideal for burlesque. And it was, for a time...

Annies five minutes of fame coincided with DJ Suaves first foray into the wonderful world of burlesque
entrepreneurship. With the place packed to its pre-Raphaelite rafters, standouts of the show were Tiara
Diamonds bursting blooms; Miss Dolly Roses weight loss program that crinoline was heavy!; Tempest
Rose tearing strips off herself (and a recalcitrant audience member); and Kiki Kabooms paean to Obama.
Sadly, the venue was a one-hit wonder, but you cant keep a good DJ down, and I am pleased to report Suave
has since found digs in the ever-accommodating Bethnal Green Working Mens Club (BGMC).

Another show I attended that has since shut up shop (is it me?) was Jo Kings Goodtime Follies at Madame
JoJo's (no relation). Jo is a consummate professional and, having clocked up 30 years on stage, has twirled
more tassels than many of us have had hot dinners. Each Goodtime gal did two acts one in each half
with proceedings directed by Desmond OConnor, who strummed his ukulele and twisted tongues with
racy tunes.

Diva Hollywood lived up to her name, giving great weeping widow; then there was a twisted fairytale from
Tallulah Mockingbird, cool hula from Misty Vine and Liberty Pink sang with a wink. You can now catch Jo
onstage at JoJo's, and MCing at BGMC, where shes nurturing the next generation of burlesquers in the
Tournament of Tease.

On a more serious note, I wanted to touch on or feel up, even some of the recent controversy swirling
round the burlesque scene in Britain. Annies life as a cabaret venue was curtailed by Camden Council. And
this is something that, along with the UK governments Sexual Encounter Entertainment License (SEEL)
proposal, potentially affects us all. Only those who live in Britain can sign the petition against it though. And
for the love of burlesque, I urge you to do so.

Amid this furore, the issue of exploitation has also come up. A jaded burlesque performer-
turned-journalist (oh my!) wrote in a national newspaper about her experience in a burlesque
troupe, where she felt she was exploited for sleaze and profit. For me, none of the burlesque
shows Ive attended, nor the audiences at them, has seemed degrading or sordid. But,
along with SEEL, this is a wake-up call, which shows that unless we continually strive
to make it creative, different or at the very least very good, the sleaze brush is one well be
tarred with. Id like to hope that through adversity comes inspiration, but what do you think?
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-your-sock ry month a
is a knock a y o f e v e
s q u e is o n the third o re info, cli
ck here
d B u rl e F o r m
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
1 2
Vaudezilla's Free Bartop
Burlesque Show, Chicago, US
Finger in the Pie Cabaret,
London, UK
The Seduction Society,
Adelaide, AUS
Burlesque Not Bombs,
London, UK

6 7
Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art
8 9
Vaudezilla's Free Bartop
School, Sydney, AUS Burlesque Show, Chicago, US
The Freddy Valentine Varie
Show, London, UK

13 14
The Marquis of Gray's
Ink and Lead,
Vaudezilla's Free Bartop
Great Exhibition, London, UK Melbourne, AUS Burlesque Show, Chicago, US

20 21
Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art
Revealed Burlesque,
Vaudezilla's Free Bartop
School, Sydney, AUS New York, USA Burlesque Show, Chicago, US
Scandalous, London, UK Meow Meow to the World,
Sydney, AUS

27 28 29
Hurly Burly Show,
London, UK
Burlesque 'n' Blues,
London, UK
Friday Saturday Sunday
3 4
Lady Luck Club, London, UK Ruby Revue, Sydney, AUS
Grindhouse, Melbourne AUS
SA Burlesque Bar, Crystal Boudoir, Sydney, AUS Myra Dubois' birthday,
Melbourne, AUS London, UK
The Farewell Fanny Show,
Perth, AUS

10 11
A Night at the Pink Flamingo,
Save Burlesque, London, UK
SA Canberra, AUS
ety The Freakus Circus, London, UK
Crystal Boudoir, Sydney, AUS

Jump, Jive and Wail,
Corio, New York, USA
SA Sydney, AUS The Velvet Set, Sydney AUS
Corio, New York, USA Crystal Boudoir, Sydney, AUS

Hurly Burly Show,
Bama-lama!, Melbourne, AUS
Meow Meow to the World,
SA London, UK Ruby Revue, Melbourne, AUS Sydney, AUS
Meow Meow to the World, Black Cherry Club, Sydney, AUS
Sydney, AUS Crystal Boudoir, Sydney, AUS
Heresy-n-Heelz, London, UK

Wicked Women Comedy,
Sydney, AUS
Corio, New York, USA
3/99 1/:1'9 .5;

pic courtesy of pic courtesy of Pixie Roberts at Boogie Bop Dames

Established in 2003, Miss Kitka's House of

and producing Burlesque shows in Canber

Looking to start your own Burlesque business? Miss Kitka cou

with training and backup support provided. Email misskitk
;9+ 5, (;82+97;+

pic courtesy of

Burlesque has been teaching

rra, Sydney and soon in Iowa.

urses and shows are available to purchase, for more information.

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