The second annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival is under way this weekend. Here’s what the festival has to say about its genesis:
BURLESQUE was a main attraction in the French Quarter from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. Bourbon Street was it’s epicenter, and it featured the largest concentration of burlesque clubs than anywhere in the U.S. It was the home of Lilly Christine the Cat Girl, Blaze Starr, Evangeline the Oyster Girl, and countless stars of striptease. New Orleans was also the home of jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Al Hirt, and Pete Fountain.
In 1995, New Orleans was one of the first cities to participate in the modern-day burlesque revival. Shows featured burlesque dancers accompanied by a live jazz band, as it was done in the heyday of burlesque. This tradition continues today.
The New Orleans Burlesque Festival was founded in 2009 to showcase classic and traditional burlesque, bringing back the glamour, humor, music, and excitement of the era. The main event is a competition in which the best burlesque dancers in the world compete for the Queen of Burlesque title. Showcases, workshops, panel discussions, and parties, round out the weekend to make this the most quality and entertaining burlesque festival today.
There are two burleseque revues a night, Friday-Sunday, mostly at Harrah’s and House of Blues. Also panels and workshops around mid-day. Here’s the schedule.
And here’s a highlight from last year. See, this is what I’m talking about when I’m talking about burlesque. (NSFW!)