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I Give You A (Burlesque) Topic...Discuss!

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The production level of burlesque shows in Indianapolis has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Fans of local burlesque can compare how the scene began almost a decade ago, with beautiful ladies in corsets shimmying on stages to the standard burlesque fares such as “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” to today’s incredibly innovative, creative, and risky performances (those lucky enough to be present for Bottoms Up Burlesque’s legendary Dueling Tassles number will never forget it) that elevate the performance style to what makes the modern burlesque movement so complex and exciting. One of the ways troupes can keep challenging their performers is to develop shows around a theme, which then gets the creative energy flowing as performers develop new numbers that may or may not be out of their comfort zone. Here is where the magic happens, as dancers make burlesque magic out of something that no one has done before.

Angel Burlesque has found great success with this method during their Open Bra Nights (the last Monday of each month), where performers are invited to submit numbers that fit within a specific theme. This theme can help give novice performers some ideas and guidance as they work to break into a performance style that can be daunting for so many reasons. Themes such as Nerdgasm! and Erin Go Braugh…less, give shows a focus that can help generate ideas as well as to attract an interested audience. Creme de les Femmes’ recent Mad Men themed show was a huge success, thanks in large part to the fact that such a theme can appeal to a new audience who has never attended a show before but loves the theme.

On Saturday, August 4, Bottoms Up Burlesque adds to the recent catalogue of such events with their presentation of “Herstory of the World, Pt. 1,” a burlesque tribute to Mel Brooks’ classic film, “History of the World, Pt. 1.” Fans of burlesque and fans of the film alike can enjoy a fun tribute to wacky (and sexy) versions of historical characters at the newest venue to feature local burlesque, Indy’s Jukebox, at 306 East Prospect Street on the south side of Indianapolis’s downtown. As with all BUB shows, all proceeds will benefit local breast cancer patients through Pink Ribbon Connection. Doors open at 9:00 p.m., burlesque show starts at 10:00 p.m. Evening’s events include musical guests Kimmy and Zorba and Those Lazy Cabineers of Decatur County. Tickets are available for $10 at the door or $8 presale at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/256777.

We look forward to the many new themes that Indianapolis’s local burlesque darlings will re-imagine in new and sexy ways through the medium of burlesque. Everything is fair game in the world of burlesque, so watch out!

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