"The burlesque performer was the original sex symbol of America," states Bella Sin, a third generation performer herself. "It was an art form."
Sin, the organizer of this Saturday's 2nd Annual Ohio Burlesque Festival
, recites with affection the grand history of burlesque in Cleveland, describing the glory days of The Roxy on Short Vincent. Fine burlesque, she explains, is no mere strip show, but rather an elaborate theatrical production.
"Burlesque is a large theatrical event where you get to see well-costumed, well-groomed, body-positive women and men doing a sensual dance as they strategically remove their clothing in a very classy manner," she explains. "We are bringing the sexy and sensuality back into sex."
This year's event at the Beachland Ballroom will feature 35 neo-burlesque performers from all over the country and beyond, up from just 15 last year. With names like Go Go Amy, Crystal Swarovski, Cherry Pop Pop Poppings, and Midnight Joy, the performers' routines run the gamut from sexy and sensual to comedic and acrobatic.
"There is nothing more wonderful than to create something from nothing and turn it into an actual act that conveys feeling and emotion while entertaining the audience," Sin states. "You will laugh and be amazed by the props used."
There is no nudity, but the show is 18 and over. General admission tickets are $15, with the bulk of proceeds going to charity.
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