The 2013 edition of the Colorado Burlesque Festival is bigger and badder than ever, offering up classes and performances featuring many of the names that put Colorado on the map when it comes to the flirty, coy, artful striptease that's more tease than strip. The festival shows run from Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14; there are also classes, parties and hangout sessions (including free patio events at Lannie's). Find the full schedule at coloradoburlesquefestival.com, and keep reading for organizer Midnite Martini's descriptions of the headlining acts.
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Gravity Plays Favorites (pictured above) "Gravity Plays Favorites is a duo out of St. Louis, and mainly they work with the pole," Martini explains. "But they do a lot of acrobatic work on the pole, not what the public generally thinks of a stripper pole -- they flip around and partner each other and they play with that tongue-in-cheek, comedic style." Katrina Dohl and Michelle Mynx have lived up to their name for more than five years now, traveling the country to showcase their mad pole skills.
Ophelia Flame "Ophelia has been in the community for a very long time," Martini notes. "The latest title she won was runner-up from the Burlesque Hall of Fame. She's pretty classic, but I've seen her dabble in comedy and other acts as well. The acts she'll be bringing to our festival will be more of the big-feathers, classic type of acts." Also known as "The Burning Sensation," Flame founded Lili's Burlesque Revue in Minneapolis.
The Stage Door Johnnies Why should the ladies get to have all the fun? The Stage Door Johnnies are one of the first boylesque crews to be world-renowned: "They're stars in the community," says Martini, "headlining at international festivals. They're all trained dancers, so they can do these amazing choreography stunts. Sometimes it's just a gimmick to be a male doing this -- you get a pass on your performance -- but they really wanted to approach all of their performances as if they were a woman. They want the quality to be just as high as the best females in this industry." Individually, she adds, the Johnnies have very different styles, and together they put on a purely fantastic show.
Fannie Spankings Past attendees of the festival -- and Colorado burlesque fans in general -- will be thrilled to hear that this particular headliner is dropping in; she was one of the original founders of the Colorado Burlesque Festival before moving her performance and teaching focus to Pittsburgh. "We are so excited to bring her back!" Martini says. "She was a staple here, and hopefully she'll be joining us more and more as the years go on. Every time she performs, she just makes the audience happy. She has great relatability to the audience; she represents a real woman on stage who is very powerful and very comfortable in her own skin."
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Foxy Tann Martini describes Foxy Tann as "the boss of burlesque -- she's a very powerful, big, bold black woman." Tann will be emceeing as well as performing; her style is "powerful, but always welcoming and with a smile," King adds. This neo-burlesque superstar is one of the best female female impersonators (yes, she's a double dose!) who's managed to crack the burlesque festival circuit.