There was a practical function: it made the perfect burly name tag. Lily LeCroix and I didn't have one so we, along with Black Mariah and Carmen St. Cloud, made it our mission to hit up with the indoor swap meet. I kept an eye out for potential costume pieces or a nicer dress to wear to one of the shows, but I kept a tight fist around my wallet. I did, however, get my "name tag", an eyebrow pencil, some hair clips, and a belt—for a total of less than $15. After a sketchy ride back, we hit up the Burlesque Bazaar again, where I did find a costume piece from Booty and the Geek.
|Our pre-show dinner became a battle|
between the blues and the reds.
People were not kidding when they said I would overdose on burlesque by the end of the Tournament of Tease. Two performances in and I already had two of my favorites for Best Debut. Lisa Fa'alafi gave a huge middle finger to Polynesian stereotypes and managed to make leaves look chic. Then Jeez Loueez brought so much attitude to the stage as Rufio, dancing to Michael Jackson. Rounding out my top three was Bonnie Fox who Charleston-ed faster than anybody I'd ever seen and into the Best Debut and Most Dazzling Dancer titles. I was also rooting for Dallas' own Missy Lisa who was the obvious pick for Most Classical.
The next three categories sped by due to fewer competitors and a lot of high energy performances. Since I considered Japan my second home (I lived there for a year), I was eager to see Circus de Moccos in Best Group. They did not disappoint, and I truly appreciated their whimsical and silly take on sexuality. The Land of Sweets won the category, and while they stuck to more traditional dance, I had to give them props for their technical skills and the homage to my favorite ballet, The Nutcracker. Although Best Troupe had me biased with the Ruby Revue competing, the ladies really were on point in every little aspect. Even looking back at the photos now, I'm impressed with how everybody's legs were extended to the same height. I was super stoked for them.
|Ruby Revue also gets my pick for cutest dress theme,|
as they matched their gowns to their costumes.
Finally the Miss Exotic World/Queen of Burlesque competition came. It wasn't as diverse as some of the other categories, which was a little disappointing, but everybody was dancing at such a top level that I was still in awe. The ones who did stand out to me were the ones who took a different approach. Iva Handfull rocked her suit and giant mohawk; she brought the fierceness that I've admired since I knew who she was. Melody Mangler's transformation from a devout Puritan to a fiery enchantress was unique and well thought-out— I always love a good narrative. The two I was cheering loudest for were Midnite Martini and Ginger Valentine for obvious reasons. The former epitomized grace, innovation, and boldness with her mix of aerials and classic burlesque while the latter displayed the perfect balance of elegance and raw sexuality. I was super stoked when Ginger got second runner-up with the gorgeous Medianoche getting first runner-up. Then I became even more elated as Midnite Martini took the title. Very rarely do we have a woman of color as Queen of Burlesque (especially an Asian), and Midnite Martini's ability to take the most classic moves to a new level is inspiring.
|I helped Carmen her mission |
too: getting a pic with the
handsome Trojan Original.