New York Burlesque Festival

 

Back in May 2003 the World Famous Pontani Sisters and Thirsty Girl Productions launched the first New York Burlesque Festival.  They brought together an international cast of performers for a full weekend of burlesque – Friday and Saturday night shows followed by a Sunday Brunch.  It has since become an annual event.

I spotted the advert for the first festival in May of 2003 and attended the opening night at the Slipper Room, home to several long-running burlesque shows. The line was already around the corner when I arrived and the space was packed by the time I got in.  I got a drink and squeezed over to a spot off the side trying to get a decent view of the stage over the heads of the crowd. Scotty the Blue Bunny was the MC for that night and the variety of acts and styles on stage was fantastic. I was hooked. Unfortunately, around midnight my legs started to give out after standing so long in one spot. I had a simple digital camera with me and snapped a few photos despite the crowd.  I have been going since.

 

When the 2nd New York Burlesque Festival rolled around in 2004 I managed to catch both the Friday and Saturday night shows. The opening night at the Pussycat Lounge featured two performance areas – the bar stage on the first floor and upstairs in the music venue – both packed.  And the Saturday night show at the Avalon was filled to capacity. I was a bit more prepared photographically this time and captured a number of images from Friday and Saturday nights.

 

For the 2005 NY Burlesque Festival I got my tickets before they sold out. I photographed the Premier Party Friday night at Southpaw in Brooklyn and the Saturday Night Spectacular at the Hiro Ballroom in Manhattan.  Both venues were filled to capacity and the variety and energy of the performers was great. I was suffering from a bit of sensory overload on the Queen of Hearts for Sundayís Burlesque Cruise and 2nd Annual Golden Pastie Awards.  There were more great performances on the rolling top deck and plenty of mixing below in the Burlesque Boutique, by the bar, and in the smoking section aft.  

 

The 2006 New York Burlesque Festival continued to showcase a wide variety of talent but moved from three days in May to Labor Day weekend.   The event started with a Friday night Premier Party at Studio B in Brooklyn hosted by Scotty the Blue Bunny, followed by The Spectacular at The Supper Club hosted by Murray Hill on Saturday night. It officially closed with Miss Astrid in control of the Burlesque Cruise on the Queen of Hearts with performances and awarding of this yearís Golden Pasties but a number of out-of-town performers stayed on a few days and populated at a number of local shows.  

 

The 2007 New York Burlesque Festival was again held over Labor Day weekend. The formal festivities started off with a Thursday night Teaser Party at Corio Supper Club.  Corio was also the scene of a special edition of Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque early on Friday evening before the big Premiere Party at Element hosted again by Scotty the Blue Bunny just before he flew off to Sweden. Murray Hill hosted the Saturday Spectacular at the Highline Ballroom to a capacity crowd. On Sunday, in place of the Burlesque Cruise of recent years, the Golden Pastie Awards ceremonies were held at the Comix Supper Club. After the performers made it down the ďRed Carpet,Ē Miss Astrid ripped apart the envelopes and presented the multiple Golden Pasties while slipping in a number of performers into the show.

 

{One of these days Iíll finish editing the public albums from the 2008 NYBF.}

 

The 2009 New York Burlesque Festival was held at the start of October. The  festivities started off with a Thursday night Teaser Party at Public Assembly followed by the Premiere Party at the Bell House. The Saturday Spectacular was held at BB Kings (I was too visually saturated to shoot that night.  On Sunday, the Golden Pastie Awards ceremonies were held at Le Poisson Rouge. After the performers made it down the ďRed Carpet,Ē Miss Astrid ripped apart the envelopes and presented the multiple Golden Pasties while slipping in a number of performers into the show.

 

Back to Edís home page or to Edís Burlesque page or e-mail ED@BARNAS.ORG

 

Page updated 17 September 2010