Art of Exhibitionism
Published November 28, 2010
By Amanda Schoenberg
Journal Staff Writer
It is 11 o’clock on a Friday night in Albuquerque when burlesque performer Kitty Irreverent starts working the crowd.
Dressed in very little — apart from five purple balloons — Kitty makes her way around Low Spirits, a Second Street bar, offering patrons a chance to prick her balloons with a safety pin.
Back at the front of the room, now balloon-less and stripped to her undergarments, she offers the crowd a quick twirl of her tassels and struts off.
Welcome to the world of burlesque in Albuquerque, which has gained popularity in recent years among audiences and performers inspired by its vintage appeal and sassy exhibitionism.
It is a world far from the Hollywood version of “Burlesque,” the PG-13 movie starring singers Cher and Christina Aguilera, which opened Wednesday. In the movie, Aguilera plays a small-town girl who stumbles into a burlesque club and works her way from waitress to singer and star performer. If the trailer is any indication, the movie version of burlesque is glitzy, glamorous and leads to a lucrative career on stage.
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