Sometime during 2003, an Albuquerque woman attended a performance of local burlesque troupe, Bella Donna Burlesque Revue.  Her 16 year background in ballet, jazz and tap said, “I bet I could do that.” She had been performing as part of Crushed Velvet Rope, a local performance art troupe, but knew dance was her real passion.

The dancer created a burlesque stage name, Holly Rebelle, a mashup of her love of rock ‘n’ roller Buddy Holly and her prominent Star Wars Rebel Alliance tattoo. A few internet inquiries yielded six burlesque volunteers and one professional seamstress. A couple weeks later, on a patio overlooking the Rio Grande, Burlesque Noir met for the first time.

Within weeks, Holly choreographed Burlesque Noir’s first two group pieces; a trio of flag twirling drag racers accompanied by Rob Zombie’s hit Dragula, and a fierce quartet of geishas dancing along to David Bowie’s China Girl. Burlesque Noir provided acts for the next two CVR productions before setting out to produce their own show. Their first production, Winter Wonderlust began with a sold out crowd and a line around the block.

In 2006, Burlesque Noir had recruited choreographer Tony Travis and grown to fourteen performers. By 2008, the troupe had created over one hundred unique solos, duets and troupe performances. After staging a Greatest Tits show, Holly had more on her mind than simply re-staging older numbers for newer audiences. She wanted to share her unique vision with the performers and cities outside of Albuquerque.

Holly Rebelle applied Burlesque Noir’s Terminator inspired T-36 DD number to The 2009 Great Boston Burlesque Exposition on a whim and never expected to be accepted. On Easter Weekend Burlesque Noir brought Cambridge, MA the best five minutes, eighteen seconds of burlesque had to offer. Our quirky hip-hop number blew away the judges and audience and five girls from New Mexico took home a Howard Award; the trophy for Best Troupe or Duo at the 2009 Great Boston Burlesque Exposition.

2010 and 2011 brought excursions to perform at the New York Burlesque Festival, Windy City Burlesque Festival, Colorado Burlesque Festival as well as return trips to the Great Burlesque Exposition in both 2010 and 2011.  In 2012, Holly and Burlesque Noir traveled to Jigglewatts territory for the Texas Burlesque Fest.  There, a double victory was achieved as Burlesque Noir took home the trophy for Best Ensemble and Holly won the title of Best Solo.  Burlesque Noir turned around and brought their 2nd award winning number, Stripping Broadway, to Show Me Burlesque Festival in May, 2012.

Burlesque Noir continues to perform locally in Albuquerque but also travels to as many national burlesque showcases as we can afford in order to expand our audience. We feel it is important that Albuquerque keep the art of burlesque alive by creating fresh ideas, networking with national performers and stripteasing for new audiences. We’ve helped put our hometown on the burlesque map and we’re committed to keeping it there.