These days few are aware of the literary origins of the Burlesque tradition, which began in England during the Victorian Era.
The dictionary defines the word as such: a literary or dramatic work that seeks to ridicule by means of grotesque exaggeration or comic imitation.
But to most people, the term conjures images of scantily clad women, strippers and Moulin Rouge Can Can dancers.
To be sure, here in the States, Gypsy Rose Lee certainly left her indelible stamp on the genre, as has the divine Dita Von Teese in our own era, which has seen a revival of Burlesque. Not a terribly big surprise, as the nature of the form is, and always has been, mockery of the (political), status quo.
Here in Taos, we have our own Burlesque scene, and the reigning Queen is none other than the gorgeous, talented and totally down to earth, Corrina (Coco Blu), Llopart, so when Zoe Zimmerman sent these fabulous shots, I jumped at the opportunity to ask Corrina a few questions about herself, and how she came to Burlesque (and Taos), in the first place.
1) Tell us how you got into Burlesque.
I got into Burlesque by word of mouth from one of my roller derby teammates, almost 5 years ago. The first day I walked into class, they were having a photo shoot The teacher at the time introduced herself, threw a costume on me and had me pose with the rest of the ladies. (Whereby Corrina’s modelling experience came in handy.) Prior to moving to Taos, I didn’t know what Burlesque was, I would say that I was at the bottom of the stripping chain. After a couple of years of classes, you tube, and endless hours of practice, I found myself not only running a successful Burlesque scene here in Taos with classes and performances, but I have also been able to provide this outlet in other areas, I have taught workshops in Durgano, CO, and now that a few troupes have popped up in that area, I also have the opportunity to perform in Durango regularly.
I will also be making an appearance with the Burlesque troupe (Zircus Erotique), in Sante Fe, on Nov. 24th at the Place.
2) How did you wind up in Taos, and what keeps you here?
A relationship brought me to Taos in 2011, unfortunately the relationship failed, but the community that I built around myself, (and continue to build), is what keeps me here.
3) You have a show coming up close to Halloween at Taos Mesa Brewing, what’s new in your world and what do you have up your sleeve for this particular show?
Oct. 28th will be the official Halloween Party for Taos Mesa Brewing. The theme for this show is ‘Dark Fairy Tales’ officially called ‘Once Upon a Time, the darker side of happily ever after‘, mostly based off of the Brother’s Grimm stories or just some creative plot twisting of our own. The audience can expect a diverse group of men and women, performing burlesque/boylesque, Lyra, and pole dancing, followed by ‘The Raven and The Riding Desk’ a band from Denver, CO.
There are quite a few new faces that will be appearing as well as familiar ones. Some of our previous performers included in this show are Ms. Coco Blu, Naomi Hannah, Ange’l Wilson, Casandra Romero, Kathrine Englehart, and Stephanie Bailey. Our new performers include Tera Muskrat, Rikker Rekkir, Justin Janowick, John Biscello, and two guest performer from Pagosa Springs, CO, Sass A Frass (Lyra) and Sarah Wolf (Pole Dancer).
For more about Corrina and Once Upon A Time at Taos Mesa Brewing on October 28, please visit the sites linked below.
All photographs by the one and only, Zoe Zimmerman