Burlesque is sexy dancing without the stripping, reports Sharu Delilkan
Among the artistes at the Tempo Dance festival later this month is a group that could easily, and justifiably, warrant the description "naughty but nice".
The dancers wear costumes that are utterly feminine in a vintage kind of way. Burlesque's resurgence in popularity motivated founder Erin Basta, right, to form the Hootchy Kootchy Girls Burlesque group two years ago.
"I'd been living in LA where burlesque had been around for a few years, and so when I couldn't see anyone going into that arena I thought I'd give it a go," says the trained dancer.
"I've always had the vision as a dancer of wanting to stick to storytelling coupled with vintage clothing and glamour, as opposed to stripping or showing things that offend people.
"Our aim is to appeal to women and not scare people away. We don't believe in using nudity so it's never part of the show," says Basta. "I'd like to think of our shows as a resurgence of the tease which I believe many people crave."
Besides running the show, Basta says she loves teaching the amateur burlesque classes she set up earlier this year in response to requests from women.
"Our hope is that we're able to reintroduce flirtation and mystery into everyone's vocabularies while just having a great time."
Tempo Dance Festival features more than 1000 performers and 17 venues.
Hootchy Kootchy Girls Burlesque, Toto's Restaurant, until Oct 17. Tickets: ph 361 1000 or see www.iticket.co.nz. Details see www.tempo.co.nz