Burlesque! One of the truly distinctive American art forms, misunderstood as hell but popular nonetheless. Indianapolis’ own troupe, Bottoms Up Burlesque, has come a long way from a one-shot ensemble put together for a charity gig in 2003. (Full disclosure: I had some small role in that early incarnation.)
Since then, under the leadership of founding members Ginger Sassparilla, Anita Cocktail and Sadie Mae Cutebottom, Bottoms Up has grown to encompass a dozen members and several shows a year. They dedicate all their proceeds to the breast cancer foundation at Y-me.org, and as of late they’ve formed a partnership with burlesque and art organization Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, formed by Molly Crabapple in New York City. The collaboration with Dr. Sketchy will be the focus of their Feb. 22 appearance at Sam’s Saloon, with DJs, drinking, beauty and art for the masses!
“She thought that instead of being a boring figure class where you’re doing a nude figure drawing, it’d be better if it was at a drinking event, a costumed burlesque dancer that anyone could get in and draw,” Ginger Sassparilla says. “Sam’s Saloon is really cool; it’s an original saloon from the late 1800s, so there’s a lot of history involved in that place. Our two girls will be doing a Wild West theme, acting out a story in poses for one or two minutes.”
The bi-monthly Dr. Sketchy shows are in addition to the yearly October Melody Inn show; next month, they’ll head to Radio Radio for a March 22 show with Creeping Charlie and Atomic Bombay.
“This is really becoming something special,” Ginger says. “Nobody else is doing anything else even burlesque-related in Indy, and there’s such a national interest in this type of thing. And we do enjoy doing it. That’s why we wanted to align ourselves with a charity; it made it more about the cause and less about our egos.”
More on Bottoms Up at myspace.com/bottomsupburlesqueindy and Dr. Sketchy at myspace.com/drsketchyindy.