Scenes From The Seventh Annual Dallas Burlesque Festival.
The seventh edition of the Dallas Burlesque Festival felt perhaps a tad edgier than it had in years past. And, boy, were this year's festivities all the better for it.
Maybe it's just that the festival, which features locally based and internationally touring performers alike, is finally starting to come into its own. Or maybe it's simply that, with three separate showcases and a party over the course of three nights, the packed-all-weekend-long festival is now afforded the time to take a few chances.
Regardless, this year's festival, which once again took place across various stages at the House of Blues, was, if nothing else, more willing to mess with gender stereotypes than ever before, featuring more than a few male performers as well as a number of drag acts. To be sure, these showings made some of the more macho male audience members at the fest a little uncomfortable. But plenty of credit is due to the female performers for not giving the slightest damn: During one such male performance, several of the female performers could be overheard chastising the squeamish out in the audience for actively trying to not pay the performances much mind.
“Look at him!” they shouted from the side of the stage. “Look at him, dammit!”
It was pretty hilarious — as were the many performances from Dallas drag king Buck Wylde, who managed to perform three separate shows and a DJ set on Friday night alone.
The whole weekend proved quite the spectacle, indeed — for the performances themselves, but also the side affairs. Never was this more clear than during Friday night's after-party in the Foundation, during which a number of revelers still hanging out from the venue's Wade Bowen concert in another room on that same night were visibly confused by the scantily clad performers milling about the space.
Plus, there was even a marriage proposal: On Saturday night, Penny Ruffles of the Dallas-based Ruby Revue troupe was surprised when her boyfriend popped her the question on stage. (She said yes.)
In all, this year's festival was certainly a fun one — and proof positive, one assumes, that Dallas is important hub in the burlesque industry and community.