Dance Dance Revolution
(page 6 of 7)
The onslaught of attention took Brown Girls Burlesque by surprise and forced the members to consider what the group means to them and how it fits into their lives. Some felt overwhelmed and dropped out. Others redoubled their efforts. Erin Cantrell ’07 auditioned, dubbed herself Miss SOuthern COmfort (“SOCO” for short) and started choreographing routines in front of salvaged mirrors propped up in her living room. The youngest member of the group, she cultivates a humorous approach to burlesque. “It’s easy to do straight sexy. It’s more of a challenge to do goofy, funny sexy and still be attractive,” she says.
In fall 2008, one year after their first show, Brown Girls Burlesque held a fundraiser for the Obama campaign, “Brown Girls for a Brown President.” Miss AuroraBoobRealis donned a flag and deconstructed the plight of the immigrant. Miss SOuthern COmfort portrayed an old lady so moved by an announcement about Obama’s healthcare plan that she abandons her walker and cuts a rug to James Brown’s “Good Foot,” ending up in knee socks, control-top panties, and a matronly bra. In an X-Files based number, a performer dressed like Scully was forced to disrobe by unseen aliens after she discovers Karl Rove’s head in a bottle of green fluid.
The audience ate it up. They were diverse as a Benetton ad—women and men of all colors sharing tables, noshing on overpriced tater tots, and cheering the performers. “Our audience respects us and what we do. They’re not just coming to see sexy girls take off their clothes,” says Sara Vargas. “It’s about the story the performers are telling, and the intelligence and humor behind it.”