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Chocolate City Burlesque, Tagg Magazine

CCBC 2015 Performance at Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Leah Edwards)

Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret, Washington D.C.’s own burlesque and variety troupe, is back with their annual Summer SOULstice show.

Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret (CCBC) is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the art of Black Burlesque. According to their website their mission is to “preserve and diffuse the art and history of Black Burlesque, Cabaret, Sideshow and Variety as well as create safe and accessible spaces for Black performers and audiences.”

The troupe has already built a name for themselves with their signature bi-annual sold out shows. And, their upcoming July 1 Summer SOULstice show is guaranteed to be another packed house.

“I think it’s important to support brown burlesque performers for several reasons,” said CCBC producer and co-founder Chè Monique. “Supporting performers of color encourages a more diverse audience to come out to burlesque shows, which is good for everyone as it broadens burlesque’s reach. Another reason is that people of color often get overlooked in burlesque, through the same process of unconscious systemic racism that hold us back in other arenas. And, burlesque also has a way of touching, inspiring and moving its audience. Several people have told me that just watching a burlesque show boosts their self esteem. The more diverse the performers are, the more people we can impact.”

This year’s cast brings a diverse group of local and national performers. Their all-star cast includes Gigi Holliday, Dainty Dandridge, Eva Mystique, Angel, Lana La’Rouge, Hell O’Kitty, and Queen Nefertittie. The evening will also include DJ Natty Boom, spoken word legend Pages Matam, and special guest Dr. Ginger Snapz. Dr. Ginger Snapz has been performing burlesque for the past ten years and was very influential in Seattle’s Burlesque revival. The troupe calls her Dr. Snapz because she taught courses on burlesque and feminism and at the University of Washington. Dr. Ginger Snapz is one of the most prominent scholars and researchers of black burlesque history.

When asked what she is most looking forward to with the upcoming July 1 show, Chè Monique said, “Having most of the troupe in the same place at the same time. That doesn’t happen often. Also, all of the people performing have pushed themselves with the acts that will be on stage. I look forward to seeing the final product.”

The Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret Summer SOULstice II: Formation takes place on Friday, July 1, 2016 at Gala Hisplanic Theatre, 3333 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35. For more information or to purchase your tickets, visit http://www.chocolatecityburlesque.com/.

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Ebone Bell
Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and Ellen...so it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.