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Burlesque event honors Black liberation

Burlesque performer and Juneteenth Jamboree curator, Tre’ Da Marc (Courtesy of Juneteenth Jubilee)

North Minneapolis’ Capri Theater is hosting the 2023 Juneteenth Jubilee - a Black Burlesque show - to celebrate the liberation of Black and Brown bodies. Curator Tre’ Da Marc has been a Burlesque dancer for ten years, and says Burlesque is a form of liberation. He says the arts' impact on his life and community has been profound.

“To be able to celebrate not only my body but my queerness, and my Blackness - it helped me overcome a lot of the struggles that I had,” Marc reflected. “To lift myself up and be proud of who I am and the life that I'm living, and be able to share my energy and experience with people… It saved my life.”

Burlesque was introduced to the United States by a British dance troupe in 1866. The sensual form of dance is known as the “art of tease.” Burlesque was revolutionized in 1890 by the “Creole Show.” It took place in New York and utilized an all-Black cast, proving that Black people had musical and commercial appeal. This gave birth to future Black productions, helping to devalue the use of blackface worn by white Burlesque dancers.

“A lot of people don't know that there's been Black people who've been doing this artistry for years. And so it's really interesting to get back to the narrative that there are Black people that are out there doing this. That there are people who grew up in the hood who are out there also being glamorous and throwing it back.”

Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and forced the state to liberate more than 250,000 people who were still enslaved. Marc says Burlesque is the perfect pair to the now federal holiday due to its imprint on the reclamation of Black storytelling.

“This show is my love letter, not only to the Black burlesque community, but to the black community in North Minneapolis, since that's where I grew up,” said Marc.

The Juneteenth Jubilee takes place on Friday June 16. It features performances by ALLurrr'em VelvIT, Keke Boudreaux, Lala Luzious, Phathoms Deep, Nox Falls, Twilisha Devine, May Hemmer. With special guest and MC, Foxy Tann, and special guests, Dax ExclamationPoint and Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rièr.

Doors open at 6pm. Admission is $30 at the door. For more information, visit the link here.

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