About Us

Bottoms Up Burlesque became  a registered not for profit 501c3 in 2013!
 
Bottoms Up Burlesque Inc. Mission Statement

 

Bottoms Up Burlesque, Indy’s longest performing burlesque troupe composed of a community of strong women, strives to produce high-quality and creative burlesque shows that celebrate the sexiness and attitude of the neo-burlesque movement, and seeks to advocate, educate, and donate 100% of proceeds to locally-run cancer charity organizations. 
 
Brief History of Bottoms Up Burlesque
 
Bottoms Up Burlesque made its debut on the stage of the Historic Melody Inn in 2004. Formed from the girls affiliated with Punk Rock Night, the group’s first shows combined dance skits, spoken word comedy, and live music. All the girls donated their time and all proceeds were given to charity. The annual fall show at the Melody Inn gained a large local following, and over time, the troupe expanded to include a spring show at Radio Radio in Fountain Square and performances at various local arts events. For a time, the troupe was affiliated with Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School and hosted numerous Indianapolis events that brought burlesque into the sketch art genre. All proceeds in recent years have gone to the Pink Ribbon Connection, an organization that helps women battling breast cancer as well as Creating Hope, an organization that helps cancer victims cope through art therapy. Now in its eleventh year, and proud of the many performers who have been a part of the troupe over time, Bottoms Up is always looking forward to what will come next!

 

 

Brief History of Burlesque

Burlesque as a form of entertainment traces its roots as far back as 17th century Italy, but made its American debut in the 19th century music halls and vaudeville theaters to wild popularity. A populist blend of satire, performance art, and adult entertainment, burlesque differed from classic striptease and featured mostly female performers in elaborate costumes, sets, lighting and music. Lydia Thompson and her troupe, the British Blondes, first appeared in the U.S. in the 1860s, and a host of other troupes sprang up soon thereafter. Burlesque shows in this early era consisted of three parts: one part song and dance by a female company, one part low comedy and other specialty acts by mostly male comedians, and one part grand finale. Burlesque continued to be popular throughout the 1910s and 1920s, until a crackdown in the 1930s led to the gradual downfall of burlesque as a socially mainstream form of art.

Burlesque is no doubt experiencing a revival today, as seen by the number of troupes springing up across the nation. Shows by troupes in Los Angeles, Columbus, New Orleans, New York and elsewhere honor the spirit of past performers like Gypsy Rose Lee, Tempest Storm, Lili St. Cyr, and of course, the pin-up queen Bettie Page. Indianapolis’s own Bottoms Up Burlesque is one of many troupes who put on live shows that blend humor, music, costumes, and dance. Come be a part of this time-honored tradition.