Brown Radicalass Burlesque

Burlesque, Redefined

New York Times

A burlesque group is advocating for racial and gender equity, immigration reform and climate change.  Story and images for The New York Times.

Brown Radicalass Burlesque

Brown Radicalass Burlesque

Meet brASS :the New York City burlesque troupe created by queer women and women of color to redefine a scene that they say has often failed to provide them, queer and transgender performers opportunities.

The group advocates for racial and gender equity, immigration reform and climate change.

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Munroe Lilly

Munroe Lilly

On this day, in true brASS fashion, there was an assortment of performers whose individual acts included a combination of dazzling burlesque sequences, like Munroe Lilly’s performance, in which gravity-defying body contortions heightened the suspense of the evening.

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“We’ve got to keep each other alive because no one is going to do it,”

“We’ve got to keep each other alive because no one is going to do it,”

Said Ms. Osato. “That’s what this show is helping us do. We have to do it for ourselves and for each other because we can’t trust that people in the world will do it for us.”

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Sweet Lorraine, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater.

Sweet Lorraine, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater.

She was introduced to burlesque when an internet search for black pinup models like Miss Topsy and Joyce Bryant in publications like Ebony and Jet magazines led her to vintage burlesque footage. Days after watching the footage, she enrolled in The New York School of Burlesque and began to perform in shows.

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