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Hello, Dali! Burlesque show celebrates surreal painter • Brooklyn Paper

Hello, Dali! Burlesque show celebrates surreal painter

Gals and Dali: Burlesque dancers will bust out their Salvador Dali-inspired moves for a scantily clad tribute to the extravagant Spanish painter at Coney Island USA on July 8.
David Byrd

This show is trippy and strippy.

A series of surreal strip-tease acts will celebrate the eccentric Spanish painter Salvador Dali this weekend by bringing his bizarre artwork to burlesque life. “The Persistence of Nudity,” taking the Coney Island USA stage on July 8, is an ode to an artist whose over-the-top persona and paintings inspire performers decades after his death, said one of the show’s producers.

“He created his own world. He lived his life exactly the way he wanted to. He never held back from his art, from his persona,” said Gemini Blitz, who will also bare it all on stage. “And I think as performers, having a figure like that to aspire to is important.”

Saturday’s risque revue will be the third annual show to pay homage to the surrealist painter and showman. Known for his highly symbolic paintings with motifs such as melting clocks, elephants, and eggs, Dali was also famous for extravagant stunts, such as the time he delivered a speech while wearing a deep-sea diving outfit — and almost suffocated in the process.

Moments like that inspired the 10-lady lineup to embody the mustachioed master with outré acts, said Blitz.

“His imagery lends itself really well to burlesque because he was such an extravagant, expressive figure,” said the Bushwick burlesquer and art history fan. “People get really, really creative with incorporating aspects of his paintings into their acts.”

Previous incarnations of the decadent Dali tribute have featured dancer Corvette Le Face performing to the sound of a ticking clock, and appearing shrouded in a black cloak, only to rip it open to reveal melting clock pasties and a g-string. Minx Arcana created a giant telephone costume with a lobster as a headpiece, and Bambi the Mermaid dressed as a lobster, and pouring a bowl of yellow glitter over her head like drawn butter.

This year, the bizarre and bawdy show will feature a grab bag of all-new acts, with performers drawing from an array of the artist’s work. Co-producer Clara Coquette will embody the painter’s obsession with bread by featuring a 12-foot baguette prop, and she will strip down from Dali’s signature three-piece suit. The routine is based off a particular Dali stunt, she said.

“In one of his random lectures he had someone bake him a 12-foot baguette and his two assistants strapped the bread under his arms, and he just continued without ever acknowledging the bread,” said Park Sloper Coquette, who counts Dali as her favorite artist. “So I feel the more I research and learn about him, the more weird stuff in burlesque you can do with it.”

Blitz and Coquette plan to keep up the art history-inspired, nearly-nude night of entertainment going for years to come — although they may include other artists, such as the prolific Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, or open it to other surreal artists.

“The Persistence of Nudity: A Burlesque Tribute to Salvador Dali” at Coney Island USA [1208 Surf Ave. at W. 12th Street in Coney Island, (718) 372–5159, www.coneyisland.com]. July 8 at 10 pm. $15.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Burlesque baguette: The show’s co-producer, burlesque performer Clara Coquette, will dress as Dali — and then undress, as part of the tribute to the surreal painter.
David Byrd

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