We couldn’t be more excited for the first annual upcoming Nerdlesque Festival here in New York! In conjunction with the first ever fest, The New York School of Burlesque has teamed up with both festival headliners and performers, to…
"The tribute to Ms. Rand happened by accident. I was working with ostrich.com to develop these fans and had been working with them for a bit, when I got the call from Luke. He asked me to do a tribute and I immediately thought of Sally Rand, however, when I hung up, I thought, ‘What the hell am I thinking? I’m actually going to try to tribute this woman, whom almost all tribute when they do a fan dance?’ I knew it had to be something special and really different from what was out there already. First, I had to find the right version of Clare De Lune. I used a version with this sweeping violin that just tugged at your heart. Then, I had to work out to lift those gigantic fans. When I was practicing, my hands were blistered and cut up. When I was done with practice (and I could only muster an hour at a time), my arms, hands, forearms and back were so sore. In developing the choreography, I didn’t want to mimic her moves, but her feeling behind the act. I had seen her video of this dance a couple years ago, and I just want to remember that feeling and I wanted to tribute that.
“The only thing I wanted to do in the tribute was not to cry. I would cry in rehearsal and I would cry in the car just listening to the song. I almost broke a couple times in the performance but I didn’t want to ruin my make up! Afterwards, while I was taking my bow, I was holding it in, and then I went backstage and Franky met me there. He had tears in his eyes and gave me this big hug and then I let it out. The song just gets me every time and knowing that I was honoring one of the biggest influences in burlesque was overwhelming. It was one of the proudest moments in my performance life.”
- Michelle l’Amour on her tribute to Sally Rand’s fan dance. Originally found at Daily Burlesque.